The Right Brain Initiative


Seeking teaching artists and arts organizations to help transform arts education.

August 19th, 2011 by brianalinden

The Right Brain Initiative calls for a new kind of education with an emphasis on creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication – natural areas of focus for the arts. At Right Brain, we know that the arts are natural passageways to other subject areas, just as they are to curiosity and discovery. Right Brain proposes to achieve systemic change by partnering our region’s artists/arts organizations and school communities to transform educational practice.

If you are an arts educator who is interested in partnering with Right Brain, join us to learn more at an informational meeting on either September 1 or September 13. See below for more details.

We seek artists and arts organizations to apply for our 2012-13 roster who:

  • work in any visual, movement, theater, music or literary discipline
  • have previous experience teaching K-8 students in a classroom setting
  • are passionate about arts integration
  • delight in collaborative planning
  • are dedicated to professional development and reflective practices
  • reside in the area Right Brain serves: Clackamas, Multnomah or Washington counties
  • for organizations: are not-for-profit in nature

Right Brain partnering artists and arts organizations join us with the aim of exploring their own teaching practice as they plan arts experiences with classroom teachers, designing programming that folds the goals of the classroom into the breadth of their own artistic medium. They use the richness of their artistic discipline as a jumping-off point to teach students to be dynamic, creative problem-solvers; thinking and imagining. Thus, students take part in powerful arts experiences with teaching artists while curriculum is deepened through collaboration so that the synergistic learning continues after the artist has left.

Our investment in our teaching artists starts early, with this application process.  Just as we seek to make deep and lasting change within our regional educational system, so have we crafted an application process that both requires time and dedication of prospective applicants and allows us to really get to know the artists and arts organizations that are interested in partnering with us.  We’ve set up number of check points to make sure those who move through the full application process meet our unique criteria.

Here is how the application process begins:

(1)    Submit Letter of Intent by September 20 (see form below)

(2)    Teaching artist/arts organization applicants who meet the basic qualifications in the LOI will attend one Right Brain foundational professional development session in early October. In this full-day session (a required part of the process and free of charge to applicants), our nationally renowned professional development partner Deb Brzoska will facilitate interactive explorations of Right Brain goals, providing an overview of Right Brain instructional practice and the research that supports the power of active learning.

(3)    In a meeting immediately following the session, staff will outline the steps of the application process, and applications will be made available to those participants who recognize that teaching with The Right Brain Initiative aligns with their artistic and educational objectives.

(4)    Full applications will then be due at the end of October.

Applicants that are selected for the Right Brain roster will be eligible to work beginning in the 2012-13 school year, although they will engage with Right Brain partners throughout the 2011-12 school year including attending additional paid professional development sessions.

Right Brain Letter of Intent for Prospective Teaching Artists/Orgs  (due September 20 by email)

If you’d like to learn more about The Right Brain Initiative and the application process, please join us for an informational meeting:


Thursday, September 1 | 5—6pm
Portland Children’s Museum | Documentation Room | 4015 SW Canyon Rd, Portland


Tuesday, September 13 | 4—5pm 
Milepost 5 | The Old Chapel | 900 NE 81st Ave, Portland

18 Responses to:
Seeking teaching artists and arts organizations to help transform arts education.

  1. Cyndi Strid says:

    Greetings –

    I attended the Right Brain Initiative workshop in June and would like to apply to become an artist involved in the project. I am trained as a pediatric occupational therapist, have an art degree from OCAC and am trained in using the Visual Thinking Strategies process. Please advise re: next steps. Cyndi Strid

  2. i’ve applied as a arts integration facilitator, but haven’t heard anything . Can you please let me know what’s happening?
    Thank you.
    Srule Brachman

    PS. I’d like to be a teaching artist !

  3. Patricia Aboussie says:

    Barbara Dibs suggested I visit your website and I’m impressed by what you do. I’m an art educator and would love to work with you, so if there’s a time to come in to meet you and talk, I’d love to sign up on that list. Thanks for your time, and I hope we meet and chat in the near future! Lots to talk about, I promise! -Patricia Aboussie

  4. Marilyn Young says:


    I am interested in learning more about the teaching artist positions available with The Right Brain Initiative. I understand there are information sessions in September that may answer my questions. However, I live in Seattle and have one question that knowing the answer to will help me decide if I will want to attend an information session to learn more.
    My familiarity with teaching artists, is that they typically teach their art solo usually in an afterschool program. What I am trying to understand, based on the online job description, if these teaching artist positions are slightly different…
    Do Right Brain Teaching Artists teach solo or collaborate and co-teach with classroom teachers? Do the Teaching Artists assist classroom teachers with adding the arts to their existing curriculum? Would you mind explaining this a bit more for me?
    I appreciate it.

    Thank you

  5. Hello,
    I am a teaching artist, offering multi media classes to enrich children’s innate creativity. I’m very interested in working with this program in Portland. I hope to hear back. Thank you.

  6. James, Right Brain Implementatino Intern says:


    Your next step is to attend an informational meeting. Please refer back to the blog posting for dates and times. We look forward to hearing from you!


    James, Right Brain Implementation Intern

  7. James, Right Brain Implementatino Intern says:


    If you haven’t already, you should hear back from the appropriate staff member regarding the status of your AIF application within the next few days. For more information about becoming a teaching artist, please attend an informational meeting outlined in the blog posting.



  8. James, Right Brain Implementatino Intern says:


    We are excited to hear about your interest in Right Brain! For more information and the next steps, please attend one of the two information meetings outlined in the blog posting.



  9. James, Right Brain Implementatino Intern says:


    Thank you for your interest in Right Brain. All teaching artists must reside in the tri-county area listed in the blog posting. If you are planning a move to Portland, please attend one of the two informational meetings outlined in the blog posting.
    And to answer your question with regards to artist/teacher collaboration, teaching artists and classroom teachers work together to co-plan and co-design the curriculum.

    I hope this answers your questions!



  10. This is very exciting! There is so much need for arts in the classroom, especially now that arts have been cut once again from the public schools!

  11. I’d like to volunteer as a teaching artist:
    (1) 15 years, Director of MS and HS Strings, Jakarta International School; (2)Currently teach violin/viola with Multnomah Arts Center (PDX Bureau of Parks/Recreation); (3) Freelance violist here in PDX, incl. Portland Opera and Portland Ballet; (4) Ph.D. in nonprofit management; currently writing chapter on NGO management for Routledge Guide to Nonprofit Organizations; (5) Juilliard trained (BM, MM).
    Thank you!
    Sharon Eng

  12. I will love getting involved with “The Right Brain Innitiative”
    I have Volunteer taught Art Literacy for the past 5 years at Nancy Ryles Elementary,several grade levels from 1st-5th. Also was the Junior Achievement Facilitator 2010-2011 School year, for two 2nd Grade Classes. I love teaching kids and learning with them.It is a never ending process of selfdiscovery…I am a professional Encaustic Fine Arts Painter and would love if possible, to incorporate the ancient Art of Encaustic painting in your current program.I give individual Art Classes as well as Workshops at my Art Studio at “MilePost5” for kids from 5 to 100. I am the Secretary and Moderator for the “International Encaustic Artists” PDX Chapter.I am a member of OSA and will be the featured Speaker in November 2011… “Raising the awareness of Encaustic painting in PDX”s Art and Culture Community.
    I will be attending your introduction of “The Right Brain Innitiative” tomorrow Tues September 13th at “MilePost5”. I look forward to talking with you in person.I love and admire the RACC and would be extremely proud to be a part of this program.
    Warmly, Manuela Kalestiantz

  13. Hallo,
    I’m really interested in applying for the artist positions available with The Right Brain Initiative.I’m a choreographer, and I do a lot of integrating, socially engaged work. Unfortunately I can’t attend today’s meeting – I have another work obligations I couldn’t avoid. Where can I download the letter of intent and /or application form?
    thank you!

  14. Rebecca says:

    Hi Agnieszka, You can download the letter of intent right here on this blog post. See the link right above the list of information meetings.

  15. Hello,
    When will we hear about the next step in the process for teaching artists with Right Brain? Thank you.

  16. Count me in, I’ve taught at Portland’s the N.W. Academy and through the S.U.N. program at Gresham’s H.B.Lee public middle school. It was my pleasure to attend both your initial kick off event at the P.C.P.A. and subsequent public showcase held at John Ross Tower. So much Fabulous work you’re doing.
    I would love to do my part!
    Ellis Christopher
    Educator, Artist, Photographer

  17. Sally Nelson says:

    I am very interested in your program and have been a primary school teacher for 20 plus years as well as a process arts teacher in the Children’s Art Institute. I work with seniors with the arts as well. Please let me know the next steps in the application process. Thank you

  18. Siche says:

    I am a spoken word artist and educator and am interested in attending an info session in Spetember, but it looks like the dates and days do not correlate. Is the date or the day correct? Or am I looking at last years dates on the blog above?

    Thank you,

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