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New National Residency Teaching Artist Credential

In many school districts that serve lower-income students, non-profit organizations have leveraged philanthropic support to bring teaching artists into schools to provide arts education. Like many educators, and particularly those working with under-served students, teaching artists work long hours, often in difficult conditions for low wages and limited recognition. However, teaching artists face additional challenges, including limited opportunities for training or professional development.

To address these challenges, Young Audiences Arts for Learning recently convened a panel to create a National Residency Teaching Artist Credential. The credential focuses on four competencies: artistry, instruction, preparation and planning, and community. While this is a first step in creating a broader system of professional support and development for teaching artists, it is an important one. Credentials serve a vital role in the proper recognition of people who provide services (just ask a surgeon), while also ensuring the quality of those services for the people who receive them. Most importantly, creating a workforce of qualified and credentialed teaching artists will expand access to arts education for students, and particularly students who are presently under-served.  My colleagues and I look forward to seeing how professional support and development for teaching artists continues to develop and expand.

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