The Teaching Artist Studio » Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington

The Teaching Artist Studio


What is the TA Studio?

The Teaching Artist Studio (TA Studio) is a professional development program for teaching artists in Oregon and SW Washington. We work with artists from all disciplines and media—performing, visual, literary, digital, and more. But what is a teaching artist?

There’s not one definition, but a teaching artist (TA) is a two-career professional: an artist and an educator. Eric Booth has said, “A teaching artist is a practicing professional artist with the complementary skills and sensibilities of an educator, who engages people in learning experiences in, through, and about the arts.”

Because we believe that the arts are an essential component to a young person’s complete education, we offer a professional development series and workshops in the arts community to empower and embolden teaching artists. Our assumption is that if we can build the strength and capacity of our teaching artists, we will also increase the quality of their impact on students’ lives and education.

In this program, participants ranging in experience from emerging to established will dive deep into their teaching practice and examine the elements at the heart of their teaching: the what, the why, and the how. Identifying effective teaching strategies and assessment models through a combination of practice and observation will lead all participants to refine existing curriculum or to design and pilot new curriculum.

Our Values

We practice these values:

  1. Studio Mindset: a laboratory to make, explore, risk, analyze and innovate
  2. Equity: the practices of creating of an equal playing field for all
  3. Cross-disciplinary Methodology

The Teaching Artist Studio outcomes include:

  • Methods for creating clear and engaging lesson plans with specific learning outcomes and embedded assessment strategies
  • A greater capacity to address the needs of diverse learners and populations
  • Effective classroom facilitation skills that encourage rich learning environments
  • Skills to build fuller partnerships with the schools and students you work with
  • Increased awareness of and alignment to educational standards and language
  • Increased confidence in teaching artistry through investigation, practice, analysis, and communication with peers
  • The ability to collect strong documentation of student learning and growth as a result of their art experience
  • Strengthened understanding of your personal connection to the field of teaching artistry

Guest Teaching Artist Subashini Ganesan gives a lesson in bharatanatyam dance.

Get Involved

The next TA Studio cohort will begin work in late Summer 2018. If you would like to be notified when applications are open for this professional development opportunity, contact Tony Fuemmeler, Professional Development Coordinator, at or (503) 225-5900 (x227).

Several TA Studio workshops will be taking place throughout Winter and Spring 2018 and are open to the public for a small fee. For more information on signing up for those and other training opportunities through YA, contact Tony Fuemmeler, Professional Development Coordinator, at or (503) 225-5900 (x227).

Program Testimonials

“This experience was amazing! I was challenged in ways I never imagined. The skills and tools I take away will forever impact my ability and confidence as an effective teaching artist.”

“Very well organized and let to give us real skills, connect us with other TA’s, and give us confidence. Every step was modeled and explained. We participated and played and discussed.”

“I feel like this experience helped me make the leap from teacher to teaching artist.”

“I was particularly struck at how thinking about the teaching itself in creative/art terms illuminated the usual tasks of assessment and lesson-planning and classroom management. It all felt more free and light-hearted in a way that makes these daunting, strict tasks feel way more accessible and in my personal wheelhouse.”

“Learning through community. Having multiple minds engaged helped to bring different perspectives to each of the subjects and helped me find a comfortable place with each of them.”

“The most useful thing I will take away from the program is how to approach creating a lesson. I learned not only how to be an effective teaching artist, but also how to assess and reflect upon the art making.”

Timeline for 2017-18



September 1: Application cycle opens
UPDATE: Applications due 8 am October 2nd
October 9: Notification of accepted participants

All TA Studio activities will be located at sites conveniently located in central Portland.

FALL INTENSIVE (October-November)

Six days of full-day intensive study to help align artistic and teaching practices. Applicants must commit to all days of the intensive.

Friday, October 27
Saturday, October 28
Thursday, November 2
Friday, November 3
Saturday, November 11
Sunday, November 12
Session 1: Centering on Big Ideas
Session 2: Lesson Design–Sequencing & Scaffolding
Session 3: Objectives, Standards, & Assessment
Session 4: Inclusive Differentiation
Session 5: Peer to Peer
Session 6: Documentation & Digital Strategies


Mentors from the TA Studio will join forces with teaching artists, arts administrators, and classroom teachers to provide as series of half-day public workshops to expand on topics touched on during the Intensive. TA Studio participants will be expected to attend three of the workshops to complete the program.

Tuesday, November 28
Sunday, December 10
Monday, January 8
TBD, January-February
Monday, February 19
Saturday, March 17
Working Successfully with Schools
Creativity and Core Standards
Deepening Inquiry: A Questioning Lab
Interrupting Oppressions in the Arts Classroom
Child Development: Aligning Activities and Ages


Individual teaching artists propose an area of their study in the TA Studio to research and develop further with a partner classroom in the Portland metro area. These teaching artists will receive one-on-one mentoring with mentors from the TA Staff, as well as feedback on one of their classroom days. Limited to 8 teaching artists.

How do I apply?


In addition to the filling out the application, attach the following in PDF format:

Resume: Include artistic, teaching and work experience. Maximum two pages.

Sample Lesson Plan: This should be for a single lesson (not a series), and reflect your current work. Maximum three pages.

How are participants chosen?

Participants are selected using the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated commitment to working as a teaching artist in school settings. The length of time as a teaching artist is not as important as a clear passion for working with youth in your medium.
  • A clear interest in professional growth and development as a teaching artist.
  • Ability to attend the five-day Intensive and two TA Workshops.

Attention will be given to identifying a cohort of teaching artists from varied media and experience levels as well as representation from multiple arts organizations, programs and diverse cultural backgrounds.

Organizational Support

If you are an arts/cultural organization and would like a workshop for just your staff of teaching artists, contact us for a consultation.


Who Should Apply?

You should apply for the 2018-19 TA Studio if:

  • You work actively as an artist (performing, visual, literary, digital,…) and are interested in developing the complementary skills, curiosities, and habits of mind of an educator in order to reach your students more effectively.
  • You wish for additional strategies to gauge the impact of your work. We often hear from Teaching Artists, “I wish I knew what kids were really getting out of our work together.”  We’ll explore multiple ways of documenting and assessing the development of students’ art making and critical thinking skills.
  • You believe in creating a safe and inclusive environment for all students in your classroom and would like to learn more tools in order to do so.
  • You want to connect with other Teaching Artists in our community for an exchange of ideas, strategies, and perspectives.
  • You can commit to the 2017-18 TA Studio schedule, including attendance of all workshop dates, homework assignments and small group meetings outside of class time.

Please note that this professional development does not focus on finding work, marketing of your teaching work, or similar economic concerns; but rather emphasizes elements of quality teaching and collaboration with school partners.


Due to the support of private and public funders, a generous percentage of the tuition costs for the TA Studio are subsidized, and the program cost for participants in 2017-18 was $250.00. A limited number of scholarships (ranging from 50%-100%) are available to ensure we meet the needs of all of our communities.

Teaching Artist Studio Core Facilitators

Tony Fuemmeler cofounded the Teaching Artist Studio at Young Audiences five years ago to address the needs of developing teaching skills and fostering community among teaching artists. He currently works as the Professional Development Coordinator for YA.  He is a former roster artist for the Right Brain Initiative, and also was a teaching artist member of the RBI Operations Committee for two years.

Tony has has worked as a teaching artist for the last 17 years.  His work has included arts-integrated residencies for multiple grade levels in both Portland and New York City Public Schools; after-school classes and summer camps for multiple arts organizations and community centers; and skills-based workshops for college students and professionals. With ETP Northwest at Oregon Children’s Theatre, Tony worked with new teaching artists to develop and facilitate curriculum integrating the arts with topics of health and social-emotional learning. Tony has also taught workshops for educators at the Portland Art Museum, the Right Brain Initiative, Arts Center East, Arts Central, Lane Arts Council, and Teach For India in Pune, India.

Artistically, Tony is a mask maker, puppeteer, and director, and he uses both visual and performing arts in his practice. He has created masks for multiple companies and productions in Portland, created works for private parties and the Rubin Museum in NYC, puppeteered for Tears of Joy and Simple Machines, and more. Tony is a graduate of Dell’Arte International and the University of Kansas.

Briana Linden, a Portland, Oregon native, has worked in regional non-profits since 1997 including the Portland Art Museum, Oregon Zoo, Artists Repertory Theatre and as director of Blue Sky/Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts; prior to that she was a preschool teacher. Briana’s first role at Young Audiences was visioning and implementing The Right Brain Initiative beginning in 2008; she was most recently Director of Programs, in which she was responsible for the evolution of existing programming, development of new programming and the evaluation of both.

Briana has developed and presented educator workshops and professional development for organizations all around the Pacific Northwest.  When Briana cofounded the Teaching Artist Studio five years ago, it was grounded in the conviction that teaching artists illuminate children’s thinking and ideas, and are catalysts for positive change. It’s because of this that teaching artists are at the heart of her personal mission, to ignite a love of learning in children and their communities. Briana is a firm believer in arts-rich instruction as a way to engage all learners, rooted in the idea that every child deserves creative and dynamic access to learning.

Briana received her bachelor’s of fine arts with a focus on works on paper from Marylhurst University in 2005. She was on the board of directors for Art in the Pearl for 5 years, and co-owner and an exhibiting artist for Waterstone Gallery from 2006-2009. A practicing artist, Briana works in visual art mediums such as encaustic, printmaking, drawing and photography. She also founded Motherist, a social practice experiment for working artist mothers and their children.

Guest Facilitators include individuals from:

  • Portland Art Museum
  • Portland Public Schools
  • Individual teaching artists
  • And more!


The TA Studio is a program of Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington and is supported in part by grants from the Oregon Cultural Trust and the Jubilation Foundation.


Please contact Tony Fuemmeler ( or 503-225-5900 ext. 227) with any questions about the TA Studio or application process.