“Emerge” – Training and mentorship program for emerging Teaching Artists


The application period for the 2023 Emerge Pilot Cohort is now closed.

Emerge is Arts for Learning Connecticut’s training and mentorship program for emerging Teaching Artists. This program advances arts in education by promoting collaboration between classroom teachers and Teaching Artists and ensuring successful learning outcomes for students. We accomplish this by providing meaningful learning experiences through formal workshops, mentorship from a veteran Teaching Artist, opportunities to write and teach original lesson plans, and actionable feedback from teachers and experienced Teaching Artists.

Who Are Emerging Teaching Artists (ETAs)? 

ETAs are established artists with an interest in using their art form to support youth development and K-12 education—i.e. an interest in becoming a Teaching Artist! Strong candidates for this program will have:

  • Significant experience with their artform
  • Some experience working with youth (this could include parenting, camp counseling, paraprofessional or substitute work, etc.) and a commitment to youth service
  • A commitment to personal and professional growth
  • Strong interpersonal skills and an ability to work with adults and youth
  • A belief in the value of education and a commitment to providing equitable learning opportunities for all young people, especially those facing the greatest challenges

We define an “established artist” as someone with significant practice in their art form, either professionally or personally, who can demonstrate a unique command of the creative and cultural aspects of their work. We define “art form” broadly, and are interested in folks from all creative disciplines. 

Benefits of Emerge

The benefits of participating in this initiative include:

  • Paid professional learning in a variety of relevant topics
  • Mentorship with a veteran Teaching Artist
  • Experience writing and implementing lessons with students—and feedback from certified teachers and veteran TAs
  • Being in community with other Emerging TAs
  • Engaging in conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • The opportunity to join the AFLCT Teaching Artist roster

Hours & Commitment 

We expect that ETAs will dedicate 5-10 hours per month to participate fully. The program includes 30 synchronous hours (which are compensated), and will likely require an additional 3-5 hours per month (uncompensated) asynchronous work. 

To receive the full benefits of the Initiative and in order to be paid in full, ETAs will be expected to complete the following over the course of 6 months.

  • 16 Professional Development sessions (8 hours over Zoom, and two 4-hour in-person sessions)
  • 16 corresponding assignments 
  • 5 hours observing their Teaching Artist Mentor, 5 hours observing other AFLCT TAs
  • 2 Lesson Plans created
  • 2-3 Lessons implemented
  • 2-3 Live lesson debrief meetings with their Mentor, Cooperating Teacher, and Education Manager 

It is critical that ETAs participate fully in all sessions. We will build a safe space for learners and ensure everyone feels seen and heard, and make space for written as well as audio-recorded responses when appropriate. There will be significant written work required, however, particularly in the creation of detailed, thoughtful lesson plans. ETAs can observe a variety of TAs offering diverse programming across the state, and will be supported in finding the most appropriate opportunities. The two lesson plans that ETAs will write will be implemented in front of actual students in a local classroom; they will then receive feedback from the classroom teacher, their TA mentor, and program staff. Throughout this experience ETAs will build a relationship with their TA Mentor, as well as program staff (including AFLCT’s Education Manager and the leader of TA Hub.)

Compensation & Completion 

There is no cost to apply. A stipend of $980 will be provided to those who are accepted and complete Emerge. If ETAs are unable to complete the necessary requirements, they will be asked to resign from Emerge. 


  • September – Application period
  • October – Selection and pairing period 
  • November though February – Training sessions, response work, observations, lesson plan development
  • March through April – Lesson plan implementation in local classrooms
  • May – Program completion and celebration!