Finding the Artist in the Title “Teaching Artist”

CROCUS 2016

March in Minnesota is still winter. Yes, we’ve already hit 70 degrees. Yes, I took this crocus photo Tuesday. And yes, it got nailed with snow yesterday, Wednesday.

Not what Minnesota looks like at the moment, hallelujah...

But that’s okay with me. Winter is a great time to attend to the artist part of being a teaching artist.

Much of this winter I’ve been absorbed with writing poems and essays drawn from a journal I’ve been keeping in Braille. Grants from the lovely VSA Minnesota and Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Next Step Fund, made it possible for me to be the annoying person who seems to always have an out-of-office message on her email.

This is what I love about the label teaching artist. It demands of us that we pay attention to our own creative practice.

If I am never cozied up alone with my own work, then maybe I am still teaching, but I’m not a teaching artist. If I don’t feed my own work, how can I feed the work of others? If I don’t shape my own voice, how can I help others have their voices?

So thank you for your patience as I’ve been nested deep in the burrow of my own work, only apparently hibernating. As spring warms up, I’ll still be working on my own writing projects, but will also shift toward more teaching in community. More to report on that soon.