Teaching Artist in the Schools (TAS)

Teaching Artist in the Schools (TAS)

Reports to:  Manager of Community Collaborations

Department: Community Collaborations

Supervision: None

Employment Status: Full-time, 32-hours per week

FLSA Status: Non-exempt

Start date: TBD

Last Updated:  May 17, 2022

Who We Are

Penland School of Craft is a center for craft education offering residential workshops, residencies, community education programs, and exhibitions. Located on 420 acres in the NC Mountains, Penland has 16 teaching studios and 60 historic and contemporary buildings. We are an equal opportunity employer with a staff of 70. Penland operates with a $54 million endowment and an annual operating budget of $7.7 million. We are located about an hour northeast of Asheville, NC.  Our mission supports making lives meaningful through making.


Commitment to Equity,  Diversity, and Inclusion

Penland welcomes everyone. Black, Indigenous, Latine, Asian, and other people who identify as people of color or BIPOC individuals are encouraged to apply, as are people holding other marginalized identities related to gender, sexual orientation, ability, and class background.


Penland School of Craft believes that equity, inclusion, diversity, and antiracism are essential to our mission. We want the Penland experience to benefit from varied ideas, world views, and personal experiences. We stand against all forms of discrimination and are committed to creating an environment grounded in our equity values. Penland does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, indigeneity, color, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy, parental status, national origin, age, ability, genetic information (including family medical history), political affiliation, military service, or other non-merit based factors.


Community Collaborations

Community Collaborations (CC) connects Penland with the surrounding communities through programming in the schools, summer camps, out-of-school initiatives, and collaborations with community organizations.  The Teaching Artist in the Schools is part of a dedicated team that includes the Community Collaboration Program Coordinator and Manager of Community Collaboration.  


Position Summary & Job Responsibilities

Mitchell County Schools Art Workshops (approximately 60% of job)

The Teaching Artist in the Schools (TAS), in collaboration with public school teachers, facilitates meaningful artmaking experiences with youth using high-quality art materials and tools. The TAS guides elementary and high school students in the creation of handmade books that are both standards-aligned and content-rich. These are well-established programs in the schools, but there is room for new TAS to bring their individual approach to the projects and program. Workshops include painting, drawing, book construction, writing, and additional lessons appropriate to specific projects. 


  • Creates a master plan for workshops for the year in collaboration with school administrators, teachers, and CC staff
  • Meets with teachers at schools to discuss and refine curriculum for workshops
  • Researches and prepares curriculum for workshops
  • Orders and prepares materials and studio space for workshops with assistance from CC staff
  • Communicates with instructors and students in advance of workshops, letting them know what to expect
  • Leads hands-on bookmaking workshops with elementary (one grade level) and high school (one grade level) students including painting, drawing, book construction, writing and additional lessons appropriate to specific projects
  • Teaches hand skills and the use of art materials to express personal insights and concerns as a lifelong pleasure
  • Creates an aware classroom community that builds pride and self-esteem
  • Serves as an example of the way that learning can happen through artmaking
  • Represents the difficult and rewarding multi-step work of being an artist 
  • Represents a path of learning parallel to the conventional classroom methods
  • Maintains a conversation stressing craft vocabulary development
  • Manages completion of work and distributes completed work
  • Assists in the hiring and mentoring occasional  interns and temporary teaching assistants
  • Maintains all program workspaces; works with CC  staff to stock all studio supplies and equipment needed for proper maintenance of the space and for specific classes; monitors usage of supplies and equipment by each class to ensure that budget guidelines are met
  • Reviews all safety issues in the classroom and enforces safe practices with all program participants
  • Conducts participant  program evaluations and assists with the development of grant narratives and documentation for grant reports and six-month board reports


Subs with SuitCASEs (20%)

The TAS serves as a teaching artist in the Subs with SuitCASEs program, which offers curriculum-inspired, art-based lessons in 2nd and 3rd-grade classrooms during reading assessment periods in the schools.

  • Creates curriculum-inspired art lessons, and leads two-hour lessons rotating through classrooms
  • Acts as a mentor for new teaching artists participating in Subs with SuitCASEs through lesson plan development support, shadowing, and reflective discussion


Teaching Artists Mentorship  (10%)

The TAS serves in a mentoring capacity for teaching artists who subcontract with Community Collaboration programs and facilitates professional development workshops for teaching artists each year. 

  • Plans and leads one in-depth (at least one full day or multiple-partial days) professional development session for teaching artists in summer on a topic determined by current needs of teaching artists and TAS experience
  • Leads several short workshops/brainstorming sessions with teaching artists during the school year


Administration and Other Projects (10%)

  • Participates in Community Collaboration and other school meetings
  • Support other community programs as a teaching artist as needed
  • Other duties as needed 


  • At least five years of experience teaching art and planning curriculum is preferred although we are open to considering an equivalent combination of education and experience. Art teaching may have been in schools or in community settings.
  • A commitment to uphold and implement Penland’s mission, educational philosophy and equity values is expected, along with the belief in the transformative power of creative expression
  • A passion for working with youth of different ages and backgrounds, and sensitivity to and appreciation for the rural community in which Penland is located
  • In-depth technical knowledge of processes to be used in the classroom, and a general knowledge of the field of crafts
  • Must possess good organizational skills, attention to detail and the ability to manage a varied workload
  • Adaptability, analysis, collaboration, personal impact, dependability, safety awareness, organizational sensitivity, and teamwork are characteristics central to this position
  • Must have the ability to listen, be patient, keep one’s eye on the big picture, be encouraging, be respectful, and be resilient. A sense of humor and curiosity is helpful! 
  • Experience and practical ease with Google Suite
  • Bilingual English/Spanish is highly preferred
  • Must have a driver’s license and car to be able to get to work sites
  • COVID vaccination and boosters or a Penland-approved exemption is required

Physical Demands

The employee is frequently required to use hands to finger, handle or touch objects, tools, or controls and to speak fluently and to hear. The employee is frequently required to stand, walk, and bend. The employee must regularly lift and/or move objects weighing up to 50 pounds or more. Specific vision required by this job includes close vision.


This is a full-time, year-round, benefits-eligible position that works 32 hours per week. 


Compensation discussions are a part of the interviewing process, but the starting range for this position is $18.46 – $21.23 per hour. Employees at Penland enjoy competitive pay, attractive benefits, and a lively, creative work environment. 


To Apply

The position will remain open until filled; We would like this position to start as soon as possible. To apply, send a cover letter addressing relevant experience and interest in the position, résumé, at least two art lesson plans that reflect your approach to teaching, and contact information for three references to Alyse Ostreicher, Human Resources Manager, employment@penland.org. Please include Teaching Artist in the Schools as the subject of your email.