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Transformative Teaching Artist Award

Awards to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Teaching Artists to
Recognize Outstanding Work in Distressed Communities

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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New Sun Rising and The Heinz Endowments

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

08/19/18 11:59 PM


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Awards of $5,000 to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania teaching artists who are providing transformative arts experiences for youth in distressed and African American communities. The goal of this program is to promote justice in Pittsburgh by strengthening the field of art education and honoring those who have a demonstrated practice of challenging structural inequities.

Transformative Teaching Artist Award Program Description

The Transformative Teaching Artist Awards recognize that quality teaching artists should be recognized for the important work they do in Pittsburgh’s African American and “distressed” communities. Teaching artists play critical roles in the lives of the youth they serve, providing not only artistic skill building, but caring, support and mentorship. Yet those teaching artists who have chosen this as their life’s work face great challenges in building teaching artist careers. Most teaching artists are underpaid and under recognized; the delivery system for teaching artist instruction is fragmented; and arts instruction is often not assigned a high priority in public or out of school time programs.

The Transformative Teaching Artist Awards have been created to add another validation, strengthened networking and increased visibility for the artists who choose to do this work amazingly well. It is the Endowment’s hope that these recognition awards can play a part in acknowledging teaching artistry designed to play a transformative role in the lives of youth living in African American, Black, and “distressed” neighborhoods, as an important and recognized profession. The Transformative Teaching Artist Awards program will provide ten teaching artists in the field with a cash award. The awards are recognition awards which may be used in any way the recipient deems fit.

Program Goals:
-Recipients have an increased sense of being appreciated and confidence in their work as a teaching artist.
-Recipients will join the TAP network and build relationships with colleagues they did not know and strengthen their own practice in the process.
-Local media will feature the work of recipients and highlight the importance of teaching art & culture in African American and “distressed” neighborhoods.
Selection Process:

The decision making process for this program will feature two components. In the first award component, the 10 strongest applicants will be chosen by a local peer panel. Each recipient will receive an award of $5,000 in recognition of their work as a teaching artist.

The criteria the panel will use for selection follows:
-Love: Emanate love and dedication for children and have the ability to build relationships beyond the artistic training components.
-Merit: Practice art, have engaging and effective teaching styles that reach students across diverse developmental levels, stimulate quality student work, possess a strong understanding of learning standards in the arts, and have substantial experience working in school classrooms or in out of school time programming.
-Justice: Help youth deconstruct issues of oppression in ways that empower and enable them to avoid many of the traps of Black/African American and “distressed” neighborhoods.
-Preparation and Adaptability: Demonstrate professionalism, including the ability to plan with others, articulate goals and objectives, and adapt to varying student populations and school environments.

In the second component, awardees themselves will be asked to participate in a day of celebration and learning. Each awardee will demonstrate their work and all participants will engage in the activity chosen for the day by the awardee. The goals of this part of the process are to strengthen the relationships among the cohort by facilitating their learning more about one another’s work, and to strengthen the work of the teaching artist through the process of critical review from their colleagues. Awardees will receive an additional $500 award for their participation.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 183988

Estimated Size of Grant:

Each recipient will receive a cash award of $5,000. Awardees have the option to receive an additional $500 for participation in a day of celebration and learning.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants will be teaching artists who meet our definition of a teaching artist as noted in the cover sheet accompanying this RFP. That is, they have a track record of combining artistic skill and the complementary skills of an educator. By track record we mean those teaching artists who have worked at least 1 day a week in an African American, black, or “distressed” neighborhood (the list of eligible neighborhoods is listed at the end of the proposal), for a period of at least 9 months each year for the last two years. In addition, we are looking for applicants who are teaching artists of color.

Teaching artists and other TAP awardees who have previously received the award are not eligible, but welcome to participate in the Teaching Artist awards day.

Pre-proposal Conference:

The following information sessions are scheduled to support interested applicants.

Northside (in person):
August 2nd, 3:00 – 5:00 PM
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Woods Run Branch
1201 Woods Run Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Wilkinsburg (in person):
August 6th, 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM
Community Forge - Barrels to Beethoven
1256 Franklin Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15221

Homewood (in person):
August 8th, 3:00 - 5:00 PM
Homewood Branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
7101 Hamilton Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15208

Virtual (Google Hangout):
August 16th 3:00 - 5:00 PM
(US) +1 406-840-4512
PIN: 972 966 484#
Web Link:

Pre-Application Information:

The deadline for this application will be August 19th, 2018 by 11:59 pm. Applications can be submitted in writing, video, or audio.

Awardees will be contacted by August 27th. Awardees MUST be present for Teaching Artist Award day on September 29th from 9am-4pm at a location to be announced.

Distressed Neighborhoods List:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Daniel Stiker

New Sun Rising
PO Box 58005
Pittsburgh, PA 15209

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh