FY2025 Teaching Artists Directory Guidelines

Application Deadline: May 10, 2024

The Kentucky Arts Council strongly encourages you to read and understand the Teaching Artists Directory guidelines before accessing the online application.

Like all programs of the Kentucky Arts Council, the Teaching Artists Directory is guided by the arts council’s core values. Successful applications will embody these core values, and all applicants are strongly encouraged to read and reflect upon them before submitting an application.

Core Values of the Kentucky Arts Council

Program Purpose

  • To provide paid career opportunities and professional development for teaching artists.
  • To encourage professional artists to share their talents with Kentucky's students and teachers through teaching residencies.
  • To provide a public resource where educators and organizations can find the biographies, qualifications, work samples and residency examples of professional teaching artists who are adjudicated by the arts council.

Who May Apply

  • Artists working in any discipline(s), including visual arts, media arts, performing arts, literary arts and folk arts.
  • Applicants must be 21 years or older.
  • Applicants must be United States citizens, lawfully admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence, or have permission from the Department of Homeland Security to work permanently in the U.S.
  • Applicants must have been full-time Kentucky residents for at least six months prior to the application deadline and remain full-time residents for the program participation period.

Program Description

The Teaching Artists Directory is a roster of adjudicated artists of all disciplines, who not only produce high-quality work, but also have the skills and competencies to work in educational settings. The directory serves as a resource for schools and organizations who seek to employ professional teaching artists. Each artist receives a curated profile page on the Teaching Artists Directory featuring a biography, photos, residency plan examples, contact information and links to external content. All approved teaching artists are eligible for teaching residencies in Kentucky schools through the Teaching Art Together Grant.

Juried teaching artists may partner with schools wishing to create and exhibit student work in public locations, such as hospitals, libraries, and medical plazas.

Approved teaching artists in the literary arts, storytelling and theatre disciplines may also partner with schools in the Poetry Out Loud Program.

Additional program benefits include:

  • Referrals to presenters, community groups, schools, businesses, governmental agencies, and others seeking to employ high-quality teaching artists.
  • Access to the Kentucky Peer Advisory Network (KPAN), which provides consultation services in various professional areas.

Program Timeline

Application deadline

May 10, 2024

Review of applications by panel

May 29, 2024

Artist interviews

May 30, 2024

Applicant notification

As soon as possible after panel meeting

Program agreement form due

14 days after notification

Background check forms submitted

14 days after notification

New Teaching Artist Orientation (mandatory)

Aug. 8, 2024

Copy of legislators' letters for teaching artists accepted into the directory.

September 1, 2022

Eligibility for Poetry Out Loud residencies

Sept. 2, 2024

Eligibility for Teaching Art Together residencies

December 2024

Participation Requirements

To remain eligible for full participation in the Teaching Artists Directory, all artists must adhere to the requirements below. The Program Agreement Form details the rights and responsibilities of participants in the Teaching Artists Directory. The arts council must receive the Program Agreement Form and the results of background checks from the Kentucky State Police, FBI and Cabinet for Health and Family Services before an approved artist will be included in the directory. The teaching artist must send the background checks to the program director within 30 days of accessing them. Additionally, each newly admitted teaching artist must attend a mandatory orientation.

To maintain eligibility, each artist must:

  • Remain a full-time Kentucky resident while a participant in the Teaching Artists Directory.
  • Submit the results of Kentucky State Police, FBI, and Child Abuse and Neglect (CAN) background checks to the Kentucky Arts Council every two years.
  • Complete and submit an annual Final Report form by June 30 each year.
  • Actively participate in Kentucky Arts Council arts education grant programs such as Teaching Art Together. Artists must be involved in at least one Teaching Art Together application every three years.
  • Conduct themselves in a professional manner during arts council events and when participating in arts council grant programs.
  • Write at least one letter per year to each of their respective state house and senate representatives. These letters should inform them of the artist’s inclusion in the Teaching Artists Directory and may extend invitations to events that feature the artist’s work. Copies of each letter must be sent to the Kentucky Arts Council (Who are my elected officials?).
  • Acknowledge the Kentucky Arts Council in all published materials and announcements including websites, advertising promotions, news releases, printed programs, flyers, posters, literature, social media posts and other publicity, according to the the Credits and Logos page on the arts council website.

If an artist fails to meet any of these participation requirements, they will assume a probationary status in which the arts council will accept no future applications from that artist and the artist’s online directory page will be suspended until the requirements are met or until they communicate to the arts council an actionable plan to meet the requirements. If an artist remains in a probationary status for longer than one year, they will be removed from the Teaching Artists Directory and will have to submit a new application to be readmitted.

Performance Expectations

The review panel uses the Panelist Assessment Sheets to evaluate all applications according to the following performance expectations.

  1. Artistic Excellence
    • Work samples demonstrate accomplished technique in the chosen media.
    • Work samples demonstrate creativity and individuality.
  2. Education Strategies and Interview
    • Implementation (30%)
      • Strategies to engage students in the creative process during the residency.
      • Strategies to help teachers prepare students for the residency.
      • Strategies to engage teachers during the residency.
      • Strategies to engage parents and community members during the residency.
    • Assessment (20%)
      • Strategies to measure the impact of the residency on all participants.
      • Strategies to help teachers incorporate residency content into future lesson plans.
    • Accessibility and Inclusivity (20%)
      • Instructional strategies and resources used to engage diverse student populations.
      • Instructional strategies and resources used to engage students with disabilities.
    • Artist Interview (30%)
      • Ability to communicate knowledgeably about their artistic and educational expertise.
      • Ability to stimulate interest in their art form and enthusiasm for learning.
      • Ability to use positive classroom management strategies.

You may wish to refer to the Panelist Assessment Sheets below to better understand how your application will be evaluated.

Artistic Excellence Assessment Sheet

Education Strategies and Artist Interview Assessment Sheet

Accessing and Completing the Application

Creating a GO Smart Profile

Before beginning the application, you will need to create a profile, including a username and password at For this program you will need to create an “individual” profile. Store your username and password in a safe place to ensure that you can access your account later. You can use this profile to apply for this program year after year and update it as needed.

Complete the application form and upload all supplementary materials by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the deadline date. Applications which are incomplete or submitted late will not be considered.

Following the deadline, each application will be reviewed by the program director, who may contact the applicant if more information or clarification is needed.

Required Materials


All applicants must include a resume focusing on their artistic and educational background and experience. Resumes must include two professional references with contact information.

Proof of Residency

Applicants must submit a copy of two of the following:

  • Kentucky driver’s license, which includes the date issued and expiration date, OR state of Kentucky identification card, which includes the date issued and expiration date. (Note: The arts council will not accept both a Kentucky driver’s license and a state of Kentucky identification card as the required two proofs of residency).
  • Kentucky voter registration verification from the State Board of Elections Voter Information Center website (you may redact political party information).
  • Kentucky state income tax Form 740 for the most recent year (you may redact income information).

Work Samples

Work samples are the primary means by which panelists assess artistic and professional quality. Carefully consider your choice of work samples in relation to Part 1 of the program’s performance expectations. Work samples must meet the requirements for their respective art forms outlined in the Work Sample Guide section below.

Residency Proposal

Applicants must submit a plan for a teaching residency in their artistic discipline. This plan does not need to be specific to a particular school, organization, or grade level. Rather, it should be a general outline for the artist’s ideal teaching residency, adaptable to various age groups and residency lengths. This plan may always change in the future, but it should broadly communicate what the artist hopes to achieve through a teaching residency. Example residency plans can be found on the Teaching Artists Directory.

A successful residency proposal should specifically address each of the performance expectations under “Implementation,” “Assessment,” and “Accessibility and Inclusion.”

Work Sample Guide

Literary Arts

All samples must be double-spaced, include page numbers, with 1-inch margins on all sides, and 11- or 12-point black font. Acceptable fonts are Arial, Calibri, Courier or Times New Roman. Scanned magazine, book, newspaper, journal or web pages will not be accepted. The uploaded files may be in DOCX, DOC, ODT, RTF or PDF format.

  • Fiction, nonfiction and play/screenwriting: Include up to five separate works totaling no more than 10 pages combined. One page of the total 10 may be used to contextualize an excerpt within the larger work as needed.
  • Poetry: Include up to five separate poems totaling no more than 10 pages combined.

Visual Arts

Submit no more than five images. The uploaded images must be at least 1920 x 1920 pixels and may be either JPG or PNG format.

  • Digital Media Arts: Submit no more than five video or image samples. Video samples must be uploaded to YouTube. Images must be at least 1920 x 1920 pixels and may be either JPG or PNG format.

Performing Arts

Work samples submitted for review must not exceed 10 minutes total (not 10 minutes per work sample). Applicants may submit full-length work samples with detailed instructions for reviewing the maximum 10 minutes, such as timestamps indicating when to start and stop viewing.

  • Dance and Theatre: Submit no more than five video sample links. Video samples must be uploaded to YouTube.
  • Music: Submit no more than five audio or video sample links. Samples must be uploaded to SoundCloud or YouTube.
  • Storytelling: Submit no more than five video or audio sample links. Samples must be uploaded to SoundCloud or YouTube.

Folk Arts

Folk Arts include traditional storytelling, quilting, woodcarving, fiddling, ethnic or regional art forms, etc. A folk artist practices a living traditional art form learned within their folk art discipline. The art form must be important to the folk community and currently practiced. In addition to work samples, folk artists must include at least one letter of support written by a member of the folk group or community. It should explain why the artist represents artistic excellence based on the community’s aesthetics. For a step-by-step guide on preparing work samples, refer to the Work Sample Preparation Instructions.

Panel Meeting

A panel of arts professionals and other individuals with relevant experience will review all applications according to the performance expectations. Please be aware that panels may be comprised of individuals from both inside and outside Kentucky who may be unfamiliar with the state’s organizations, artists and communities.

Program Agreement Form

Successful applicants will receive a Program Agreement Form (PAF), which will detail benefits and responsibilities as an adjudicated participant of the Teaching Artists Directory. Successful applicants must agree to the terms, sign the form and return it to the arts council within 14 days if they choose to participate in the program.


There are no appeals in this program.

For More Information

The arts council welcomes all questions regarding this program. For more information, please contact::

Cynthia Warner
Arts Education Director