Workshops and Professional Development

Every month, we offer a variety of professional development opportunities that aim to address both parts of the teaching artist experience: artmaking and education. These events cover a variety of important topics for teaching artists, from current educational trends to logistical and health concerns, to the ongoing practice of engaging every student in the room.

  • Events marked PLC refer to professional learning communities, which have teaching artists engaging in a given topic in a peer education format.
  • Teaching Artist Studio workshops are a part of a year-long program series of experiential workshops which are also available to the public.
  • All of our professional development is offered without charge to artists on our roster. If cost is a barrier to your participation, email workshops@ya-or.org to inquire about our scholarships.

Upcoming Workshops for 2022-23

We HeART Teachers header

Wednesday, August 17
The heART of Teaching: A One Day Creativity Retreat

Portland Art Museum

Register by 5pm, August 8. Click here to begin.

Teachers spend their lives inspiring and uplifting others. Let us take care of you and inspire you on this day. This retreat is for You, our beloved teachers! In this one day workshop for teachers and teaching artists we will:

  • Refuel our creativity tank!
  • Combat burn out!
  • Recharge our creativity and find joy in creating!

Joy * Creativity * Fun We are providing a space where teachers can come together, see cool art and make awesome art as well. You will be inspired by the Portland Art Museum galleries, then take that juicy energy you get from the museum, and translate it into creating art. Participate in super fun activities with other participants including visual and movement arts based sessions! We will facilitate collaboration and integration for you throughout the day.

  • Where: Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Ave
  • When: August 17th 9am-3pm (Enjoy the museum until 5 pm)
  • Fee: $100 fee includes morning snacks, lunch and retreat materials
  • Register At: bit.ly/3xqnaXm

Thank you teachers for what you do. Not only do we appreciate your work in the classroom but we appreciate you as people. Let’s hang out together, refuel, have some laughs and create some art!

Teaching Artist Studio 2022-23

We’re turning 10! Applications to join next year’s cohort will go live in mid July. This multi-month program begins with a core course in the fall, followed by periodic cohort meetings, the option to try out your new ideas in a classroom, and a culminating meeting in the spring. Read more here.


Previous 2021-22 Workshops

Saturday, June 4
Artists & Education: Creating Engaging Experiences for Youth

Deschutes Historical Museum, Bend

How can you shape meaningful and engaging learning experiences with youth? What’s important to know about creating and teaching a lesson? How can you help teachers understand what you bring to the table? At this gathering, we will discuss important elements to consider when bringing your art to students in schools and other partner organizations. Open to all experience levels.

Presenter: Tony Fuemmeler, Professional Development Manager at Young Audiences, with Christi Zorrilla Soto, Central Oregon Program Director, Young Audiences

Thursday, March 31 and Friday, April 8
Regional Teaching Artist Conversations

Zoom Series

Two regional conversations centered on Our Shared Future: A New Landscape for Teaching Artists (April 5-7), a national conference organized by the Teaching Artist Guild conference. These talks are co-hosted with Washington State Teaching Artist Training Lab (TAT Lab). These events are free to attend. Open to teaching artists and arts educators in Washington and Oregon.

Thursday, March 31st (5:30-7:00pm PST) For our Pre-Conference Gathering, we’ll connect with individual teaching artists and networks/resources in Washington and Oregon, and look at the conference agenda through the lens of our region.

Friday, April 8th (3:30-5:00pm PST) For our Post-Conference Gathering, we’ll unpack what we learned from the conference, discuss the assets and needs in our region and what steps we can take next.

Saturday, March 5
Trauma Informed Practice: The Arts Classroom

Zoom Workshop Series

We are happy to bring back the wonderful Shilo George to do a deeper dive into the world of teaching artistry and trauma informed practices. This workshop is designed to build on the foundations we explored in the first workshop in October. Shilo will further address the boundary of art therapy and arts education, ways to look at non-judgmental feedback, and student engagement. Another part of this workshop will be examining how to apply trauma informed practice to scenarios from real classrooms and teaching artist experiences.

Tuesday, February 1
Business Basics: Setting Up for Success

Zoom Workshop

Why do you need a separate bank account for your contractor work? What are the advantages to operating as a sole proprietor versus incorporating as an LLC? How can you create contracts that protect your teaching work, both in person and virtually? Not every artist begins their career with the mindset of starting a small business…but at some point realize that they are operating as one. In this workshop, an attorney with Oregon Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts Attorney Ryan Mauck ofMauck Law–will walk you through the basic considerations of setting up as a business.

Please note that this workshop is provided as a non-profit educational tool only, and does not constitute legal advice. The speaker will not provide individual or personalized consultation on these topics.

Friday, December 3
Communicating with Educational Partners

A Teaching Artist Studio Panel Discussion on Zoom

What topics and details are necessary for productive conversations between teaching artists and schools? How might we strategize these conversations to be authentic and empowering to all? The Teaching Artist Studio opens to the public for a discussion on communication strategies between artists and educational partners. We’ll hear about what various people in the field suggest to optimize planning conversations about our experiences with young students.

Our panelists:

  • Jessica Lagunas, Studio Latino (Latino Network) and IDEAL PDX
  • Josephine Kuever, Program Operations Manager, Young Audiences
  • Ryan Higa, Arts Integration Coach, Right Brain Initiative
  • Mo Phillips, Teaching Artist

This panel will include auto-captioning and ASL interpretation.

Friday, November 12
Addressing the Whole Child in the Arts Classroom

A Teaching Artist Studio Panel Discussion on Zoom

The Teaching Artist Studio opens to the public for a panel discussion on creating learning environments that address the big picture of students’ lives. How can teaching artists best address the whole child when planning and facilitating lessons as guests in classrooms? What helps us keep the person in the front of our mind so we can connect and create something that is meaningful to the youth we teach?

Our panelists:

  • Becky Emmert, Portland Art Museum
  • MOsely WOtta, Teaching Artist, Fields Artist Fellow 21-23
  • Valerie Branch, Teaching Artist Fellow, Young Audiences of Maryland / Regional Director, Maryland Wolf Trap
  • Shilo George, MS, Łush Kumtux Tumtum Consulting

This panel will include auto-captioning and ASL interpretation.

Saturday, October 30
Foundations of Trauma Informed Practice

A Zoom Workshop Series

How can we be with students in a way that best supports them as they return to school buildings after over a year of distance learning, renewed racial reckoning, and changing guidelines for public safety? How do we address these things in ourselves as well? How can we talk about important issues without retraumatization?

In this introductory training, participants will learn about the foundations of trauma, its relationship to systemic oppression, and impacts on health and behaviors. Attention will be given to the science behind trauma, how it shows up in the body, and traverses generations. While the information has a wide reach, it’s structured to focus on working with the K-12 public school population as a visiting artist. Please be aware that this is not a space of therapy. No trauma stories will be shared.

LEADER: Shilo M. George, MS. Owner/Trainer at Łush Kumtux Tumtum Consulting

Note: This training is a pre-requisite for follow-up workshops on Trauma Informed Practice later in the year.


The Teaching Artist Studio is a project supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.

This program is supported in part by the Oregon Cultural Trust.

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