In April of 2021 the League of North Carolina Teaching Artists spurred conversation on how to construct Teaching Artist Networks, similar to The Teaching Artist Guild. When the journey began, it started with collective brainstorms that analyzed aspirations. As the group embraced a multi-perspective approach, it allowed for true collaboration to manifest within a supportive environment. Here are key takeaways for starting a TA network:
- Start with a small group of individuals then expand your reach
- Remember not all teaching artists work in very visibly high profile ways. Some fly below the radar, but they still want to connect and contribute to a group
- You have the power to shape the culture that you wish to cultivate
- Draw up a working agreement that keeps a level of professionalism between members
- Make meetings consistent (time, place, etc.)
- Share information (internally and externally)
- Consider roundtable leadership
- Focus on the human point of view
- Form small partnerships instead of relying on big funding sources
At the end of the day it is about mutual flourishing: How you can support yourself? How can you support your family? The planet? And creating arts based activities based on what has heart and meaning. With the isolation of the global pandemic, it has created an environment to think out of the box; a skill artists inherently possess. Therefore, make inventories on what has meaning and brainstorm with others how to create arts based activities that have economic empowerment
Learn more about LNCTA's work and the ways in which arts and culture are becoming agents and tools for change in community and international development
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