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from Sculpture International Center, publisher of Sculpture magazine:

The Teaching Artist Handbook tackles a difficult question for which there is no single answer: How does one teach art? Written by teaching artists for teaching artists, the book addresses the problem of how to teach in a field in which methods of instruction are ambiguous and challenging to establish and in which effectiveness is often challenging to evaluate...more


from Kali Ferguson, cultural educator:

The Teaching Artist Handbook – This changes everything!

Now I thought I knew a lot about being a teaching artist. But then I got this handbook, fresh off the U of Chicago press, and my thinking is changing.

First, I love that they affirm that there is no one right way to be a teaching artist, to teach your art form(s). I have been through several teaching artist training programs that have advised me to think differently than I naturally do about teaching. Now, they also gave me some great tools to work with, but many times I thought I was missing something as a professional. Not according to Nick Jaffe and Co.!

Another wonderful discovery was that teaching artists “teach” by respecting their “students” as artists at the onset. We don’t just fill their heads with our knowledge. Way too old-school and traditionally academic. They are artists by way of showing up. We just help them understand the aspects of our artistic process that is important to us, and they then use that guidance to create art…more.


from Eric Booth, author of The Music Teaching Artist’s Bible and The Everyday Work of Art:

The growing field of teaching artistry has needed the Teaching Artist Handbook for a long time. Needed it badly. And here it is, even better than I hoped. Thanks to the authors whose work will help us all get better; congratulations to the field that, because of the book, takes another step into fuller recognition and more powerful practice. This book belongs on every teaching artist's bookshelf—no, on their bedside table.


from Malke Rosenfeld, associate editor at Teaching Artist Journal and editor/curator of ALT/, writer, and dance teaching artist and curriculum developer:

The Teaching Artist Handbook is the best book I have ever read on the subject of how to go about teaching in an art form. It is the book I wished existed when I was muddling through the first few years of my teaching artist career and it is also the book I am returning to again and again, so many years later. The best thing about the Teaching Artist Handbook is that it provides a broad-minded, detailed, and specific look at everything related to teaching in, around and through an art form. This book is a wonderful, needed, essential contribution to the field.


from Shelley Quiala, Director of Arts Education and Engagement, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts:

It was both refreshing exciting and to read a book about arts education and teaching and learning in general that instead of preaching to a specific way of doing things, leads the reader through a deeply reflective process about why to teach, what to teach and how to navigate the highly complex role of a teaching artist in various educational settings.

As I read, I found myself having both an internal and external dialogue with the content of the book, asking questions of it and myself and thanking it for leading me through a reflective process that I found very useful. The interplay between personal story, opinion and specific statements of value coupled with many sets of useful questions is a wonderful way to engage the reader in a valuable internal reflection and dialogue that can only lead to refined and stronger practice. If the book were to come to life, I would take it out to coffee and talk for hours about the practice of teaching artistry.


from Corinne Rose, Manager of Education, Museum of Contemporary Photography:

This book fills a gap in the (little) existing scholarship to provide practical guidance for artists working in any discipline to translate the knowledge, expertise, and passion they have in their own artistic practice into effective teaching. I like that the emphasis is on coming from one's own practice rather than a one-size-sits-all approach to teaching artistry.

One of the things I like best about this book is that it directly addresses some difficult and seldom discussed subjects such as "Race, ethnicity, gender, politics, and what you teach," suggesting that as art educators we need to question assumptions of cultural relevancy and advocate for our students right to be exposed to and work within a wide range of traditions.


from Calvin Keasling, Arts Content Lead for Minneapolis Public Schools:

The Teaching Artist Handbook Volume 1 (TAH1) is a long over due resource for artists, art teachers, and those who work with us artsy people. It provides definition to our field and inspiration for those of us who are currently teaching and those hoping to teach. When I first read the book, I cruised through it (two late nights) and took notes in the margins like a mad man. I found myself mapping out my own life plan as I read. I've since gone back and read the TAH1 again, and have found even more value in the content. The TAH1 really serves as a tool for helping guide us artists and educators to analyze our strengths, define our practices, and assess how we need to hone our skills in working as teachers of our craft. The book shares meaningful and supportive stories from the field and is written for the artist (by artists).

Overall I found the book to be inspirational, easy to read, and well worth the price. (College profs, this book would have been nice to have when I was finishing my music major!!!) One bonus of the book is that it is written so that you can read it in any order and read sections at your leisure. I've shared it with some teaching artist colleagues (who totally dig it) and look forward to using it in professional development sessions with art teachers, with student teaching programs (that college professor thing), and with artists around the Twin Cities. Props to Jaffe, Barniskis, and Hackett-Cox for writing such an excellent book. I look forward to Volume 2.


from Suzie Makol, photographer and teaching artist:

This book asks the questions that will help you in your teaching artist work rather than trying to give you all the answers. It will help you generate a lot of ideas, but just like good teaching artist work, it doesn't attempt to dictate the "right" way to do things. That's not to say the authors don't give their opinions, because they do.

This book is helping me step back and better reflect on what I teach, how I teach it, and how to better present what I teach. I think this would be a great book for any type of arts education program or class to read together, as it would create dynamic discussions about what we do as teaching artists.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend this book FOR teaching artists, BY teaching artists. There are too many people outside of our field telling us what to do; instead, Teaching Artist Handbook helps you develop your own ideas.