Teaching Artist Tuesdays 2022

January 11, 2022 - January 25, 2022

4:00 pm - 6:00 pm ET


Zoom Meeting

Please join the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable for an encore of our Teaching Artist Tuesday series, coordinated by our Teaching Artist Affairs Committee!

This three-part series featuring facilitators from across the arts and education fields will address current issues, questions, and needs of the Teaching Artist Community as we enter the new year. Participants will walk away with tools and best practices for dealing with the experience of internal or external burnout, building and strengthening relationships in the age of COVID-19 and after, and seeking methods to build or support a healing-centered classroom.

Click below to learn more about the sessions and facilitators.

Session Facilitators

Melissa Friedman (Co-Artistic Director, Epic Theatre Ensemble) is a professional actor, director and teaching artist with 25+ years of experience. On behalf of Epic, she received the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from First Lady Michelle Obama. She is an Arthur Miller Foundation Mentor and a Professional Development Facilitator for the NYC Department of Education’s Theatre Program. Melissa received her BA from Oberlin College and MFA in Acting from the Old Globe /University of San Diego.

Gayathri Iyer is a School Counselor in the New York City Department of Education.  She received her Masters in School Counseling at Hunter College, and BA in Cinema Studies and Journalism at New York University, where she currently serves as adjunct faculty in the Department of Applied Psychology.  A midwest native of immigrant roots, Gayathri brings her work background in arts, media, feminism, social justice, museums, nonprofit, and college administration to a love of learning, listening, and lifting up potential at The Young Women’s Leadership School in Astoria.  In her six years as a counselor, she has provided group and individual therapy with a cognitive behavioral and narrative approach, and preventative programming for mental health issues, body image, digital citizenship, identity development, anxiety and anger management, social skills, mindfulness, and more.  She also handles school practices on restorative discipline, academic guidance, career exploration, and crisis management.  She has offered teacher development on social emotional learning and trauma-informed care, and consultation on special education in schools, partner organizations, and the NCGS 2020 Girls Education Conference.

Jennifer Mack-Watkins is a mother, practicing artist, consultant/founder of Learning Through Studio LLC., and a Global Online Academy faculty member who works in New Jersey, New York, and Georgia. She is a printmaker and New York Board of Education certified arts educator who has worked for over 15 years in the field of arts education, including at The Brooklyn Museum, Harlem Children’s Zone, and The Pingry School. Throughout her career as an arts educator/teaching artist, she has taught for Charter Schools, Private Schools, Museums,Colleges, and non-profits organizations. She is passionate about sharing her love for the act of making art and using her voice to make works that connect to history and her own hope for the world through the works she creates. Her teaching pedagogy aims to allow students who might be overlooked to share their personal experiences and narratives that reveal their individual passions. She holds a BA in studio arts from Morris Brown College, MAT from Tufts University, and MFA in Printmaking from Pratt Institute. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Vogue, and Essence.

Leah Reddy is a Cincinnati-born, NYC-based director and dramaturg focusing on engineering creative processes in community. Leah is a Master Teaching Artist with Roundabout Theatre Company, a video producer, and a mentor with the Arthur Miller Foundation. Work includes producing  the documentary theatre piece and podcast Justice for Sergio with Leadership High School students.

Taylor Valentine, aka TV, is a high-energy dad/spouse, arts educator, peer facilitator, and theatre artist, based in Brooklyn. With over 20 years of professional theater experience, including stops at American Conservatory Theatre, Cleveland Play House, and La Mama ETC, TV brings his joy for storytelling, movement, & collaboration to his work as an arts educator. After 12 years as a teaching artist in NYC, working closely with all levels of school-aged superheroes, Taylor has come to strongly believe in 3 things; that anything is possible; that everyone is a storyteller; and that young people have the power to pave their own creative learning paths. In his current role as the manager of Program Excellence at LEAP, he has the honor of leading and creating many professional developments to support youth-facing staff in key aspects of creative youth development, including engagement practices, lesson planning, reflection, & social-emotional learning.  TV is committed to the ongoing fight for educational transformation and equity, access, & inclusion in all walks of life. He holds an MFA in Acting from Case Western Reserve University and is a proud graduate of the Teaching Artist Project cohort at Community Word Project. #alwaysbalancing


The NYC Arts in Education Roundtable is committed to providing opportunities for everyone to participate in our programming. All sessions will include access to closed captioning in the main room via Zoom’s Live Transcript feature. Please let us know how we can meet your access needs or reach out if you have any questions by contacting Roundtable Programming and Membership Manager Kinsey Keck at kkeck@nycaieroundtable.org.