TPAC now accepting applications for Wolf Trap teaching artists

Wolf Trap Teaching Artists Feature Photo

Photo by Mimosa Arts.

Wolf Trap Logo





The nonprofit Tennessee Performing Arts Center is currently accepting applications for teaching artists for its Wolf Trap Early Learning Through the Arts program.

Applications, due August 2, will be reviewed by TPAC education staff before applicants are brought in for interviews and auditions. Any applicants MUST be available the week of September 16-20, 2019.

Wolf Trap Early Learning Through the Arts is a nationally affiliated program that utilizes professional performing artists in the disciplines of music, dance, theatre, storytelling, and puppetry as powerful tools for educating preschool children. Teaching artists, working as independent contractors with TPAC, partner with early childhood educators for residencies within classrooms for 12 sessions during 6-7 weeks.

Teaching artists apply their arts knowledge and experience to create and lead activities targeting academic, social emotional, and physical developmental goals for 3- to 5-year-olds. Wolf Trap residencies and workshops provide training for teachers in arts-based strategies and techniques they can continue to employ with their students.

Learn more about the Nashville Wolf Trap program and the national Wolf Trap Institute.

Criteria for becoming a Wolf Trap teaching artist:

  • A minimum of three years of experience as a professional performing or teaching artist in the disciplines of music, dance, or drama including puppetry and storytelling
  • Possess a thorough knowledge of the elements, forms, processes, and skills for their performing arts discipline
  • Able to articulate the creative process in or through their performing arts discipline
  • Able to practice reflection and self-assessment about the processes and application of the art form
  • Classroom experience working with 3-5-year-old children
  • Respect and appreciation for young children of all cultures and from all backgrounds
  • Possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Demonstrates a professional manner with teacher collaborator: respectful of and inspires trust with partner, including but not limited to, being organized, well-prepared, punctual, reliable, and professionally dressed
  • Be adaptable, flexible and a good problem solver in a variety of situations and spaces
  • Must have reliable transportation and be willing to travel within Davidson County area
  • Complete successful personal interview, classroom audition (in August), and background check
  • Must attend full week of training, September 16 – 20, 2019, a mentorship, complete two concurrent classroom residencies, and mid-year training within the first year

Benefits of becoming a Wolf Trap teaching artist:

  • Become part of a national network of Wolf Trap teaching artists working with a nationally respected program leading the field of arts-integrated early childhood education and professional development since 1981
  • Join a cohort of excellent teaching artists with TPAC Education
  • Receive intensive training in the Wolf Trap model to become knowledgeable in the areas of developmentally appropriate practice, emergent literacy, developmental domains, and early childhood curriculum standards
  • Engage children’s imagination in the learning process and increase their enthusiasm for learning and the arts
  • Receive continuing professional development as a member of a select group of teaching artists
  • Be contracted to conduct Wolf Trap Institute residencies in local communities

Teaching Artist information:

  • Teaching artists are independent contractors; annual amount of work is not guaranteed.
  • Teaching artists are placed in 12-session classroom residencies partnering with preschool teachers.
  • Classroom sessions are 30 minutes long and are typically held twice a week, in the morning, and during the school year with a planning meeting and a workshop included in the residency.
  • Teaching artists are required to write and submit paperwork associated with each residency including lesson plans and evaluations.
  • New teaching artists are paid $150 per day for the first week of training, with additional pay for further trainings, meetings, and mentorships. The first two residencies are scheduled together and pay $500 for each residency as described above, with a fee increase after the first year.

How to apply:

Send an email with the items listed below and the subject “Wolf Trap Teaching Artist Application” to Lattie Brown, TPAC’s Senior Director of Special Projects for Education. Download a PDF version of the Wolf Trap application information,


Enclose a cover letter with a brief summary of why you want to work with early childhood educators and young children as a Wolf Trap teaching artist, based on the information on the previous page. Please indicate your understanding of the following:

  • If selected, you must be available and must commit to attending all five full days of training the week of September 16 – 20, 2019. Within the 2019-20 school year, you must be able to complete a fall mentorship and teach two spring classroom residencies, as well as attend additional trainings (to be scheduled at a later date based on availability).
  • You recognize and understand that Wolf Trap teaching artists are not employees of Tennessee Performing Arts Center or Wolf Trap Institute. As independent contractors you will receive a 1099 for tax filing purposes.

Enclose a resume that includes the following:

  • Professional experience as an artist
  • Education and training
  • Relevant work experience (not covered above)
  • Experience working in educational settings
  • Recent employment
  • Languages/other relevant skills including ELL or Special Needs experience
  • References

You also have the option to enclose a sample lesson plan for young children you have taught that includes a learning objective, an introduction or warm-up, the main body of the lesson, and a closing or a review experience.

TPAC is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.  No person will be discriminated or harassed because of race, religion, creed, color, gender, age (over 40), national origin, citizenship, veteran status, disability, sexual orientation or any other classification protected by federal and state law.