As a Master Theatre Teaching Artist and a proud member of the Teaching Arts of the Mid-Atlantic (TAMA), I call on the arts and culture sector, the philanthropic community, policymakers, schools, libraries, retirement homes, detention centers, and all community entities to value Teaching Artists!
Teaching Artists are trained professional artists who have developed skills as educators. Art learning and art making have always been pathways to connect, create, imagine, build and transform individuals and the collective. Teaching Artists engage, facilitate and lead this work with individuals and groups, embedding creative practices into both our individual and collective lives. We lift up the voice of individuals and groups, develop empathy and understanding, provide healing, create connections, and generate effective solutions to challenges in the communities we serve.
It is time to recognize the importance and value of Teaching Artists as paid professionals and to advance pay equity in the field of teaching artistry as a social justice issue in order to create an equitable and vibrant arts ecosystem.
- I call on stakeholders to utilize the Teaching Artists Guilds’ Pay Rate Calculator.
- I call on you to provide a rationale and alternative compensation if you are unable to meet the fees posted on calculator.
- I call on you to consider both the costs of doing the work and the value of the work when compensating a Teaching Artist. Costs for doing the work may include, but are not limited to, research, planning, technology, materials, implementation with participants, culminating event planning and realization, documentation, evaluation, reflection, transportation, virtual set-up, and general operating expenses. Teaching Artists are small businesses and incur the costs of any business doing this work, such as background checks, liability insurance, medical insurance, taxes, professional memberships, continuous training/professional development, office/administration costs, studio/venue, marketing/promotion, funding/development).
Pay equity is a social justice issue that impacts all stakeholders. The issue of equitable and fair labor is vital to the professionalism and sustainability of any profession, and as professionals, Teaching Artists are deserving of this courtesy.
I believe pay equity is possible. It starts with you!