2014-2015 TATIP Anthology



2014-2015 TATIP Anthology

This anthology is dedicated to the memory of Wiley Birkhofer, a true artist and teacher. 

Presenting the Graduates of the 2014-2015 Teaching Artist Training & Internship Program (TATIP). This anthology is a compilation of their work, experiences and the fun we’ve all had together during this academic year.


Community-Word Project’s TATIP is in its 16th year and is the longest-standing professional development program open to the Teaching Artist field by a non-profit organization in New York City. TATIP prepares Teaching Artists to provide high-quality arts education to underserved youth in New York City public schools. The rigorous training involves intensive seminars in curriculum design and teaching techniques, led by CWP staff and Teaching Artists (TAs), plus partner arts-in-education organizations. During this yearlong training, participants gain invaluable classroom experience interning with mentor TAs, in both during-school and after-school multi-disciplinary collaborative arts residencies. 


The 2014-15 Class of 27 visual and media artists, writers, musicians, dancers and theatre artists learned how to transform creative processes into teaching tools, experimented with how to create lesson plans and teaching paths that meet state and city standards, explored Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences, investigated the Common Core State Standards, tried out a myriad of classroom management strategies, developed co-teaching and partnership skills, incorporated inquiry and reflection in their lessons, and helped students create work, remembering to remain relevant to students’ lives and to create community. 

TATIP Facilitators Renee Watson & Patti Chilsen


CWP Staff

Michele Kotler, Founder & Executive Director
Megan Morrison, Program Director
David King, Assistant Program Director: School Partnerships
Patricia A. Chilsen, Assistant Program Director: Training & Evaluation
Craig Hayes, Communications Director & Development Manager

A special thanks to this year’s CWP & Wingspan Arts Mentors:

Adia Whittaker
Anji Crain
Ashkon Davaran
Bianca Garcia
Elizabeth Leonard
Felipe Galindo
Jennifer Michael Hecht
Katie Issel Pitre
Kate Lee
Maria Schirmer
Max Allbee
Molly Goldman
Nancy Volante
Pamella Allen
Renee Flagler
T. Scott Lilly

Special thanks to all of our Arts-in-Education partners who helped make this year a unique collaboration. This year, we were able to offer collaborative Elective Seminars facilitated and hosted by various arts organizations. This series of professional development seminars was, for the first time in TATIP history, available to Teaching Artists outside of TATIP and that was made possible by the collaborative efforts of CWP and the following organizations:

Brooklyn Arts Council
DreamYard Project
Free Arts NYC
New Victory Theater
Teachers & Writers Collaborative
Voices Unbroken
Wingspan Arts



Over the year, our TATIP trainees participated in a series of workshops, seminars and residencies to complete their internship. The fall workshops were dedicated to Creative Elements, Building Lesson Plans, Collaborative Teaching, Executing a Lesson and Teaching Paths & Classroom Management. In the Spring, TATIP held a series of Elective Seminars in collaboration with other Arts-in-Ed organizations, and each trainee was placed in a CWP residency at various schools throughout NYC, including:

PS 132 Juan Pablo Duarte, Washington Heights
PS 279 Captain Manuel Rivera, Bronx
PS 676 Red Hook Neighborhood School
PS 84 Jose De Diego, Brooklyn
PS 316 Elijah Stroud, Brooklyn
The Young Women’s Leadership School, Queens

Many trainees also completed an after school residency in partnership with Wingspan Arts. Check out TATIP trainee Ally Tufenkjian’s Blog on her After School Residency.

Dear TATIP Class of 2014-15,

We are so pleased to be with you at the end of this year’s training. Our congratulations to you on completing this professional development.

We feel honored to have been able to work with such a diverse group of artists who not only understand the need, but feel the passion and importance of learning and practicing the craft of teaching.

We have watched you grow over this past year, and we have grown as well. Through workshops, residencies and professional development seminars, you have shown that you are earnest and are now set to more deeply enter the Teaching Artist profession. The time, effort, and creativity you have invested and will continue to invest will inspire many and will bring art into lives that might not otherwise have it.

Thank you for the heart and the integrity you brought to your residencies and internships. Thank you for taking personal and artistic risks with us. It has made all the difference.

You have given us the wonderful experience of being your guides throughout this process and we hope that you will keep in touch as you go out into the world and expand further the light of the Teaching Artist field.

We wish you joy and peace as you continue to grow and teach and burn bright in this world. Please stay in touch and let us know about all of the fabulous things you are doing. 

Keep that flame alive.

Yours always,
Patti & Renee

In celebration of their creativity, we are sharing each TATIP graduate’s work and artistry in this anthology. This compilation includes biographies, memorable moments, photographs, quotes, lesson plans, artistic samples and more to give you a full picture of their accomplishments this year. 

Presenting the 2014-15 TATIP Graduating Class! Click on their names below to find out more about them.

Ally Tufenkjian
Amanda LaPergola
Beth Cooperman
Carly McCollow
Chelsea Simpson
Cristal Rodriguez
Dan Paul Roberts
Erin Rees
Felix Morelo
Frank Moran
Javan Howard
Kadeem Gayle
Katie Cox
Kim Baglieri
Laura Epperson
Lawrence Malu
Leonie Bell
Liz Warren
Marlie Decopain
Megan Skelly
Nabila Lovelace
Paco Marquez
Rachael Schefrin
Shereen Macklin
Stephanie Jones
Tanya Minhas
Tiffany Nesbit 



“Totally TATIP” by Dan Paul Roberts, Visual Artist, TATIP Trainee 2014-15


“We Were Artists” by Javan Howard, Creative Writer, TATIP Trainee 2014-15

We were artists
exploring ways to 
express our sufferings 
put into words the crazy
thoughts and dry syllables that hung
to the roof of our mouths
like a foreign language.
thirsting for ways to
contextualize our 
empty experiences into
conversations, artistic crafts 
and other works of arts.

We were artists
looking for ways to 
create within the instability that 
consumed our minds,
the world we lived in, 
by breaking our fear to be visible.
So they called us crazy 
for following our dreams
teaching for social justice
and creativity, advertise 
us as Mad Men, creative 
engineers chartered outside 
the edge of the common core

We were artists 
striving for ways to 
grow, a yellow brick road
of some sort. A Teaching Path,
Blueprint for the Arts, a plethora 
of creative avenues bridged across 
multiple intelligences, practices, 
techniques, simultaneously 
strengthening our voices
through the art of collaboration,
until our minds became
a Graffiti Wall of ideas.

We were artists 
drawing pictures from 
personal experience, using 
our imaginations to anchor
a community, discourse. 
We were artists. Blank
pieces of paper that would
not be crumbled. Airbrushed 
with strokes of encouragement 
and teachable moments 
that reminded us  there 
are no mistakes in art 
only opportunities for creativity 

Special Thanks

TATIP is made possible through the generous support of New York State Council on the Arts, Governer Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, The Birkhofer Family and the Seth Sprague Educational and Charitable Foundation.  

 The 2015 TATIP Anthology was designed by Katie Rainey