In 2016, Professor Hammonds began developing the curriculum and laying groundwork for North Carolina Central University’s Teaching Artist Certificate Program (TACP). It is an online course taught with synchronous and asynchronous modules, comprising a professional development program for performing, visual, literary and conceptual artists. Professor Hammonds spent several decades interweaving touring as a performer and serving as a veteran teaching artist for national cultural arts organizations and non-profits before coming to teach at NCCU in 2005. Noticing a void of teaching artist professional development programs in the Southeast, Professor Hammonds was inspired to launch this groundbreaking program at NCCU. The NCCU Teaching Artist Certificate Program accepted the inaugural cohort of students in 2017. The program was designed to fill the void of a lack of diversity in demographics, gender and arts disciplines currently in the arts education field.
A teaching artist spends roughly 50% of their time creating and practicing their art and roughly 50% of their time engaging audiences through their arts discipline. This unique program aids the artist in debunking the theory of the starving artist syndrome or needing a “plan B.” Training artists to bring arts experience and training to serve communities and families is a win-win for everyone. NCCU’s TACP has the distinction of being not only the first of its kind in the UNC university system but also the first at any HBCU. This research-based program features online delivery and the use of a digital humanities library called "Great Artists Past and Present" for the course content and addresses both the lack of diversity in the teaching artist demographic and a geographic disparity of access to comprehensive and skill-specific training. NCCU’s TACP is delivered by an award-winning distance education unit and a faculty comprising veteran teaching artists amidst a cross-disciplinary pool of arts and humanities professors from the Departments of Music, Theatre and Dance, and Art. Our community partners assist with engaging families and students locally, regionally and nationally.
Distinctly separate from teaching licensure programs, the Teaching Artist Certificate prepares artists with the job-readiness tools to create auditorium performances, school residencies and arts experiences for schools and community-based organizations. Our program prepares teaching artists to integrate their art form, perspectives, and skills in a wide range of settings. Our graduates find successful placements in schools, after-school programs, cultural art centers, hospitals, prisons and social service agencies.
As a community engagement vehicle for the College of Arts, Social Sciences and the Humanities, the Teaching Artist Certificate Program has connected NCCU humanities students with immediate portals for success. Alums of the program have garnered immediate residencies with the Durham Public Library, Duke University hospitals, the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Gantt Center for the Performing Arts, the Hayti Heritage Center and many other outlets. As well, students and alums of the NCCU Departments of Music, Art, Theatre and Dance have received employment opportunities and networking access in cultural arts organizations in our region through the ongoing Teaching Artist Tuesdays webinar series. This series was conceived and coordinated in collaboration with North Carolina Arts Council and NCCU’s Teaching Artist Certificate Program.
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