Young Audiences Arts for Learning (Young Audiences) is thrilled to announce seven new recipients of the Young Audiences National teaching Artist Credential (TAC): Joseph Dixon, Janet Erlick, Ali Hoefnagel, Sarah Grace Jackson, Barry Stewart Mann, Melissa Kate Miller, and Karim Nagi.
The TAC initiative was conceived by a working group of representatives from the Young Audiences network and developed in collaboration with an advisory committee of experts in the field of arts education. The program began in Fall 2017, with a total of 31 teaching artists from across the Young Audiences network earning the credential since its inception.
As evidence of their skills and experience, TAC applicants submit an extensive portfolio for consideration. Requirements include a video displaying the candidate’s instructional effectiveness in the classroom; an original residency plan designed and implemented by the applicant; recommendation letters from arts and education professionals, and reflection responses on questions such as how their artistry impacts their teaching practice and vice-versa, and how they create an equitable and inclusive classroom. Each applicant’s submission is then adjudicated by a review panel comprised of experts from the field, including nonprofit leaders, arts education directors at state departments of education and state arts agencies, and past recipients of the credential.
We are pleased to introduce the seven newest members of the TAC community, who earned the credential during the 2021-22 application round:
Joseph Dixon, Young Audiences of Houston (Houston, TX)
Houston native Joseph Dixon is a multidisciplinary artist with over thirty years of experience in arts in education and community outreach. He is passionate about implementing interventional music activities and visual art projects designed for students living with autism, using the arts to support their development and wellbeing. Joseph’s work as a visual artist includes his ongoing ‘Faces of Autism’ portraiture series. He is also an accomplished percussionist and has served on numerous grant review committees in his home state.
Janet Erlick, Arts For Learning/Miami (Miami, FL)
As a theatre and multi-disciplinary artist, Janet Erlick designs and implements programming with educational, cultural, and social service partners in her work with pre-K children through adults. She serves as Executive Artistic Director of the Florida Children’s Theatre(FLCT), where she oversees classes, productions, and community outreach initiatives. Janet is recognized as a Master Teaching Artist through the South Florida Cultural Consortium. She studied theatre at Swarthmore College and trained through The Kennedy Center and Wolf Trap. Her ongoing work in the community reflects her assertions as a cultural advocate.
Ali Hoefnagel, Arts Ed Collaborative (Pittsburgh, PA)
Ali Hoefnagel (they/them/theirs) is a performer, arts administrator, and teaching artist from Chicago, IL, currently based in Pittsburgh, PA. Working in the discipline of theatre, Ali teaches playwriting to young people and has been seen onstage as a storyteller and director. They have taught theatre activism classes and workshops with numerous organizations and universities, including their alma mater, Lake Forest College. Their one-person show, You Can Call Me Al, was produced in 2019 as a part of the New Hazlett Theatre's Community Supported Art (CSA) Performance Series.
Sarah Grace Jackson, Arts Ed Collaborative (Pittsburgh, PA)
Sarah "G" Jackson is a poet and visual artist originally from the Pittsburgh, PA area. She discovered her love of poetry as a young person, and honed her creative talents as a writer, performer, and educator of wordsmithing as a member of The Black Ink Monks at Johnson C. Smith University. Returning to Pittsburgh after college, Sarah launched her career at The Legacy Arts Project teaching African art through the diaspora. She is involved with multiple programs and organizations throughout the region and works with students in grades 3-12.
Barry Mann, ArtsNow Learning (Atlanta, GA)
Barry Stewart Mann is a professional actor, storyteller, and arts educator based in Atlanta, GA. A graduate of Harvard University, with an MFA in Theatre from the University of San Diego, Barry sits on the faculty of Leslie University's M.Ed Program in Integrating Teaching through the Arts. As an actor, he performs across the country as well as on local Atlanta stages. As a storyteller and teaching artist, he has told tales to thousands of festivals, libraries, schools, camps, and beyond. Barry is a proud member of the National Storytelling Network, the Southern Order of Storytellers, and Actors' Equity Association.
Melissa Kate Miller, Arts for Learning Western New York (Buffalo, NY)
Melissa Kate Miller works with a broad range of young learners through her work as a theatre artist, singer, and songwriter. She has taught arts education for nearly two decades, with programs in creative writing, poetry, improvisation, and music. At the center of her work as a performing artist, Melissa seeks to engage young people and adults in the arts and humanities, foster new experiences, and inspire empathy as well as personal, social, and civil empowerment.
Karim Nagi, Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania (Princeton, NJ)
Karim Nagi is a native Egyptian performer and teaching artist who has toured the globe teaching and performing Arab music and folk dance. Working in the disciplines of music and dance, Karim actively uses the arts to help promote his cultural heritage and provide a humanizing alternative to political and media misrepresentation. He conducts workshops, delivers lectures, and has authored dozens of instructional videos for Arab percussion instruments and folk dance styles. His multimedia performance lecture Arab Arts vs. Islamophobia & Stereotyping has been performed at universities across the US.
Credentialed Teaching Artists have opportunities to network and share ideas together as a community; as leaders in the Young Audiences network, they provide professional learning sessions and one-on-one mentoring for YA teaching artists across the country. Each Credentialed TA also receives a featured profile on the National Young Audiences website.
The next TAC application cycle will open in the fall of 2023. For the latest information on the TAC initiative, and to learn more about our Credentialed Teaching Artists, please visit: www.youngaudiences.org/TAC.
A previous version of this announcement stated that teaching artist Melissa Kate Miller worked with the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning in Cleveland, OH. This has been corrected to note that Melissa Kate Miller works with Arts for Learning Western New York in Buffalo, NY.