Presenting the Graduates of the Spring 2021 Teaching Artist Project (TAP) Class. This anthology is a compilation of their work, experiences, and the fun we’ve all had together this spring.
Community-Word Project’s TAP is in its 23rd year and is the longest-standing professional development program open to the Teaching Artist field by a non-profit organization in New York City. TAP is a collective of diversely experienced arts educators training emerging and working teaching artists who are looking for a supportive community to engage in a self-reflective, justice-oriented learning practice in service of their teaching. The program 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, Teaching Artists, and the TAP Cohort. During this fall training, participants gain invaluable classroom experience interning with mentor Teaching Artists, in both during-school and after-school multi-disciplinary collaborative arts residencies.
This year, like the rest of the world, TAP has been faced with the same difficulties of being in community and doing this work online. Due to the continued outbreak of COVID-19, TAP was held virtually and restructured into two sessions, Fall (Oct-Dec) and Spring (Feb-March). The focus of the spring session was “How can we deepen our teaching artist practice to meet the needs of this transformative moment?” This included workshops on facilitating in a virtual environment, art as a vehicle for liberation, career development, and fieldwork focused on applicable classroom skills, building your portfolio, and administrative skills and experience.
This Spring 2021 Class of 28 visual and media artists, writers, musicians, dancers, and theater artists learned how to transform creative processes into teaching tools, explored inclusivity and accessibility online, investigated their own power and privilege in the classroom, 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.
TAP is made possible through the generous support of New York State Council on the Arts, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, The Wiley Fund, The Dan Paul Foundation, the Altman Foundation, the Seth Sprague Educational and Charitable Trust, the William Talbott Hillman Foundation, the Wells Fargo Foundation, the TD Charitable Foundation, and the Endeavor Foundation.
TAP Staff & Facilitators
- Katie Rainey, Director of TAP
- Javan Howard, Lead Facilitator of Curricula & Internships
- Adriana Guzmán, Facilitator
- Amanda Newman, Program Assistant
- Michele Kotler, Founder & Executive Director
- Leigh Wells, Deputy Director of Programs & Operations
- Craig Hayes, Deputy Director of External Affairs and Chief Experience Officer
- David King, Program Director of School & Community Partnerships
- Autumn Tilson, Senior Program Manager, School Partnerships
- Katie Rainey, Director of Teaching Artist Project
- Javan Howard, Lead Facilitator for Curricula & Internships
- Adriana Guzmán, TAP Facilitator
- Amanda Newman, Program Assistant
- Bethany Parker, Managing Director of Development
- Sanyu Lukwago, Development Assistant and Data Manager
A special thanks to this year’s CWP Mentors.
CWP Mentor Teaching Artists:
- Dale Novella Anderson Lee
- Javan Howard
- Kate Lee
- Katie Rainey
- Kymani M. Jade
- Libby Mislan
- Mary Kinney
- Melissa Shaw
- Nichelle Ryan
- Rachael A. Schefrin
- Reilly Horan
Special thanks to all of our arts-in-education partners who make up the TAP Cohort and helped make this session a unique collaboration. This spring, we were able to offer 17 collaborative elective seminars facilitated and hosted by various arts organizations.
These series of professional development seminars and panels were available to Teaching Artists outside of TAP and that was made possible by the collaborative efforts of CWP and the following organizations:
- Arts For All
- Artists Striving to End Poverty
- Brooklyn Arts Council
- City Lore
- Community-Word Project
- Dedalus Foundation
- DreamYard Project
- Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana
- Lifetime Arts
- Marquis Studios
- National Dance Institute
- Opening Act
- Teachers & Writers Collaborative
Over the spring, our TAP trainees participated in a series of workshops, seminars and fieldwork sessions to complete the program. The core workshops were dedicated to creative elements, self-exploration, reflection and assessment, exploring power and privilege in the classroom, exploring accessibility and inclusivity, and art as activism. Throughout the training, TAP held a series of elective seminars in collaboration with the TAP Cohort, and each trainee was placed one of the following fieldwork tracks:
- Inclusive & Collaborative Art with Adriana Guzmán
- Classroom & Curriculum Design with Javan Howard
- Arts Education Administration with Katie Rainey
In celebration of their creativity, we are sharing each TAP graduate’s work and artistry in this anthology. This compilation includes biographies, memorable moments, photographs, quotes, artistic samples, and more to give you a full picture of their accomplishments this year.
A Letter from the TAP Facilitators:
Dear TAP Class of Fall 2021,
Congratulations! You are all now TAP Alums! Thank you for your dedication to the training and for being an active member of our community in the midst of in the midst of multiple global pandemics. Our time together has been one of the highlights of this year and that is due to each of you bringing your full, beautiful selves to this community. The way you treat each other and the dedication you bring to this work is inspiring. In a short amount of time, we have watched you grow as artists and educators, and we are so proud to graduate this class.
From experimenting with our creative elements to dynamic discussions in your Care Teams, from creating collaborative zoom activities and making joyful noises to cheer each other on, you’ve made our Saturdays so fun and loving. We hope that you are taking away as much as we are from this spring. We are living in unprecedented times and we do not know what will come next. But what we do know is that we are unafraid of what comes next because this group of amazing artists is in the field, working tirelessly to create positive, loving classrooms. Thank you for making the time and space to do this together. Through your eagerness to grow and make a difference in this world, we are renewed in our hope for the future.
Please keep in touch. The TAP community is always here for you, whenever you need it. It has been a privilege for us all to work with you this spring.
With love and community,
Adriana, Jay & Katie
Presenting the Spring 2021 TAP Graduating Class! Click on their names below to find out more about them.
- Aishwarya Madhav
- Amanda Monti
- Anupama Annam
- Ariel Luisa Mercado
- Crystal Yeung
- Cynthia Schmidt
- Elisabetta Diorio
- Helayne Friedland
- Javier Puga, Jr.
- Jordan Corine Cruz
- Karen Therese Law
- Kenya Lewis
- Kerry Warren
- Keyonnia Hallums
- Lucy Rosenthal
- Maggie Popadiak
- Mariana Ramirez
- Melissa Parke
- Mia Rotondo
- Michelan “Mi.I.Mi” Le’Monier
- Monique Letamendi
- Olaiya Olayemi
- Om Raj Raut
- Samira Sadeque
- Shani Shih
- Star Stone
- Susanna Stahlmann
- Viviana Prado-Núñez