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Tag Archives: Teaching Artist

Bagavagabonds and Creative Action: “Produce with a Purpose Day” Project in Austin

Bagavagbonds artists visited Manor Middle School yesterday to work with Creative Action teaching artist Will Heath and his students on murals to be displayed at Art Migration Austin (presented by smart USA) in a couple days (read more about the Art Migration event here).

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Teaching Artist positions available for Theatre Action Project

Theatre Action Project (TAP) uses the creative arts to activate the academic, social and emotional development of young people. Through interactive classroom performances, after-school residencies and community based programs, TAP’s team of professional teaching artists inspire youth to be creative artists, courageous allies, critical thinkers, and confident leaders in their community.

We are currently seeking Teaching Artists of all disciplines (theatre, dance, visual art, film, puppetry, etc.) for the 2012 – 2013 school year to work with Austin area youth in our TAP After School programming for grades preK – 12th. Applicants must have professional artistic experience and demonstrate a genuine interest in arts education. Teaching Artists (TAs) at TAP must be:

  • Highly creative
  • Energetic
  • Enthusiastic team players
  • Have experience in writing curriculum.

All TAs are hired as part-time employees for the duration of the school year, August – June. TAs are expected to have general availability between the hours of 2:00 PM and 6:30 PM Monday – Friday, although specific schedules will be determined according to school placements. Bilingual (Spanish – English) candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. TAs must be available for auditions and interviews on August 1st  or 2nd and training starting August 20.

If you are interested in this position, please email your CV or resume to no later than July 23, 2012.

Students take Summer ACE Photography Courses

by Anna Mack, Teaching Artist at Ojeda Middle School

These photos were made by students from both Del Valle Middle School and Ojeda Middle school during the ACE summer enrichment program put on by Del Valle ISD.

Over the course of the month, each student made a book of their photography (17 in all). Every week, we worked on a different genre of photography.

  • Week 1 was for narrative and story-telling
  • Week 2 was for still-life and abstraction
  • Week 3 was for portraiture and self-portraits
  • Week 4 was for book construction.

There were some auto-biographical writing exercises peppered throughout, and those also made it into the books.

Each book ended up featuring between 8-12 photographs and one or two pages for their writing. During showcase (yesterday) we had a display table set up outside the auditorium for students, parents, and staff to check out the work! I attached a couple pictures to show what the display looked like. To see the rest of the photos, go to

Anna Mack is a TAP teaching artist at Ojeda Middle School.

Teaching Artist Reflects on School Year, Wonderful Students

by Nadia Rangel, Teaching Artist at Langford Elementary

The students at Langford Elementary are wonderful! They discussed and participated in activities that focused on being accepting of one another, and building self-esteem. Within a couple of weeks they had created a classroom community that they were proud of.

One of our projects included discussing different personality characteristics associated with various animals, and choosing one we felt most represented ourselves to turn into a mask. We had everything from an energetic, talented, and loyal bear to a friendly and sensitive rabbit. From this exercise the students:

  • Discovered similarities and differences they had with one another.
  • Discussed how they would prefer to be part of a diverse community.
  • Enjoyed being able to learn while making something fun that they could show off to their friends and family.

By the end of the year the students had worked on numerous activities. They were constantly making connections between their lives in school and at home with topics we had discussed in class. Early on in the year I discovered their love for writing. By the end of the semester they went home with a journal full of pages where they had been able to express their feelings on their home and school communities, as well as topics on bullying, and friendship.

The students at Langford Elementary are a wonderful group, and were a blast to work with. They found ways to inspire each other, and wound up becoming a very strong group of individuals.

Nadia Rangel is a Theatre Action Project (TAP) After-School K-2 teaching artist at Langford Elementary.

P.S. My favorite summer camp memory was getting to work on new projects and be creative.

Canvassing for Pageant Volunteers to Help with After-School

by Cassie Swayze, After School Programs Associate AmeriCorps VISTA

Theatre Action Project is currently seeking volunteers to assist Teaching Artists as they prepare for the 5th Annual Pageant in the Park on Saturday, June 23rd. This fun event focuses on the effects of the changing seasons on food harvest, native Texas farming, and the benefits of healthy eating. TAP Teaching Artists, volunteers, and students will create large-scale puppets, banners, costumes, and much more for this colorful afternoon in the park.

Here is a map of participating schools; most classes take place 12- 4 p.m., June 4-28th. Volunteers must commit to helping once a week or more at a campus. We are flexible and happy to find a schedule that works for YOU!

Contact Cassie Swayze at or call 512-442-8773 x109 to schedule an orientation.

Mr. Chad’s Amazing Students

by Chad Dike, Teaching Artist at Widen Elementary School

I thought my last blog of my first year teaching for Theatre Action Project (TAP) would be best used to showcase my amazing students. Here is a story my Pre-K created in class.

Once upon a time there was a normal Pre-K Class.

And every day they drew on each other and painted Mr. Chad.

Until one day the school fell down because of a tornado.

And because of that the students turned into little tornadoes.

Until they got stuck in a tree

Then they had to jump down and the sky fell on top of them.  And because of that they decided to listen to their teacher and only draw on paper

And then they had a party, did the peanut butter jelly dance, and had cake!

Chad is a first year Teaching Artist for TAP and is finishing the school year at Widen Elementary in Austin.

Art and Service

by Patrick Torres, Middle School and High School Program Director

As Martin Luther King Day approaches, so many of us think about service and how we can use our time, resources and/or talent to serve others. Those of us in the arts often have to make a case to other people about how the arts are a direct service to the community and an extraordinarily valuable investment of time. This year, one of our teaching artists, Jennie Gray, has made it very clear that the arts can serve to deeply impact a community. As part of her after school residency at Ojeda Middle School teaching visual arts, Jennie and her core group of student artists are having a tremendous impact on their community. One of the most innovative projects they have completed is a community Wish Tree. The tree is a place for students, teachers and staff to write their dreams for themselves, their school and their community.

The tree has created an almost sacred space in the middle of this middle school library, where anyone can stop by and find inspiration in the hopes of the wishes hanging from the branches of the tree and contribute their own voice to it. This project has served the students and the adults that work with them by giving them a forum to share their thoughts and spark a dialogue about ways to help their community get better. Teachers and students can come to the tree to be reminded that no matter how far apart we feel, we all have common wishes and dreams and that we all deserve for our voices to be heard.

I am inspired by the work of Jennie and her students. She reminds me that the primary way we can serve others in the arts is to give people a voice and to create a space where communities come together to uncover their wildest dreams.