National Artist Teacher Fellowship

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The Center for Arts in Education invites arts teachers from public arts high schools and Title 1 middle and high schools to apply for funding for artistic development through its National Artist Teacher Fellowship Program. Formerly known as the Surdna Arts Teachers Fellowship, the program offers teachers the opportunity to immerse themselves in their own creative work, interact with other professional artists, and stay current with new practices.

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Congratulations to our Community Legacy Project Grantees!

Beth Balliro– SATF 2001, Swampscott, MA

Has developed a collaborative project with student activists of color at the Massachusetts College of Art & Design campus entitled the Real Talk: Race on Campus. The project has generated video testimonials of students, faculty, staff, and alumni, recorded in a student-commissioned video booth, to document experiences of race on campus. The project has galvanized a cross-generational community group, drawing strength from validating each other’s stories and formulating a collective institutional critique.

David Chandler– SATF 2007, Quaker Hill, CT

Inspired by the positive reaction between his father-in-law’s experience with dementia and participation in Tai Chi, Mr. Chandler has been working with persons with Alzheimer’s and related dementias and their caregivers since 2011. He combats the stress and pain associated with Alzheimer’s for both patients and their caregivers working with The Memory Café, and Assisted Living Communities. He is currently working on a Tai Chi instructional DVD project for people with Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

Matthew Christenson– NATF 2013, San Francisco, CA

Is working with the Excelsior Action Group to create collaborative community based murals. He has worked with the EAG for three years and created numerous youth and adult co-designed murals in low-income areas around San Francisco. Currently working on The Kenny Alley Mural Project, his largest mural with the group measuring 81 feet in length, Mr. Christenson strives to continually engage communities of youth and adults in creative ways.

Foster Dickson-SATF 2009, Montgomery, AL

Mr. Dickson encourages his students and local urban youth to engage in their community and educate themselves on the history and artistry of Alabama. He works with local community partners to impart on these youth from diverse racial and socio-economic backgrounds the cultural richness that exists despite the poverty, chicanery and backwardness that mar Alabama’s national reputation.

Janet Grice-SATF 2009, Yonkers, NY

Seeks to establish a culture of collaboration and provide opportunities for her students at Fordham High School for the Arts in the Bronx, NY, where the majority of students are from economically disadvantaged families. They engage in the communal activity of learning and playing music, improvising and performing. As a bassoonist Janet spends summers in Brazil researching, teaching and performing; she taught at the Festival de Música de Londrina in Paraná, which promotes music in the community and provides scholarships for study. She identifies with music that is rooted in cultural expression such as Jazz and Latin Music, connecting artists and students internationally, and performing in a variety of settings.

Blake Minnerly– NATF 2013, New Orleans, LA

Mr. Minnerly worked with his students to compose, produce and record a CD of original music and spoken word that expressed their reaction to the issue of bullying in their community. This project was sparked by the tragic suicide of a local LGBT Albuquerque teen whose grandmother Dolores was attempting to pass anti-bulling legislation in New Mexico after his death. In August of 2014, 1000 copies of the completed CD, Nobody’s Alone were delivered to Dolores to use as a tool in raising awareness and funds for their cause. Mr. Minnerly desires to share the power of the arts to connect underserved youth to their community, creating a positive impact by amplifying the call for justice, compassion and validation of the identities of youth.

Sonia Plumb– NATF 2013, West Hartford, CT

Continues to work with Charter Oak International Academy in West Hartford to create a weeklong residency for their fourth grade based on water education; specifically, the water cycle, pollution, climate change, properties of water and global access to clean water. The school is comprised of mostly minority students who do not have financial access to the arts. Ms. Plumb will work with her troupe the Sonia Plumb Dance Company to excite students about the power of drama and movement to portray a message, and to increase student awareness of global issues.

Pamela Sahl– SATF 2008, Kansas City, MO

Facing dwindling resources from her urban school district, Ms. Sahl reached out to her community to garner support for her low-income students. She has connected with many community partners to enhance student abilities, knowledge and career development. These partnerships include Paul Dorrell of the Leopold Gallery, the Nelson-Atkins Museum, Hallmark, MRI Global and Andrews McMeel Universal.

Guy Michel Telemaque– SATF 2006, Cambridge, MA

After the massive devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010, Mr. Telemaque traveled there to do service work to support the physical and emotional recovery of the country’s youth. He taught photography workshops to young students and left equipment there for continued use in the community center. Later, he connected to Haiti as a curator, facilitating a large scale collaboration between Boston Arts Academy, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, The Museum of Fine Arts, The Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Jean Appolon Expressions and 3 Haiti-based contemporary artists. This ongoing collaboration continues to acquire new partners. He feels it is his responsibility to strongly advocate for how the arts contribute to the cultivation of our awareness of Haiti’s intellectual and creative resources.

Congratulations to Our 2015 NATF Fellows!

National Artist Teacher Fellowship Recipients

Round 15 Fellows, 2015

Missy Burmeister – Theater, The Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, Hartford, CT

Fellowship: To explore the creation of original devised theater through attending Double Edge Theatre Company’s eleven-day Summer Intensive in Ashfield Massachusetts, which focuses on physical training, improvisation, research, site-specific work, dramaturgy and design.


Richard Paul Davis – Theater, The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Houston, TX

Fellowship: To immerse himself in the world of theatrical design by attending workshops, symposia, and street performances at the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space.

Karen Dow – Visual Arts, Aces Educational Center for the Arts, New Haven, CT 

Fellowship: To work with Master Printmaker, Christopher Shore, at the Norwalk Center for Contemporary Printmaking in order to create a new series of prints for exhibition.

Sarah Fitzgerald – Music, Charleston School of the Arts, Charleston, SC

Fellowship: To study with mentor Dr. Bill Manaris at the College of Charleston and create compositions using the computer programming language Python as well as attend the National Science Foundation Computing in the Arts Workshop.


Elizabeth Flaisig – Creative Writing, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, Jacksonville, FL

Fellowship: To attend the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop in Fiction, work with an expert to tour the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, and devote time to writing, to gain a deeper understanding of WWII’s lasting impact and more authentically incorporate it into her work.


Robbin Gordon-Cartier – Music, Cicely Tyson School of Performing and Fine Arts, East Orange, NJ

Fellowship: To study with Deborah Henson-Conant in her mentorship program “Harness Your Muse”, to increase her technique, repertoire, and creative voice, specifically on the lever harp.


Stephanie Lucas – Film and Video, Metropolitan Arts Institute, Phoenix, AZ

Fellowship: To travel to New York City and work towards the completion of a 45-60 minute documentary with the guidance of veteran film and television editor, Sandrine Isambert.


Chandra McCloud – Dance, Northwest School of the Arts, Charlotte, NC

Fellowship: To experience an increase of knowledge, and renewal of creativity through attendance of the American Dance Festival in Durham, NC and The Horton Teachers Workshop in New York City, NY with teachers Brenda Daniels, T. Lang, and Ana Marie Forsythe.


Adam McKinneyDance, New Mexico School for the Arts, Santa Fe, NM

Fellowship: To research, develop, and show a new solo work of dance and technology entitled BORDER. To revitalize both his creative voice and commitment to using dance as a tool for social action.


Alexis Monroe – Visual Arts, Sisseton Middle School, Sisseton, SD

Fellowship: To attend the plein air painting workshop Arts Sojourn in Venice and Tuscany with renowned painter Matthew Daub, to build and exhibit a body of work and enhance community involvement with the Visual Arts.


Cynthia Morales – Dance, San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts, San Diego, CA

Fellowship: To work with and attend workshops by mentor Jim May, Artistic Director of the Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble. To deepen her knowledge of how to create and produce profound dance theatre art that is multi-faceted/multi-disciplinary and integrates classic techniques with a progressive approach.


David Rhyne – Music, South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, Greenville, SC

Fellowship: To attend the 2015 Leipzig Bachfest in Leipzig Germany and participate in rehearsals with two prominent musicians in the Leipzig churches: Georg Christoph Biller and Jurgen Wolf.


Daniel Salazar Jr –Music, The Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, Hartford, CT

Fellowship: To attend the Cordoba International Guitar Festival in Spain to experience intense immersion and study Classical guitar, Flamenco guitar performance, and music composition; with coaching from eminent guitarist/composer Roland Dyens and distinguished Classical and Flamenco artists.


Jenna Temkin – Theater, Chute Middle School, Evanston, IL

Fellowship: To travel to Northern Ireland and London to work alongside the noted Theatre of the Oppressed company: The Cardboard Citizens, to examine their work highlighting and resolving community based issues with the regional homeless population in London.


Maura Tighe – Theater, Boston Arts Academy, Boston, MA

Fellowship: To train rigorously with Sarah Hickler, a certified Action Theatre instructor at the Action Theatre Workshop Retreat in Koufonisi, Greece.


Joni Weisfeld – Theatre/Directing, The Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, Hartford, CT

Fellowship: To attend a two week workshop led by Thomas Prattki on LeCoq based movement and creative process in Berlin Germany, and gain artistic rejuvenation through attending progressive and innovative international theatre.

Cassell MG_9873

Katy Cassell, 2012 NATF Fellow, The Fine Arts Center, Greenville SC

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