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

The Teaching Artist Studio

What is the TA Studio? | TA Studio: Values and Outcomes | 2020-2021 Timeline | Application | Program Testimonials | Core Facilitators | Acknowledgements | Contact us

This year’s TA Studio will be offered in an interactive online format in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is the TA Studio?

Are you an artist just starting out in your teaching? Are you a mentor for youth via the arts? Are you an experienced teaching artists looking to refresh your practice? The Teaching Artist Studio is for you.

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.

Photo: Pat Moran

What is the Teaching Artist Studio in these times?

The co-facilitators of TAS have spent the last few months considering deeply what it means to provide this program this year. We have discussed the role of the arts in education; we have pondered the importance of the arts in these times of social distancing and virtual school experiences; we have considered the need to dismantle the notion of “business as usual” in a meaningful and respectful way; we have committed ourselves to learning, sharing, and growing with this particular session.

Instead of writing a manifesto or a statement of solidarity for these times and for what we plan to bring to our work together this Fall, we offer two quotes that express our work ahead.

We need a system that embraces every child, recognizes each student’s beauty and strength as we support them in reaching their goals… I believe and proclaim that Black Lives Matter and that immediate action is needed to stop the hurt and harm. I commit myself and call on others to work as partners with…our communities, schools, and students to make necessary cultural and structural changes to transform the experiences of students throughout Oregon in each and every classroom and school setting. There is much work to do to create and sustain truly inclusive, respectful, diverse and equitable schools around the many compelling issues of race, gender identity, social class, immigration status, and ability that adversely affect our students.

June 2020, “A Message from the Director of the Oregon Department of Education, Colt Gill”

We must ask ourselves, what do we want to get out of this? We have the choice to choose whether to go through this uncertain time with an open heart, receiving others with compassion and grace, or we can isolate ourselves in fear… The economy is uncertain and appears shattered. People are losing loved ones to a virus that is affecting the entire world. This is hard for every single one of us… It’s an opportunity for change in our schools, our family lives, and our planet. We have a chance to try something different, and we should take advantage of that… If we all play a part, and we all join hands, we can reach success. Because this coronavirus is pushing us to rely on the things that matter most; the things that a virus will never take away. We have to ask ourselves, if this experience will help us grow, or if the fear will suffocate our joy and take away the empathy we have for others. Yes this is painful, but we can come out of this fire stronger. It is the mindset we possess and the heart for those that are struggling that will carry us out of this.

– A 7th grade submission from Linus Pauling Middle School in Corvallis in response to Oregon Department of Education’s “Elevating Voices Project.”

Our Teaching Artist Studio invitation to you:

Join us so that together we can nurture our artistic beings and truly become the kind of teaching artists who are committed to bringing about a just and equitable society, one teaching artist interaction at a time, for years to come.

Photo: Christian Barrios

Who 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.”

In this program, participants ranging in experience from emerging to established will dive deep into their teaching practice. They will examine the elements at the heart of their teaching: the what, the why, and the how. The Teaching Artist Studio guides participants to identify effective teaching strategies and assessment models, as well as to refine existing curriculum or to design and pilot new curriculum. The structure of this program is experiential: artists participate in various learning activities, analyze them, and apply what they have learned to their own work.

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

Our Values

Studio Mindset:

The TA Studio is a laboratory to make, explore, risk, analyze and innovate.


We investigate and name the privileges, complicities, and disparities based on race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, class, disability status, geography, age, and other forms of bias and oppression that are resident in our selves, our society and our institutions, and that prohibit a learning atmosphere.

Cross-disciplinary Methodology:

Hands-on learning in many forms offers unique insights and experiences for deeper, richer understanding of the process of teaching. A teaching artist can better empathize with their students if they, too, experience the beginner’s mind in other art forms.


Teaching artists are an important part of the comprehensive education system, and they need access to resources and community to work their best.

Members of the 2018-19 TA Studio Cohort participate in a hands-on lesson.


The Teaching Artist Studio outcomes include:

  • Methods for creating clear and engaging lesson plans
  • The ability to develop big ideas in your art form into learning goals for your students
  • Strategies for identifying what your students leave your class knowing and thinking
  • 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 such as Common Core State Standards, National Core Art Standards, etc.
  • Increased confidence in teaching artistry through investigation, practice, analysis, and communication with peers
  • Ability to collect strong documentation of student learning and growth as a result of their art experience
  • Strengthened personal connection to the field of teaching artistry regionally and nationally

Photo: Christian Barrios


Who Should Apply?

You should apply for the 2020-21 TA Studio if:

  • You work actively as an artist (performing, visual, literary, digital…) and are interested in reaching students more effectively.
  • You wish for additional strategies to gauge the impact of your teaching work.
  • 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 2020-21 TA Studio schedule, including attendance of core course and workshop dates and completion of homework assignments outside of meeting time.

The TA Studio emphasizes building skills in lesson design, facilitation, assessment, and articulate collaboration with school partners. Please note this professional development does not focus on finding work, marketing of your teaching work, or similar economic concerns; nor is it an application to be on the YA Roster.

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.


Due to the generous support of private and public funders, more than 80% of the tuition costs have been subsidized. In recognition of the extraordinary hardships of this year, the tuition cost for this half-year professional development program is only $125.00. Artists already on the YA Roster can participate at no cost.

A limited number of scholarships are available (ranging from partial to full coverage of the cost) to ensure we meet the needs of all of our communities. Contact with any questions.

The 2019-20 TAS Cohort

How do I apply?

Application Materials

Submit an online Application by 5:00 pm September 21, 2020 (EXTENDED DEADLINE). The requested materials contain both short answer and narrative questions. See the questions here.

If you have any questions, please email for assistance.

Click here to apply now!

How will participants be chosen?

Participants will be selected using the following criteria:

  • Commitment to working as a teaching artist, as defined above. 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.
  • Interest in working in a collaborative community of learners.
  • Ability to attend the entire intensive, three workshops, and final meeting day.

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 racial and cultural backgrounds.

Program Testimonials

“I feel that this TA Studio has brought a new sense of awareness to myself as an artist and person. I feel that this allowed me to dive deeper into understanding the true meaning of what I am doing and why, and along with that gave me tools in order to connect with my students better on a personal and academic level.”

“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.”

“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.”

“Very well organized and led 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.”

“Overall, this has been a challenging but incredible experience that has really made me think more about how I can share the joy and meaning that the arts have to me with students. I never thought that I would end up teaching, but I think that it all makes perfect sense to me now that I’ve landed here.”

Teaching Artist Studio Core Facilitators

Briana Lindenco-founded the Teaching Artist Studio in 2013, grounded in the conviction that teaching artists illuminate children’s thinking and ideas, and are catalysts for positive change. 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 has worked with 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, launching and implementing The Right Brain Initiative; 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. She now consults to bring Teaching Artist Studio to teaching artists and communities all over Oregon. In addition to TA Studio, Briana works across the state as an arts education consultant, facilitator and educator.

Briana received her BFA with a focus on works on paper from Marylhurst University in 2005. She was on the visioning and governing committee for The Right Brain Initiative, the board of directors for Art in the Pearl, and co-owner and an exhibiting artist for Waterstone Gallery from 2006-2009. She currently sits on the Literary Arts Programs Advisory Council. 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.

Photo: Intisar Abioto

Subashini Ganesanis an artist, arts administrator, and the Creative Laureate of Portland. As an artist, Ganesan founded Natya Leela Academy where she choreographs and performs potent and universally relevant expressions in Bharatanatyam. Since 2008 has received multiple Regional Arts & Culture Council Grants. She often collaborates with local choreographers like Mike Barber (Founder, Ten Tiny Dances) and Michelle Fujii (UNIT SOUZOU). Her works are often showcased at local & regional festivals including PICA’s annual Time-Based Art Festival, Conduit’s Dance+, Ten Tiny Dances Beaverton, NW FolkLife Festival, & the Salem Library’s “World of Music.”

As the Founder and Executive Director of New Expressive Works (N.E.W.) she stewards a vibrant performing arts venue in Portland, that celebrates and supports multi-cultural independent performing artists to teach, be in residency, and create bold new works. Since inception in 2012, N.E.W. has been grounded in equity and access driving artistic expression and excellence. N.E.W.’s positive and uplifting programming provides equal access to and visibility for diverse art-forms. N.E.W. is also the home to an intensive urban residency program that annually offers 8 choreographers 6 months of free rehearsal space, a modest stipend, and a culminating performance opportunity to showcase their new creations. N.E.W. and its founder Subashini Ganesan are honored to have received RACC’s 2018 Juice! Award and White Bird’s 2019 Community Engagement Award, for making affordable space possible to artists and arts organizations

Ganesan is a member of the Teacher Advisory Council of the Portland Art Museum and is a Community Advisory Committee member of the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center’s (IFCC). She serves as a Board of Director for the James F. & Marion L. Miller Foundation and the Portland Parks Foundation. As the Creative Laureate of Portland, Ganesan serves as the official ambassador for the broader creative community in Portland.

Photo: Claus Rasmussen

Tony Fuemmeler co-founded the Teaching Artist Studio at Young Audiences in 2013 to address the needs of artists working as educators. He currently serves as the Professional Development Coordinator for YA. Tony’s practice as a teaching artist began at In the Heart of The Beast in Minneapolis, MN, where he was working as an AmeriCorps volunteer. Over the last 20 years Tony has taught through the dual lenses of inquiry and empowerment in a variety of settings across the country, including arts-integrated residencies; camps and afterschool classes; and skills-based workshops for college students and professionals. He has worked locally for the Right Brain Initiative as a roster artist, program consultant, and member of the Operations Committee. Tony has also lead professional development for educators at the Portland Art Museum, the Right Brain Initiative, Arts Center East, Lane Arts Council, and Teach For India in Pune, India. Tony is a guest instructor in mask theatre at Dell’Arte International.

Artistically, Tony is a mask maker, puppeteer, and director, and he uses both visual and performing arts in his practice. His work has appeared on stages such as Heart of the Beast (MN); HERE Arts Center, the Rubin Museum, Peculiar Works Project (NY); NOLA Project (LA); Grand Guignolers, See the Elephant (CA); Theatre Off Jackson (WA); Artists Rep, Oregon Children’s Theatre, Portland Ballet, and Theatre Vertigo (OR). He is the lead artist in the international collaborative mask installation A Universal Feeling which had its premiere exhibition in 2019.

Guest Facilitators include individuals from:

  • Portland Art Museum
  • Portland and Beaverton Public Schools
  • Teaching Artists from the Young Audiences roster


This project is 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


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


What is the TA Studio? | TA Studio: Values and Outcomes | 2020-2021 Timeline | Application | Program Testimonials | Core Facilitators | Acknowledgements | Contact us

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