Teaching Artist Project Graduates

Since 1997, over 600 artists have graduated from the program, with an additional 300+ having completed the Summer Institute for advanced Teaching Artists and other professional development opportunities, under the Teaching Artist Project umbrella.

 Our Graduates have gone on to teach over 250,000 total students throughout the world, in public schools, libraries, community centers, non-traditional teaching spaces and more. Here are a few of our alums. Read about the work they’ve done since graduating from the program.

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Aracelis Girmay

Aracelis Girmay is the author of three poetry collections, most recently the black maria (BOA Editions, 2016). For her work she was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Neustadt International Prize for Literature. Girmay writes poems and essays as well as picture books, including a collaboration with her sister entitled What Do You Know? (Enchanted Lion, 2021). Girmay curated How to Carry Water: Selected Poems of Lucille Clifton (BOA Editions, 2021) and is the editor-at-large for the Blessing the Boats Selections. She is also on the editorial board of the African Poetry Book Fund. She graduated from TAP (formerly TATIP) in 2002.


Ellen Hagan

Ellen Hagan is a writer, performer, and educator. Her latest collection of poetry Hemisphere, was published by Northwestern University Press, Spring 2015. Ellen’s poems and essays can be found on ESPNW.com, in the pages of Creative Nonfiction, Underwired Magazine, She Walks in Beauty (edited by Caroline Kennedy), Huizache, Small Batch, and Southern Sin. Her first collection of poetry, Crowned was published by Sawyer House Press in 2010. A proud Kentucky writer, Ellen is a member of the Affrilachian Poets, Conjure Women, and is co-founder of the girlstory collective. She lives with her husband and daughters in New York City. Ellen graduated from TATIP in 2002.

Laura Cronk

Laura Cronk’s first book of poems Having Been an Accomplice won the 2011 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize from Persea Books. Her work has appeared in the Best American Poetry Series and in many journals such as Barrow Street, Ecotone, RealPoetik, and WSQ. She coordinates the Riggio Honors Program: Writing and Democracy at The New School in Manhattan and is the poetry editor for The Inquisitive Eater: New School Food. For many years she curated the Monday Night Poetry Series at KGB Bar. She graduated from TATIP in 2003.


Tyehimba Jess

Tyehimba Jess is the author of Leadbelly and Olio. Leadbelly was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series and Olio won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. Jess, a Cave Canem and NYU Alumni, received a 2004 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and was a 2004-2005 Winter Fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. He was a finalist for the 2017 Kingsley-Tufts Poetry Award from Claremont Graduate University. Jess is Poetry and Fiction Editor of African American Review and Associate Professor of English at College of Staten Island. He graduated from TATIP in 2005.

A graduate.

Paloma McGregor

Paloma McGregor is a Caribbean‐born choreographer, writer and organizer living in Harlem. She creates embodied performance work that explores residue, ritual and magic. An eclectic artist, she has structured improvisation for a floating platform in the Bronx River, choreographed an Afro‐futurist pop opera at The Kitchen and devised a multidisciplinary performance work about food justice with three dozen community members and students at UC Berkeley. Since 2011, Paloma has been researching and developing Building a Better Fishtrap in public spaces, non-traditional venues and theaters. She is director of Angela’s Pulse and founder of Dancing While Black. She also facilitates technique, creative process and community engagement workshops around the world. She toured internationally for six years with Urban Bush Women and two years with Liz Lerman/Dance Exchange, and continues to perform in project‐based work. She graduated from TATIP in 2005.


Renée Watson

Renée Watson is an accomplished young adult novelist, poet, Teaching Artist and activist. In addition to her numerous publications, she is the Executive Director of I, Too Arts Collective, a non-profit organization committed to nurturing voices from underrepresented communities in the creative arts. For a number of years after graduating from the program in 2006, Renée co-facilitated TATIP with Program Director Patti Chilsen.

A graduate

Pamella Allen

Jamaican-born visual artist, Pamella Allen, is known for her paintings, works on paper, and photographs, which are regularly featured in art exhibitions locally and internationally. A self-described “intuitive” artist, Pamella has been traveling the world and producing art for over 25 years. She has participated in traditional studio residencies, created commissions for corporate and private collectors, curated and contributed to art exhibitions, and shared in the arts process in underserved communities in Africa, India, and New York. Pamella graduated from TATIP in 2008.


Felipe Galindo

(AKA Feggo) Felipe creates humorous art in a variety of media, including cartoons, illustrations, animations, fine art and public art. He is also an arts educator for Community~Word Project, Say Yes To Education, TED Ed and the School of Visual Arts. Born in Cuernavaca, Mexico, he resides in New York City. BFA in Visual Arts from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. His humorous drawings have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, Mad, Narrative, International Herald Tribune, NACLA, INXART and numerous European publications. He graduated from TATIP in 2010 and currently teaches with CWP.


Ron Chironna

Since graduating from Pratt Institute, Ron Chironna has worked as a freelance illustrator for a large variety of media clients. A teaching artist since 2007, he has worked for the CWP, Studio in a School, The Center for Arts Education, Everyday Arts for Special Education, Wingspan Arts, The Staten Island Children’s Museum, Staten Island Arts, and Sundog Theatre. Ron has residency experience with students of all ages, focusing on employing enjoyable visual arts projects and activities in a safe and creative environment. His goal is to help each student tell their own unique story, create art in their own distinct way, and draw knowledge from a school’s curriculum in their own singular fashion. Ron graduated from TATIP in 2010 and currently teaches for CWP.

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Muriel Leung

Muriel Leung is the author of Bone Confetti, winner of the 2017 Noemi Press Book Award. A Pushcart Prize nominated writer, her poetry, fiction and nonfiction can be founder is forthcoming in Gulf Coast, Drunken Boat, The Collagist, Fairy Tale Review, Ghost Proposal, Jellyfish Magazine, Inter|rupture and others. She is the recipient of a Kundiman Fellowship and is a regular contributor to the Blood-Jet Writing Hour Poetry Podcast. She is also a poetry co-editor of Apogee Journal. Currently, she is pursuing her PHD in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Southern California. She is from Queens, NY and tweets @murmurshewrote. Muriel graduated from TATIP in 2011.

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Micaela Blei

Micaela Blei is a teacher, writer, storyteller and PhD student. She was a third grade classroom teacher for several years and now does all kinds of work with, for and about kids. She is the Senior Education Program Manager for The Moth and co-founded and designed The Moth High School StorySLAM Program with the incredible Catherine McCarthy, ALSO Education Program Manager for The Moth. Her solo show, ​The Secret Life of Your Third Grade Teacher, sold out at the 2016 NYC International Fringe Festival. You can find out more here and even bring her to your town or school. She is a doctoral candidate in Educational Theatre at NYU with a research focus on personal narrative performance and identity in the classroom. Michaela graduated from TATIP in 2013.


Jashua Sa-Ra

Jashua Sa-Ra has been a musician for over 20 years, an award-winning performance poet for over 10 years, and an actor for 7 years. As an active artist in his community, he has produced and/or hosted several critically acclaimed performance events, including seven open mic venues, a jazz and poetry showcase, a hip hop showcase, a slam, and a variety of special events. He works with schools and varied childcare programs through non-profit organizations and his own endeavors. His workshops include percussion, creative writing, stage performance, hip hop, a poetry café, event hosting, and holistic health. Jashua graduated from TATIP in 2013 and currently works as a Teaching Artist for CWP.


Nabila Lovelace

Nabila Lovelace is a born and raised Queens native, as well as a first generation American. Her parents hail from Trinidad and Tobago and Nigeria. She is a 2015 Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop fellow, finalist for the Emerge-Be-Surface fellowship 2014, and a winner of the 2013 Poets & Writers Amy Award. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Washington Square Review, Day One, the Winter Tangerine Hands Up Don’t Shoot edition & The Offing. She is a reader for both Union Station magazine and The Black Warrior Review. She is a current MFA candidate at the University of Alabama— Tuscaloosa. In her spare time she enjoys the warm weather by doing hoodrat things with her friends. She co-founded The Conversation Literary Festival with Aziza Barnes and graduated from TATIP in 2015.