​Teaching Arts 

Passing on the vision and practice of art-making is as old as culture itself. Even in the United States (a country not known for its support of the arts) there's a long history of government and private funding. Arlene Goldbard's New Creative Community sets the work in the larger context of cultural development.

By the late 1960's, many of us sharing art with people in non-traditional settings - public schools, neighborhood meeting halls, hospitals, senior centers, prisons, drug treatment programs, libraries, veterans groups, etc. - were calling our work "community arts." Central to this work are the vision that making art is a human birthright and the belief that each of us is the expert about our own life and story.


In recent years, "teaching arts" is the description most often used to describe this work. A comprehensive source of information is the Association of Teaching Artists.


There are pluses and minuses as work-from-the-heart – worked based on values of equity and cultural democracy – has become more institutionalized. Here's a link to a piece I wrote a few years ago on this subject. And here's a RAND study -- Gift of the Muse: Reframing the Debate About the Benefits of the Arts  -- that covers some similar terrain.  


The book AIMprint describes one teaching arts program. Other useful texts include:
Art in Other Places by William Cleveland
Beginner's Guide to Community-Based Arts by Keith Knight and Mat Swarzman
The Citizen Artist edited by Linda Frye Burnham and Steven Durland

Finally, since teaching artists are practicing artists, needing time and resources to create their own art work, here are links to information about grants, residencies, and other resources.
Alliance of Artists Communities
Foundation Grants to Individuals Online
New York Foundation for the Arts