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Top 10 Teaching Artist Certifications

This article will provide an overview of the top certifications available to teaching artists, including what they entail and how to become certified.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications are important for teaching artists in the job market because they demonstrate a commitment to professional development and a dedication to their craft. Certifications can also help validate teaching artists’ credibility, as employers can be sure of their qualifications and training. They provide evidence that an individual is knowledgeable in their field and has the skills necessary to teach art effectively. Additionally, certifications often come with continuing education credits, which can help keep teaching artists up-to-date on best practices and new technologies. Ultimately, certifications serve as a signal to employers that the candidate is serious about their work and is capable of delivering quality instruction.

The purpose of this article is to review the most relevant certifications for Teaching Artists and explain how they can help to advance their career.

What are Teaching Artist Certifications?

Teaching artist certification is a program that provides professional development and training to artists who wish to teach their art form in educational settings. It helps them gain the skills, knowledge, and resources needed to effectively and responsibly work with students of varying ages and abilities. Teaching artist certification programs typically involve an intensive course of study, which can include courses in curriculum development, classroom management, assessment techniques, understanding learning styles, and more. This type of training not only helps artists become better teachers; it also builds confidence in their ability to lead classes and workshops. Additionally, teaching artist certification can provide access to professional networks of like-minded individuals who can offer support during the transition from artist to educator. Ultimately, this type of certification can help artists realize their full potential as both creative professionals and educators.

Pro Tip: Before applying for an artist certification program, research the requirements and expectations of the program. Make sure you understand what is expected of you in order to be successful and that the program is a good fit for your artistic goals.

Related: What does a Teaching Artist do?

Top 10 Teaching Artist Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Teaching Artists today.

1. National Guild for Community Arts Education Teaching Artist Certification

National Guild for Community Arts Education Teaching Artist Certification is a program designed to recognize and validate the professional qualifications of teaching artists who work in community arts education. The certification program was developed by the National Guild for Community Arts Education, an organization dedicated to advancing the field of community arts education.

The certification process involves a review of a teaching artist’s qualifications, experience, and skills. It also includes an assessment of their ability to design and implement high-quality learning experiences that are meaningful and engaging for students. The process typically takes 6-12 months to complete.

To get certified, applicants must submit an application packet that includes a resume or CV, portfolio of sample lesson plans or activities, and three letters of recommendation from colleagues or supervisors familiar with their work as a teaching artist. Applicants must also complete an online assessment and participate in an interview with a panel of experts from the National Guild for Community Arts Education.

The cost to apply for certification is $150 USD. Once certified, teaching artists receive access to exclusive resources and networking opportunities offered by the National Guild for Community Arts Education.

2. Kennedy Center Teaching Artist Certificate Program

The Kennedy Center Teaching Artist Certificate Program is an online professional development program designed to provide teachers with the skills, knowledge, and strategies necessary to become successful teaching artists. The program consists of five courses that focus on topics such as art integration, curriculum design, classroom management, and assessment. Each course includes a combination of self-paced reading assignments, video lectures, interactive activities, and discussion forums.

The program can be completed in approximately six months and requires approximately 40 hours of work per course. To get started in the program, applicants must complete an online application form and submit a resume or CV along with a statement of interest. Once accepted into the program, participants will be provided with access to all five courses and will be required to complete all coursework within six months.

The cost of the Kennedy Center Teaching Artist Certificate Program is $1,495 USD for individuals or $2,995 USD for groups of up to four people. This fee covers access to all five courses as well as one-on-one support from experienced teaching artists throughout the duration of the program.

3. Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts Teaching Artist Certification

Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts Teaching Artist Certification is a professional development program for educators, teaching artists, and other professionals who work with young children. It is designed to provide an in-depth exploration of the Wolf Trap approach to early learning through the arts. The certification process includes both online and in-person training, as well as a field experience component.

The program takes approximately one year to complete and consists of three parts: Online Training, In-Person Workshops, and Field Experience. The Online Training portion consists of five modules that cover topics such as child development, artistic disciplines, pedagogy, assessment strategies, and professional practice. The In-Person Workshops are held at Wolf Trap’s Center for Education in Vienna, VA and provide an opportunity to practice what has been learned in the online modules. The Field Experience allows participants to observe Wolf Trap Teaching Artists working with children in various settings throughout the Washington DC metropolitan area.

The cost of the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts Teaching Artist Certification program is $1,500 (USD). This fee covers all course materials and instruction fees associated with completing the program.

4. Americans for the Arts Professional Development Certificate in Teaching with the Arts

The Americans for the Arts Professional Development Certificate in Teaching with the Arts is a program designed to provide educators with the tools and resources they need to effectively integrate the arts into their classroom instruction. The certificate program consists of four online courses that focus on teaching with the arts, including: Foundations of Arts Education, Curriculum Design, Assessment & Evaluation, and Leadership & Advocacy. Each course takes approximately 10-15 hours to complete and can be taken at your own pace.

The cost of the certificate program is $295.00 USD and includes all four courses as well as access to additional resources such as webinars, articles, and videos. To get started, you will need to create an account on Americans for the Arts’ website and then register for each course individually. Once you have completed all four courses, you will receive a digital badge that can be displayed on your resume or portfolio.

5. California Alliance for Arts Education Teaching Artist Certification Program

The California Alliance for Arts Education (CAAE) Teaching Artist Certification Program is an online program that provides professional development and certification for teaching artists in the state of California. The program is designed to help teaching artists develop their skills and knowledge in order to better serve the needs of their students.

The program consists of three levels: Level I, Level II, and Level III. Each level requires a certain number of hours of coursework, as well as a portfolio review. Level I requires 18 hours of coursework and can be completed in one semester; Level II requires 36 hours and can be completed in two semesters; and Level III requires 54 hours and can be completed in three semesters.

In order to get certified, applicants must complete all required coursework, pass an assessment exam, submit a portfolio of work, and pay a fee. The fee for the certification program is $250 per level.

Once applicants have successfully completed all requirements for each level, they will receive a certificate from CAAE recognizing their achievement as a Certified Teaching Artist.

6. The Art of Education University Teaching Artist Certification Program

The Art of Education University Teaching Artist Certification Program is a comprehensive program designed to help educators become certified teaching artists. The program provides participants with the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to become successful teaching artists in their respective fields. The program consists of three courses: Introduction to Teaching Artistry, Teaching Artistry Fundamentals, and Advanced Teaching Artistry. Each course is designed to equip participants with the skills necessary to teach artistry in a variety of settings.

The program takes approximately six months to complete and requires a commitment of at least two hours per week for each course. Participants must successfully complete all three courses in order to receive certification.

To get the certification, participants must first register for the program through the Art of Education University website. Once registered, participants will be provided access to course materials which include videos, readings, assignments, and quizzes. As they progress through each course, they will be assessed on their understanding of the material and their ability to apply it in practical situations.

The cost of the certification program varies depending on whether you are an individual or an organization enrolling multiple people into the program. For individuals, the cost is $499 USD; for organizations enrolling multiple people into the program, there are discounted rates available upon request.

7. National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Teacher-Artist Partnerships Training and Certification Program

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Teacher-Artist Partnerships Training and Certification Program is a professional development program designed to help teachers build strong partnerships with professional artists in order to improve student learning. Through this program, teachers receive training and certification in how to effectively collaborate with artists to create high-quality arts experiences for students. The program consists of two parts: an online course and an in-person workshop.

The online course takes approximately 8-10 hours to complete, and covers topics such as understanding the role of the artist in education, developing effective partnerships between teachers and artists, creating meaningful arts experiences for students, and assessing student learning outcomes. The cost of the online course is $50.

The in-person workshop is a one-day event that provides participants with hands-on experience working with professional artists. Participants learn how to design meaningful arts experiences for their students, plan collaborative projects with artists, assess student learning outcomes, and more. The cost of the in-person workshop is $75.

Upon completion of both the online course and the in-person workshop, participants will receive a certificate of completion from NEA recognizing their successful participation in the Teacher-Artist Partnerships Training and Certification Program.

8. New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) Creative City Network of Canada's Certified Cultural Animator Program

The New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) Creative City Network of Canada's Certified Cultural Animator Program is a professional development program designed to equip cultural animators with the skills and knowledge they need to effectively animate their communities. The program focuses on developing skills in community engagement, cultural programming, and project management. It is aimed at individuals who are already working in the field of culture or those looking to transition into the sector.

The program consists of two components: an online learning component and an experiential learning component. The online learning component includes five modules that cover topics such as community engagement, cultural programming, and project management. The experiential learning component consists of a two-day workshop that provides participants with hands-on experience in developing projects and programs.

It takes approximately three months to complete the Certified Cultural Animator Program, depending on how quickly participants complete the online modules and attend the workshop.

To get certified as a Cultural Animator, applicants must first register for the program by submitting an application form and paying the registration fee. Once accepted into the program, applicants will receive access to the online modules and be invited to attend a two-day workshop. Upon successful completion of both components, applicants will receive their certification from NEFA Creative City Network of Canada as a Certified Cultural Animator.

The cost of registering for NEFA Creative City Network of Canada's Certified Cultural Animator Program is $500 CAD plus applicable taxes.

9. The Julliard School’s Professional Training Programs in Music and Dance

The Juilliard School’s Professional Training Programs in Music and Dance provide students with an intensive, comprehensive program of study that prepares them for a career in the performing arts. The programs are designed to give students the skills and knowledge they need to become professional performers, composers, conductors, teachers, and more.

The Juilliard School offers two types of professional training programs: Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA). The BFA program is a four-year program that focuses on performance technique and music theory. Students will also take classes in music history, composition, improvisation, and other related topics. At the end of the four years, students will receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

The MFA program is a two-year program that focuses on advanced performance techniques as well as composition and conducting. Students will also take classes in music theory, history, improvisation, and other related topics. At the end of the two years, students will receive a Master of Fine Arts degree.

To get into either program at The Juilliard School you must first audition for admission. Auditions are held each year from December through March for both BFA and MFA applicants. You can find out more information about auditions here: https://www.juilliard.edu/admissions/auditions/dance-music-theater .

Tuition fees vary depending on which program you choose to pursue but typically range from $50k - $80k per year for both BFA and MFA programs at The Juilliard School. Financial aid is available to those who qualify so be sure to check with their office if you need assistance paying for tuition fees or living expenses while attending school.

10. Lincoln Center Institute’s Professional Development Programs

Lincoln Center Institute's Professional Development Programs are designed to help teachers integrate the arts into their classroom instruction. These programs are offered in a variety of formats, including online courses, workshops, and conferences.

The online courses are self-paced and can be completed at any time. The courses cover topics such as how to use the arts to engage students, how to create meaningful learning experiences through the arts, and how to assess student learning through the arts. Each course is typically between three and five hours in length and includes video lectures, readings, activities, and assessments.

Workshops are offered throughout the year in various locations across the country. These workshops focus on specific topics related to using the arts in teaching and learning. They range from one-day sessions to multi-day seminars that provide more in-depth exploration of a particular topic or issue.

Conferences provide an opportunity for educators from all over the world to come together for a few days of intensive professional development focused on integrating the arts into their classrooms. Participants attend lectures, workshops, and performances by renowned artists as well as participate in discussions with other educators about best practices for using the arts in teaching.

The cost of Lincoln Center Institute's Professional Development Programs varies depending on which program you choose; however, most programs offer discounts for groups or individuals who register early or sign up for multiple programs at once. Additionally, many schools offer financial assistance or grants that can help cover some or all of the costs associated with these programs.

Do You Really Need a Teaching Artist Certificate?

The short answer is no, you don’t need a teaching artist certificate. However, having one can be beneficial for those interested in teaching art classes or workshops professionally. A teaching artist certificate provides proof of your qualifications as an instructor and can help to demonstrate your knowledge and experience to potential employers or clients.

Having a teaching artist certificate can also provide legitimacy and credibility to your work as an educator. It demonstrates that you have made the effort to learn the necessary skills required to teach art classes or workshops effectively, such as lesson planning, classroom management and assessment techniques.

In addition to providing proof of your qualifications and expertise, a teaching artist certificate can also provide networking opportunities with other professionals in the field. Having a certificate may open doors to professional development events or conferences where you can further develop your skills and network with other educators in the field.

Finally, having a teaching artist certificate may also provide access to job opportunities that are not available without one. Many organizations that offer art education programs will require applicants to have some kind of certification before they are considered for employment.

Ultimately, whether or not you decide to pursue a teaching artist certificate is up to you. While it does come with certain benefits, it is not essential for success in this field.

Related: Teaching Artist Resume Examples

FAQs About Teaching Artist Certifications

Q1. What is a teaching artist certification?

A1. A teaching artist certification is a professional credential that verifies an individual’s qualifications and experience in the field of arts instruction. It is awarded by organizations or institutions that provide quality training and education in the visual, performing, and literary arts.

Q2. How do I become certified as a teaching artist?

A2. To become certified as a teaching artist, you must meet the requirements set forth by the certifying organization or institution. These requirements may include completing coursework, demonstrating artistic proficiency, obtaining professional references, submitting portfolios of your work, and/or passing an exam or assessment.

Q3. How long does it take to get certified as a teaching artist?

A3. The length of time required to obtain a teaching artist certification varies depending on the certifying organization or institution and the individual's prior experience and qualifications. Generally speaking, it can take anywhere from several months to two years to complete all of the necessary steps for certification.

Q4. Is a teaching artist certification recognized nationally?

A4. There are currently no national standards for teaching artist certifications; each certifying organization or institution sets its own criteria for awarding certifications. However, many employers recognize teaching artist certifications from reputable organizations or institutions as proof of an individual’s qualifications in the field of arts instruction.

Q5. What are some benefits of being certified as a teaching artist?

A5: Being certified as a teaching artist provides recognition for your skills and qualifications in arts instruction; it also demonstrates your commitment to the profession and may help you stand out among other applicants when applying for jobs or contracts in this field. Additionally, having this credential may open up new opportunities for professional growth and development within your chosen artistic discipline(s).