TATIP: Looking Ahead to 2015-16


On June 29, 2015 Community-Word Project’s (CWP) Program Director of Teaching Artist Training & Internships, Patti Chilsen, met with the members of Focus Group Cohort to reflect and contemplate future collaborative opportunities with CWP’s yearlong Teaching Artist Training & Internship Program (TATIP).

Present at the meeting were representatives from Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC), Young Audience New York (YANY), Urban Arts Partnership, Center for Arts Education (CAE), Maxine Greene Center for Aesthetic Education and Social ImaginationWingspan Arts and freelance Teaching Artist Daniel Levy. Other members of the cohort not in attendance were Free Arts NYC, DreamYard Project, ArtsConnection, Teachers & Writers Collaborative, Marquis Studios and The New Victory Theatre.

The meeting began with a recap of TATIP 2014-15. This year, TATIP expanded the strategy for collaboration by asking questions like How do we make TATIP stronger together? How do we further unite many organizations by sharing resources and ideas to the advantage of all collaborators?

In prior years, TATIP collaborated with Wingspan Arts, offering an After School Internship Track that would give trainees the experience of working in-school at CWP and after school at Wingspan. This strengthened the partnership between Wingspan and CWP, and the core philosophies that CWP imparts through its training. Namely, trainees were given more access and more experience in the classroom, making them better Teaching Artists all around.

Brooke Rogers, Education Director of Wingspan Arts, elaborated on this partnership and explained that in fact, Wingspan hired many of the CWP interns after they completed their residencies. The internship allowed Wingspan to get to know certain trainees outside of a hiring process and to see how they interacted with students in the classroom.

TATIP partnered with Cohort organizations this past year to offer Elective Seminars to TATIP trainees on specific topics, including: After School Focus, Universal Design for Learning & Special Needs, Working with Alternative Populations through Creative Writing & Music, Teaching for Social Justice through Theatre & Visual Arts, Creative Writing & Visual Arts. This year, we plan to offer additional Elective Seminars in Movement, ELLs and more. 

Phil Alexander, Brooklyn Arts Council, spoke about his experience in co-facilitating one of these professional development seminars on Universal Design for Learning with CWP’s Scott Lilly on Universal Design Learning on teaching for Special Needs.

“I’ve found TATIP to be a group of arts educators who are dedicated to providing the best learning experiences and environments possible. I’m impressed by their dedication, their thoughtfulness, and their openness. They pose challenging questions for themselves and create a wonderful space to explore those questions. I think everyone walks out of a TATIP experience feeling challenged, refreshed and inspired!” –Phil Alexander, Brooklyn Arts Council

Members from Cohort organizations partnered to offer these Elective SeminarsKai Fierle-Hedrick of Free Arts NYC, Daniel Levy of 92nd Street Y and Carnegie, Victoria Sammartino formerly of Voices Unbroken, and Renée Watson of DreamYard Project. You can read more about these Elective Seminars in an article on our website

One big triumph of the year came when CWP held a collaborative Panel on Professionalism in April at Variety the Children’s Charity of NY’s new space in the financial district. Representatives from BAC, Wingspan Arts, Free Arts NYC, DreamYard Project, New Victory Theatre, Teachers & Writers Collaborative, and of course CWP, held a panel for the TATIP trainees as well as Teaching Artists from the participating organizations. Representatives took the floor in pairs, discussing topics from email “hygiene” to dress attire, website promotion to classroom conduct, and organizational support to administrative expectations. Trainees got a glimpse of what these participating organizations look for in professional Teaching Artists during the hiring process and in the classroom. The night was a huge success and a major topic of discussion during the Focus Group Cohort Meeting.


The Cohort agreed that the successes and challenges from this past year were overwhelmingly positive.

Do you want to continue working with TATIP?

A resounding yes echoed around the room.

Currently, CWP Program Director of Teaching Artist Training & Internships, Patti Chilsen, is talking with Cohort members about developing new internship tracks that would allow trainees to gain experience with more organizations, as well as developing new Elective Seminars and expanding the TATIP program.

TATIP 2015-16 promises to bring exciting new opportunities!

 Interested in TATIP? Find out more about our 2015-16 Program!