Washington State Teaching Artist Training Lab


Request information here to be notified when the application period begins for the 2015-16 TAT Lab Cohort.

The Washington State Teaching Artist Training (TAT) Lab is a professional development program with a focus on supporting arts education as part of basic education in K-12 schools. This training is appropriate for experienced professional teaching artists looking to enhance or refresh their work, particularly in the areas of assessment strategies and well-articulated learning plans, as well as newer teaching artists seeking foundational knowledge. Participants will benefit from peer learning and reflection which can be rare in this profession.

TAT Lab is based on the philosophy that reflective practice and thoughtful planning are essential to effective educational experiences – and a key building block for partnering with schools and classroom teachers. The guiding question for the program is: “How can we help teaching artists provide quality educational experiences for all students?”

The TAT Lab cohort will include up to 36 teaching artists, working in all artistic disciplines and all regions of Washington State. The program runs September 2014 - April 2015. Participants will:

  • Attend three in-person training sessions lasting 2-3 days and held in Seattle
  • Participate in five 90-minute teleconferences facilitated by a teaching artist mentor
  • Learn about best practices in arts education through reading assignments and discussion
  • Develop a written learning plan to be implemented in a K-12 classroom
  • Receive ongoing, individualized support from teaching artist mentors and peers

Attendance at all in-person sessions and teleconferences is mandatory.


We define teaching artists as individuals who are both artists and educators; they are professional artists who are dedicated to arts education as an integral part of their professional practice, and who cultivate skills as educators in concert with their skills as artists. The curriculum for the TAT Lab supports teaching practice in all types of settings, but the focus is on supporting arts education as part of basic education in K-12 public schools, and addressing the particular challenges and opportunities involved in partnering with K-12 students and teachers.

An essential component of these partnerships is the spark that a teaching artist brings by demonstrating their own passion and artistry, and allowing students to experience that art form firsthand. The TAT Lab curriculum is informed by several key questions:

  • What are the unique talents and methods that teaching artists bring to a classroom?
  • What are "reflective practice" and "thoughtful planning" and why are they important?
  • How can we be mindful of arts learning standards along with higher order thinking skills and habits of mind?
  • How do we create safe, inclusive, and effective learning environments for all students?


With these questions in mind, the TAT Lab will address both philosophical and nuts-and-bolts aspects of teaching artist practice, with a core focus on developing and articulating clear arts learning objectives and assessment strategies. Join the Lab to:

  • Develop strong and effective learning plans
  • Increase skills and comfort level with assessing student learning in the arts
  • Articulate the values of arts learning and the power of teaching artistry
  • Consider the role of social justice within the world of arts education
  • Engage with 21st Century Skills and Habits of Mind
  • Understand collaborative opportunities with K-12 schools and teachers
  • Connect with a community of dedicated teaching artists

A key element of the program is the application of TAT Lab concepts in the classroom. Each participant will develop a learning plan based on TAT Lab concepts and implement that learning plan in a K-12 classroom during one of their own workshops or residencies.


We are grateful to the organizations that jointly created the original version of the TAT Lab in 2005: Denver Center for the Performing Arts, the Shakespeare Theatre Company in D.C., and the Seattle Repertory Theatre. We are especially grateful to the Seattle Rep for their role in evolving the model to serve all artistic disciplines, and partnering with the Washington State Arts Commission to develop the current statewide program, which was launched in 2011. After three successful years and 100 graduates, Seattle Children’s Theatre is coming on board to host the 2014-2015 program, joining other key arts and education partners: the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Book-It Repertory Theatre, and Arts Corps. Current faculty bios are available here.


Please contact Karen Sharp at SCT or Lisa Jaret at the Washington State Arts Commission with any questions about the TAT Lab program or application process.

The depth of planning and hours to make this a purposeful and quality training was amazing. I cannot say enough about how this will change my arts education practice.” –TAT Lab graduate, 2013



Participants must attend all of the in-person sessions, which will be held in Seattle.

September 2014

  • Thursday, September 18, 4-7pm
  • Friday, September 19, 9am-5pm
  • Saturday, September 20, 9am-3pm

November 2014

  • Friday, November 7, 1-5pm
  • Saturday, November 8, 9am-5pm

April 2015

  • Thursday, April 9, 3-7pm
  • Friday, April 10, 9am-5pm
  • Saturday, April 11, 9am-3pm

Tuition $600. Travel reimbursement and scholarships are available.

In addition to attending these in-person sessions, participants will be assigned to a smaller group for monthly 90-minute teleconferences facilitated by a teaching artist mentor. There will be readings assigned as preparation for both in-person and teleconference sessions, and all participants will be required to develop a written learning plan, and implement it in a K-12 classroom during the winter/spring of 2015.

Read our Full Program Description.

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