Happy Half-Birthday, ALT/space!

ALT/space online is six months old!  During this time we have been diligently producing monthly posts and, here at the half-year mark, I am noticing an interesting shift.  All along I knew we were working hard, but still I am surprised how quickly we have moved into new, interesting, thought provoking and generative terrain.  What’s exciting about this, to me, is that we are forging this new territory simply through regular written reflection (and some really great pictures…)

 From Shaqe Kalaj’s post By Foot.

Part of the shift involves the expansion and diversification of ALT/space and the individual TA stories it presents.  Over ten new contributors have joined our original group from August 2011 and are competently adding to our library of stories of TA practice.

Some of our new contributors are also new TAs, in the first year, or less, of their chosen profession.  Despite this, or maybe because of it, they are already making contributions to our field.  The addition of these new ‘new voices’ is part of our vision for ALT/space, including Amelia Hutchison’s post Art Behind Bars, and Suzanne Makol’s reflection on her participation in the Teaching Artist Design Studio.

From Mark Dzula’s Letter to Ardina: 4th Graders Make Aesthetic Decisions.

Our geographical reach is expanding as well.  In addition to U.S. contributors from fifteen different states, we have gained three more, from Canada, the United Kingdom and Peru.  This is the first step in creating what I hope will become a truly three-dimensional collection of narratives about what it means to be an artist who teaches.

From Carol Ng-He’s post The Blue House.

Finally, since the turn of the New Year I’ve been flooded with stories from well-established TAs, including posts from Chio Flores and Emma Bolden, illustrating new approaches to teaching.  I think this particular subject has endless, and deep, potential as a writing topic.  The willingness to entertain new methods and attitudes (or, more likely, to invent such methods) points to the very nature of our work and to the nature of the creative arc that guides our practice as both artists and teachers.

From Ryan Conarro’s Really Worth Something.

In another six months our inaugural contributors will be wrapping up their time with ALT/space.  I can only imagine how much I will miss reading about their work on a regular basis.   Because ALT/space is structured on a six- to twelve-month commitment, we will always be in need of new voices.  If you are interested in adding yourself to the mix, please do not hesitate to contact me.

And, as always, we welcome your voice, experience and perspective in other ways as well.  You can respond to individual posts or by staying in touch through the Teaching Artist Journal Facebook page.  We hope to hear from you!

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