A new grant program of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council (GPAC) will provide up to $2,000 to support Western Pennsylvania teaching artists and arts educators seeking career training and other professional development opportunities.

Applications for the program opened on Monday, and applications are due by Monday, April 12 at 11:59 p.m.

Teaching is the number one source of income for artists in the area, according to the Arts Council’s biennial artist survey. While more than 40% of these artists are working in arts education, professional career and financial support for teaching artists is often limited.

“Teaching artists have technical artistic skills but sometimes lack the skills associated with successfully developing lesson plans, classroom management, or other formal education training,” said Mitch Swain, CEO of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council. “GPAC heard from its artist members that this resource gap was a necessity to fill, and that’s why we’re launching the Teaching Artist Opportunity Grant.”

The new grant program launches alongside the development of the Teaching Artist Initiative, a professional network specifically for teaching artists to collaborate and learn. The initiative launched in spring 2020 and hosts quarterly virtual workshops in collaboration with Maritza Mosquera, independent teaching artist, and Mary Brenholts, director of artists in schools & communities at the Pittsburgh Center for Art and Media.

Grant Eligibility

Teaching artists who are 18 years old or older and live in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Mercer, Lawrence, Somerset, Venango, Washington, or Westmoreland counties are eligible to apply. All disciplines and experience levels are eligible. Applicants must be an active participant of the Arts Council’s Teaching Artist Initiative and participate in one event in 2021. Upcoming initiative events can be found here.

Grant funds are meant to help teaching artists acquire new skills. Examples of eligible expenses may include courses, trainings, residencies, conferences, or other educational events; training that updates or expands curriculum; teaching opportunities; lesson fees to study with a mentor; travel expenses; learning to teach remotely or other specialized training; and more.

Eligible artists can download the application and full eligibility grant guidelines online at PittsburghArtsCouncil.org/programs/grants/taog. Interested applicants are invited to join the Arts Council’s Manager of Grants and Membership Shaqui Scott for a virtual grant workshop on March 1 from noon to 1 p.m. and March 15 from 5 to 6 p.m. Please email questions related to the grant to sscott@pittsburghartscouncil.org.

Financial support for the Teaching Artist Opportunity Grant comes from The Fine Foundation. Because this is the pilot year of this grant program, funding is limited to one round. GPAC hopes to secure funding for additional rounds of this grant in the future.

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