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