What is ITAC? 

ITAC is an acronym for the International Teaching Artist Conference (a biennial gathering for artists who work in community and educational settings, and those who work with them) and for the International Teaching Artist Collaboration (a standing committee that advances the work of this global field and oversees the development of each biennial conference).


What is a Teaching Artist? 

The term Teaching Artist was born in the U.S. in the 1970s to describe artists who expand their work beyond traditional presentation to include direct work with participants in many locations, for many purposes.  There are other terms that identify the same workforce of practitioners who gather at ITAC; some other titles include “artist educator,” “community artist,” “artist working in participatory setting,” “citizen artist,” “artist-in-residence” and more.  Don’t let semantics get in the way of your participation.


Who does ITAC serve?

With its commitment to the quality, visibility, and impact of the work of “teaching artists,” it is fair to say ITAC serves the practitioners, those who provide the infrastructure that empowers their work, and the participants who benefit from enriched practice and global connections.


Where are ITAC conferences held?

Leading organizations in a city join as partners to host each ITAC conference.  Each conference represents the work of a country and its host city, rather than the work of any single organization and offers a platform for showcasing practice from around the world.  Prospective hosts submit a proposal to the ITAC Collaborative as the first step in the selection process.  The host city for the next conference is usually announced at the ITAC Conference.  Previous host cities have been Oslo (2012), Brisbane (2014), Edinburgh (2016), and next, New York (2018).


Who should attend ITAC conferences?

ITAC conferences are primarily for the artists who work in community and educational settings around the world. The conference also welcomes administrators, funders, researchers and students with a strong stake in the work of “teaching artists.”


If I can’t afford to attend as a delegate, how can I connect with ITAC?

We recognize that schedules and expenses can be prohibitive for individuals, so we urge colleagues to find a sponsoring organization or to apply for one of our limited number of scholarships that pay part or most of expenses.  Beginning with ITAC4, we anticipate lively ways to participate in the conference virtually from anywhere through the internet.


Other than present conferences, what else does ITAC do? 

Beginning with ITAC2, projects began to emerge from ITAC conferences.  The scope of these exchanges and ongoing partnerships is still modest, but they grow with each conference.  The ITAC Collaborative is also growing slowly toward additional services that happen between conferences to support the field. As an all-volunteer endeavor, the ITAC Collaborative hopes to secure modest funding in the future that will enable it to expand its services to the global field.


Who runs ITAC?

The ITAC Collaborative is comprised of past hosts of ITAC Conferences, plus founder Eric Booth.  They make decisions as a group, led by a Chairperson from the most recent conference.  Individual conferences form their own planning team from host organizations who design and lead their conference, in communication with the ITAC Collaborative.


Does ITAC have a headquarters and staff?

No, the ITAC Collaborative is an all-volunteer group of previous hosts who volunteer their time.  While we hope to secure funding in the future to pay staff that can expand services, currently there is no office nor paid staff.


Apart from ITAC, how can I connect with artists around the world who work in community and education settings?

The field of teaching artists (or other titles) is not well connected, and only a few countries have reasonably well established national networks.  This mostly results from the newness of the field, and from its hybrid nature, falling between the better-networked fields of professional artists and professional educators.  However, it is a growing and friendly field that builds on personal connections and is forming networks.  This website will list network connections as we find them.  We encourage initiative by individuals to help pioneer the growth of this field.