Workshops and Professional Development » Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington

Workshops and Professional Development

Every month, we offer a variety of professional development opportunities that aim to address both parts of the teaching artist experience: artmaking and education. These events cover a variety of important topics for teaching artists, from current educational trends to logistical and health concerns, to the ongoing practice of engaging every student in the room.

  • Events marked PLC refer to professional learning communities, which have teaching artists engaging in a given topic in a peer education format.
  • Teaching Artist Studio workshops are a part of a year-long program series of experiential workshops which are also available to the public.
  • All of our professional development is offered without charge to artists on our roster. If cost is a barrier to your participation, email to inquire about our scholarships.
  • Upcoming 2021-22 Workshops

    Saturday, October 30

    Foundations of Trauma Informed Practice

    Zoom Workshop

    Register by 5pm, October 25. Click here to begin

    How can we be with students in a way that best supports them as they return to school buildings after over a year of distance learning, renewed racial reckoning, and changing guidelines for public safety? How do we address these things in ourselves as well? How can we talk about important issues without retraumatization?

    In this introductory training, participants will learn about the foundations of trauma, its relationship to systemic oppression, and impacts on health and behaviors. Attention will be given to the science behind trauma, how it shows up in the body, and traverses generations. While the information has a wide reach, it’s structured to focus on working with the K-12 public school population as a visiting artist.

    Please be aware that this is not a space of therapy. No trauma stories will be shared.

    Note: This training is a pre-requisite for follow-up workshops on Trauma Informed Practice later in the year.

    LEADER: Shiloh M. George, MS. Owner/Trainer at Łush Kumtux Tumtum Consulting
    TIME: 9:00-3:00pm, including a 90 minute break at 11:30.
    COST: $10 for General Public; Offered at no cost to artists on YA Roster.

    If cost is a barrier to your participation, email to inquire about our scholarships.

    2020-21 Workshops

    Tuesday, June 29

    What We Move Forward: A TA Panel Discussion

    Online Meeting

    What does it mean to adapt? We have spent over a year adjusting, pivoting, and experimenting. There have been waves of hope, waves of grief, waves of fear, and waves of inspiration. We have tried to stay afloat and to keep connected to our students and communities as well as to our creative practices. Join us for a panel of four wonderful teaching artists working in various art forms speaking about their experiences teaching over the last 15+ months: how they’ve adapted, experiments they’ve tried, and the discoveries they wish to take from the pandemic into the post comprehensive distance learning world.
    Panelists: Luciana Proaño (eclectic artist: dance, percussion, visual arts (glass, costumes)), Decimus Yarbrough (Dance), Jess Graff (Mixed-media artist and sculptor), and Mo Phillips (Songwriting)

    Thursday, May 27

    Creativity: Empowering our Communities

    Zoom Workshop

    Summertime activities and arts camps are starting up again. How can we empower teaching artists, organizations, and community leaders to use creativity as a tool for empowerment and building community? During this workshop we will explore the design of group activities that engage, inform, and inspire the use of creativity when leading or teaching groups. What are the basic components of successful group activities? How do we involve all participants? Teaching Artist Aaron Nigel Smith will share strategies you can employ to guide you as you build and enhance community through creative practice and guide groups to the takeaways or Big Ideas you want them to take into the world after your work together.

    Monday, April 26

    Listening Session with Teaching Artist Guild

    Online Meeting

    The Teaching Artist Guild (TAG), the National Guild for Community Arts Education, and other teaching artist associations want to listen to teaching artists now and enter into an open line of communication moving into the future. They want to hear from teaching artists who may be emerging to those with a veteran career so that they can better understand the unique needs and challenges of the TA community on the grassroots level across the nation. This listening tour will equip these organizations in their support of and advocacy for teaching artists. Who are “teaching artists”? Honestly, there are many ways to answer this question because it often looks a little different depending on where you live. Some teaching artists work in classrooms, in after-school programs, at arts or culture organizations, in community centers, in parks, in juvenile detention systems, in faith centers, etc… or some combination of the above. Do you have an ongoing creative practice of your own? Do you engage youth in that practice as a mentor, teacher or educator in the arts? This listening session needs your voice!

    TAG is a member-driven organization committed to the professionalization and visibility of artists who teach through a combination of advocacy, support, and honoring the work of teaching artists. Read more about TAG here.

    Tuesday, March 23

    Business Basics: Setting Up for Success

    Zoom Workshop

    Why do you need a separate bank account for your contractor work? What are the advantages to operating as a sole proprietor versus incorporating as an LLC? How can you create contracts that protect your teaching work, both in person and virtually? Not every artist begins their career with the mindset of starting a small business…but at some point realize that they are operating as one. In this workshop, Ryan Mauck, an attorney with Oregon Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, will walk you through the basic considerations of setting up as a business.

    Monday, March 1

    Crafting Authenticity: Tapping into Creativity From the Inside Out

    Live-Captioned on Zoom | Teaching Artist Studio Workshop

    As art is nourishment for our mind and soul, children benefit greatly when they can create or learn about art in a way that validates their experiences. This opportunity is particularly critical for children of color, who don’t often see their faces, culture and ways of being reflected in general society. In this workshop, we will talk about the importance of arts’ cultural relevancy and provide interactive examples of how you can help students use their personal understanding of the world to express creativity in a way that fosters their inner strength, confidence and self-assurance. This intention of shifting from art to heART can also become a social-emotional awakening strategy to help children find their source of inspiration within, step into a river of creativity and begin to flow toward unraveling the mystery of their own selves. Led by S. Renee Mitchell and Jason Graham.

    Tuesday, February 9

    Focusing on Inquiry in the Classroom

    Live-Captioned on Zoom | Teaching Artist Studio Workshop

    How can teaching artists help students own their learning? What kinds of questions lead to rich observations and ideas and strengthen metacognitive skills? How can we use questioning to help students best encounter and discuss works from masters and from fellow students? In this workshop, we will use works of art to explore ways to structure open questions that build student engagement, provoke meaningful inquiry, and assess for understanding. Participants will learn questioning strategies and will have an opportunity to put them into practice in live time with other teaching artists. A short break will be included in the schedule. Led by Tony Fuemmeler from the Teaching Artist Studio at Young Audiences.

    Thursday, January 28

    Tax Basics for Independent Contractor Artists

    Live-Captioned Workshop on Zoom

    It’s been a year with a lot of flux… and stimulus awards, unemployment wages, emergency grants, and more. What’s taxable? What kinds of forms or records should I keep? Are expenses a thing? There will be questions, and we invite you to bring them! Michael Davidson and Carol Wild will discuss tax law for both the freelance and W2 employee creative professional. Although they will NOT address tax issues relating to a specific individual’s personal tax return, it’s really helpful to bring your tax questions that have application to the audience at large.

    Monday, December 7 (Pt 1) | Wednesday, December 16 (Pt 2)

    Classroom Dynamics: Power, Bias and Microaggressions

    Live-Captioned on Zoom | Teaching Artist Studio Workshop

    Part 1- Breaking Down Power and Bias: Participants will discuss power dynamics, reflect on cultural frameworks, scopes of practice, personal experience and historical contexts as it relates to systemic power. We will also analyze mechanisms of whiteness and institutional dominant culture. Part 2- Microaggressions and Dynamics in the Classroom: Participants will reflect on commonly occurring racialized dynamics in an arts setting, classroom setting and factors to consider when working as visiting artists or teachers. This is for folks working in K-8, high school and college environments. Led by Vo Vo, Artist and Radical Educator.

    Friday, November 13

    Panel Discussion: Parents & Caregivers in Distance Learning

    Live-Captioned Zoom Webinar | Teaching Artist Studio Event

    Once again, we’re excited to open up the Teaching Artist Studio to the public! This webinar will feature stories and observations on distance learning from where it happens—the home. These parents and caregivers will speak to their experiences of how distance learning is playing out in the home, the pitfalls and opportunities they notice, and observations of how their kids have been responding—or not responding— to this mode. Our panel is planned to include Jane Payne (psychiatrist; Kids: 9 and 16 yrs old, and college age), Alex Chiu (muralist and painter; Kids: 2 and 6 yrs old), Zapoura Newton-Calvert (PSU faculty / Reading is Resistance; Kids: 9 and 10 yrs old), and Rashelle Chase (KinderCare Education, Mxm Bloc; Kids: 2 1/2 and 7yrs old). We hope that through this discussion, teaching artists can be inspired to find ways to better address realities of distance learning when creating and adapting their own lessons. A brief question and answer period will follow the discussion.

    Friday, October 30

    Panel Discussion: Social Emotional Learning in the Arts Classroom

    Live-Captioned Zoom Webinar | Teaching Artist Studio Event

    We’re excited to open up the Teaching Artist Studio to the public with this webinar about the importance of Social and Emotional Learning. These artists, educators and researchers will speak to their experiences of using this focus in a purposeful way to relate more fully with the whole student, and how their practices address the COVID pandemic, anti-racism, and working in the school system and beyond. Our panel is planned to include: Aaron Nigel Smith (musician, YA teaching artist, 1 World Chorus), Claudia M. Gana (Clinical Social Work Associate, School Counselor, SEL Consultant), Jonathan Hill (cartoonist and illustrator, PNCA, Create More, Fear Less), and Kristina Berdan (Education Director-Baltimore City Initiatives at Young Audiences/Arts for Learning Maryland).

    Monday, October 5 | Wednesday, September 30

    Comfort and Presence On Camera

    Online Workshop

    How does a teaching artist translate their presence in the classroom to an engaging and effective presence online? Are there different tools for pre-recorded videos and for live/interactive online teaching? In this workshop, film producer and actor Ashley Mellinger will offer an introductory guide to success on camera. Participants will receive key points on successfully presenting for video—from setting up your equipment to finding your audience through the lens.

    Wednesday, September 2

    Copyright 102: Music Fair Use & Licensed Use

    Online Workshop

    How can you tell when the use of recorded music in your classroom is appropriate, and when it violates the rights of the creator of that music? Are there guidelines for how musicians in the classroom can utilize or adapt the music of others for educational purposes? How does that intersect with online teaching and the use of platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, Zoom, etc.? Music is an everyday part of our lives. It’s only natural for teaching artists to use music as a tool in their teaching. In this workshop, an attorney with Oregon Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts will talk about the basics of fair use as an aspect of copyright law, and some aspects of licensed use. A brief Q & A session will follow the presentation.

    Please note that this workshop is provided as a non-profit educational tool only, and does not constitute legal advice. The speaker will not provide individual or personalized consultation on these topics.

    The Teaching Artist Studio is a project supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit

    This program is supported in part by the Oregon Cultural Trust.
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