August 24, 2021

Teaching Artist COVID-19 Community Conversation

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On Friday, March 13, 2020, the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable, Association of Teaching Artists, Teaching Artists Guild, Creative Generation, National Guild for Community Arts Education, and Teaching Artists of the Mid-Atlantic hosted a free webinar of almost 500 teaching artists to address how the COVID-19 health crisis is affecting the field of arts in education and the unique profession of teaching artistry. The guiding questions of this webinar included:

  • How does employment status impact organizational support?
  • How can artists advocate for themselves?
  • How can teaching artists build community in times of crisis?
  • How can we connect our community to talk about how the virus is impacting the work we do?
  • How can we leverage the shared knowledge of our community to offer plans and procedures in response to COVID-19?

Thank you to the panelists who helped facilitate this conversation:

  • Erika Atkins – Deputy Director, Opening Act (New York, NY)
  • Justin Daniel – Teaching Artist/Associate Director of Programs, Opening Act (New York, NY)
  • Heleya de Barros – Executive Director, Association of Teaching Artists / Director of Arts Education, Arts Corps (Seattle, WA)
  • John Holyoke – Lead Instructional Specialist, Lincoln Center Education (New York, NY)
  • Jean Johnstone – Executive Director, Teaching Artists Guild (San Francisco, CA)
  • James Miles – Executive Director, Arts Corps (Seattle, WA)
  • Kimberly Olsen – Managing Director, NYC Arts in Education Roundtable (New York, NY)
  • David Wright, Partner, Kahn, Smith & Collins (Baltimore, MD)
  • and Kenny Allen (Teaching Artist Guild) & Kinsey Keck (New York City Arts in Education Roundtable) as Chat Box Moderators

Note: At the time of the webinar, 240 participants reported a loss as a direct result of COVID-19.

Transcripts and audio files can be found in resources section.

List of Questions to Ask Your Organization Regarding Compensation:

  • In what capacity are you employed as a teaching artist? Employee? Independent Contractor?
  • Am I eligible for paid sick time? If so, how much do I have accrued and where do I find that information?
  • What is this organization’s cancellation policy?
  • When and how can I use paid sick time?
    • If my children are sick?
    • If I have to care for a loved one?
    • If schools close due to a pandemic
    • If I don’t want to go to work due to safety concern
    • What is your class cancelation policy for pay for teaching artists?
    • Are you putting into place any emergency pay measures?

For updates from the NYC Department of Education, please visit:

Arts Administrators: To access video and audio recordings of the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable Community Conversation on COVID-19 (March 10, 2020), please click here.