N.C. Arts Council Awards Statewide Initiative Grant to N.C. Central University’s Teaching Artist Certificate Program

RALEIGH

The North Carolina Arts Council has awarded the Teaching Artist Certificate Program of North Carolina Central University (NCCU) a statewide initiative grant.

“The North Carolina Central University Teaching Artist Certificate Program is honored to be a recipient of the North Carolina Arts Council Statewide Initiative Grant,” said Lenora Helm Hammonds, D.M.A, NCCU associate professor and director of the Teaching Artist Certificate program. “The grant further underscores the importance of teaching artists in North Carolina and how their work is paramount to cultivating thriving communities and art-rich experiences for youth, adults, and families.”

Established in 2017, NCCU's Teaching Artist Certificate Program offers comprehensive, online job-readiness training customized for artists whose work is learner-centered and focused on community engagement. Students learn skills such as how to design and implement arts experiences for general audiences, manage auditorium performances, engage in school residencies, and develop cultural arts programs for educational and community-based organizations. Graduates of the program have found placements in schools, arts organizations, hospitals, and social service agencies.

“The NCCU Teaching Artist Certificate Program experience was an eye opener especially when learning the various teaching theories. This information provided depth and a more holistic approach when teaching my students,” said jazz and gospel musician Lydia Salett Dudley, a 2021 graduate of the program. “I am implementing the projects and presentations that we prepared during the courses as a part of my curriculum teaching at-risk youth in a weekly program.”

The grant award will help the program enhance its curriculum by paying guest artists to engage with students, develop teaching artist partnerships with communities across the state, promote statewide enrollment, and raise awareness about the teaching artist profession. NCCU is accepting applications for the program; the deadline is Dec. 1.

For decades, the North Carolina Arts Council has invested in teaching artists by providing grants to schools and nonprofit organizations for artist programs that serve preK-12 students and other learners across the state. Many of North Carolina’s teaching artists have also benefited from Artist Support Grants, funded by the Arts Council and administered at the local level. From museums and schools to senior care facilities and prisons, teaching artists work as educators in a variety of contexts. Facilitating creative experiences through activities such as workshops, lectures/demonstrations, and community and school-based residencies, teaching artists connect people to the learning, healing, and life-affirming power of the arts.

“Teaching artists really do like being in community and using the arts to build resilience, process trauma and social isolation, and promote community wellness,” says the Arts Council’s Arts in Education Program Director Kathleen Collier. “NCCU’s program provides job readiness skills for artists across the state who want to develop meaningful arts experiences for a variety of audiences. It also addresses the lack of diversity and access to training in this profession. Because it’s an online program, it can be really convenient for artists who have full-time jobs or who don’t live near the university.”

The Arts Council's partnership with NCCU's Teaching Artist Certificate Program began in 2020, when the agency collaborated with the program’s director, Lenora Helm Hammonds, D.M.A., to facilitate a biweekly online forum: Teaching Artist Tuesdays. The series of lessons provided instruction and support for North Carolina’s teaching artists as they navigated the COVID-19 landscape. That same year, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded $60,000 to the program for operating costs, scholarships, and visits by guest artists.

“The Teaching Artist Certificate program plays a major role in North Carolina Central University’s efforts to promote the arts and art education in our communities, said Carlton Wilson, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities at NCCU. “The support provided by the N.C. Arts Council will allow us to expand our outreach and increase accessibility for those who will benefit from the certification.”

For more information about the NCCU Teaching Artist Certificate Program, please visit here or contact Dr. Lenora Helm Hammonds at LHelm@nccu.edu.

To apply to NCCU’s Teaching Artist Certificate Program, please visit this link.

About North Carolina Central University
North Carolina Central University (NCCU) prepares students to succeed in the global marketplace. Consistently ranked as a top Historically Black College or University, NCCU’s flagship programs in the sciences, education, law, business, nursing and the arts prepare students for professions ranging from clinical research to information science. Founded in 1910, NCCU remains committed to diversity in and access to higher education. With a mission to investigate health disparities, the university’s two state-of-the-art research institutes give students real-world experience working alongside faculty researchers and pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry professionals. The university’s Strategic Plan 2019-2024, Charting a New Landscape for Student-Center Success, focuses on four areas: student access and success; innovation, research and entrepreneurship; collaboration and partnerships; and institutional sustainability. Visit www.nccu.edu. 

About the North Carolina Arts Council
The North Carolina Arts Council builds on our state’s long-standing love of the arts, leading the way to a more vibrant future. The Arts Council is an economic catalyst, fueling a thriving nonprofit creative sector that generates $2.12 billion in annual direct economic activity. The Arts Council also sustains diverse arts expression and traditions while investing in innovative approaches to art-making. The North Carolina Arts Council has proven to be a champion for youth by cultivating tomorrow’s creative citizens through arts education. NCArts.org.