The First International Teaching Artist Conference

Sted: Litteraturhuset i Oslo

Verdens første internasjonale konferanse om Teaching Artistry.

We invited artists, arts educators, administrators and interested professionals from all over the world to join us for an unprecedented three days of inquiry into this worldwide phenomenon, this rich opportunity, this growing trend.

Altogether, more than 120 delegates attended the conference, representing over 20 countries and six continents.

The unprecedented program included keynotes from world leading professionals in the field:

  • ERIC BOOTH (Teaching artist, international consultant, often called the father of the teaching artist profession) USA
  • ANNA CUTLER (Director of Learning) Tate Museums; a leading innovator in the field) United Kingdom
  • GIGI ANTONI (CEO/President of Big Thought, Dallas, USA, former teaching artist and national leader in arts education change) USA
Four practical teaching artist SESSIONS was presented by professionals in pairs that include a practicing teaching artist and a colleague who can illuminate the distinctive cultural context and purpose of the work in their country:
  • GRACE GACHOCHA (Theatre artist/teaching artist) and AMANDINA LIHAMBA (Theatre professor) Tanzania
  • HILARY EASTON (Dance artist/teaching artist) and SARAH JOHNSON (Director Weill Music Institute AT Carnegie Hall), USA
  • JUAN FELIPE MOLANO (Music conductor/educator) and JUAN ANTONIO CUELLAR (Professor and President of Batuta El Sistema of Colombia), Colombia
  • MARIT MOLTU (Visual artist/ teaching artist) and MARIT ULVUND (Ass. professor/Director Seanse) Norway
Three experienced commentators with international perspectives culminated the Conference:
  • Professor Brad Haseman, Australia
  • Actor/director Johannes Joner, Norway
The conference hosts were Eric Booth and Marit Ulvund.


Read the full program here.


Eric Booth in the Teaching Artist Journal on the conference’s impact here.


Photos from the conference:




Gigi Antoni – USA

Giselle “Gigi” Antoni has served for 17 years as Executive Director then President/CEO of Big Thought, a Dallas-based nonprofit that utilizes creativity and collaboration to provide equitable learning opportunities for students and families. Gigi was named a Champion of Change by the White House for her convening role in Thriving Minds, a citywide initiative that joins the City of Dallas, the Dallas Independent School District, Big Thought and more than 100 other organizations to connect the Dallas community with more and better educational activities through joint cooperation.

Gigi has also become an eminent lecturer and consultant who assists cities and nonprofits throughout the U.S. and internationally work towards innovative nonprofit delivery, moving beyond “pockets of excellence” into streamlined programs valued by communities as a whole.

Gigi has served on numerous local, state and national committees, boards and juries. Nationally, she has worked with the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities Coming Up Taller Awards; the National Endowment for the Arts; The Community Arts Education Leadership Institute; The Partnership for Arts, Culture and Education; The Kennedy Center Imagination Celebration; National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program and the National Working Group of the Arts for Learning organization. On the state level, Gigi has worked with The Texas Commission on the Arts: Arts-in-Education Working Group and The Texas Coalition of Quality Arts Education. Gigi is also a member of the Dallas Assembly.

In 2010, Gigi was honored with the National Arts Leadership Award from the National Guild for Community Arts Education.In 2005, Gigi was selected for the prestigious Local Hero award, given by Bank of America. She is a Fellow of the British-American Project, which creates sharing and exchange between top young leaders from each country.

Her alma maters are Stephen F. Austin State University, the University of Texas at Arlington and the Drama Studio London at Berkeley where she graduated with distinction. Gigi resides in Dallas with her husband Dana Mullen and daughter Analise.

Eric Booth – USA

As an actor, Eric Booth has performed in many plays on Broadway. As a businessman, he started a small company, Alert Publishing, that in seven years became the largest of its kind in the U.S. analyzing research on trends in American lifestyles. As an author, he has had five books published. The Everyday Work of Art won three awards and was a Book of the Month Club selection, and The Music Teaching Artist’s Bible, was published by Oxford University Press.  He has written dozens of magazine articles, was the Founding Editor of the quarterly Teaching Artist Journal.

In arts learning, he has been on the faculty of Juilliard (13 years), and been on the faculties at Stanford University, New York University, Tanglewood and Lincoln Center Institute (for 25 years), and he has given classes for every level from kindergarten through graduate school; he has given workshops at over 30 universities, and 60 cultural institutions. He started the Art and Education as well as the Mentoring programs at Juilliard. He has designed and led over twenty research projects and worked with teachers in over 50 school districts on ways to increase the presence of arts in their schools. He was the Faculty Chair of the Empire State Partnership program for three years (the largest arts-in-education project in schools in America), and he held one of six chairs on The College Board’s Arts Advisory Committee for seven years. He serves as a consultant for many organizations, cities and states, universities, school districts, businesses around the country, including seven of the ten largest U.S. orchestras, and five national service organizations. Formerly the Founding Director of the Teacher Center of the Leonard Bernstein Center (now on the Board of Directors), he is a frequent keynote speaker on the arts to groups of all kinds. He is the Senior Advisor to the El Sistema movement in the U.S. He was asked to give the closing keynote address to UNESCO’s first ever worldwide arts education conference.

Juan Antonio Cuellar – Colombia

Doctor in Music from Indiana University, Juan Antonio Cuellar is a Colombian composer with wide national and international recognition. Former Dean of the School of Arts at Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, he is since 2008 the Executive President of Batuta – National Foundation of Youth Orchestras of Colombia, an organization created in 1991 currently attending 47.000 underprivileged young people from ages 2 to 19 in 110 cities and towns throughout the country.

As a teacher, he is part of the music faculty at Universidad Javeriana since 1994, where he teaches composition and music theory at graduate and undergraduate levels. His work in Batuta has brought international attention to the development of what it is now the second largest program of its kind in the world, after Venezuela’s.

Anna Cutler – United Kingdom

Over the last 20 years Anna has worked across education and cultural settings at a local, national and international level. Her purpose has been to explore and improve the impact of cultural interventions on a variety of different learning environments. Amongst other things, she has been a festival director, an academic, an administrator and producer. Her work has ranged from Lecturer (University of North London) to Festival Director (Young at Art, Northern Ireland) and she has worked across disciplines with organisations such as The Place Theatre, Dance Umbrella, Cultural Industry and Imagine Belfast.

After four years as Creative Director, Creative Partnerships Kent; where she was involved with international research into learning within the visual arts; Anna joined Tate as Head of Learning at Tate Modern in 2006.

In November 2009, she was appointed Tate’s first Director of Learning, and through this role is ensuring that learning is at the heart of Tate in the future.

Hillary Easton – USA

Hilary Easton is the Artistic Director of Hilary Easton + Company, an NYC-based contemporary dance company established in 1992, which has performed at venues including American Dance Festival, The Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church, Dance Theater Workshop, PS 122, Carnegie Hall, The University of Texas, Central Park Summerstage, The Center for Contemporary Arts of Santa Fe, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, The Yard, Mount Tremper Arts, Bard College at Simon’s Rock College, Baryshnikov Arts Center, and the 92Y-Harkness Dance Festival. Ms. Easton’s work has been hailed by The New York Times as “so engaging and intelligent. She choreographs like a poet, weaving together piercing, elliptical observations. And she knows her dancers lovingly and well.”

In addition to her own company, Ms. Easton has choreographed for companies/artists including The Talking Band, The Joffrey II, Headwaters Dance Company, Spectrum Dance Theater, and the Mettawee Theater Company. As a dancer Ms. Easton has performed with a wide range of choreographers including Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane and Company, Kinematic, and XXY Dance/Music.

Ms. Easton has taught at Princeton University, Connecticut College, The University of Montana, and New York University Tisch School of the Arts. A former teaching artist, she is the Educational Consultant for The New York Philharmonic School Partnership Program, training and supporting its teaching artist faculty, and has worked with many arts organizations including Lincoln Center Institute, VSArts and Carnegie Hall. She recently joined the faculty of the Juilliard School, teaching Dance Composition.

Grace Gachocha – Tanzania

Grace Gachocha graduated in 2008 with an honors in BA Culture and Heritage from University of Dar es Salaam specializing in Sociology and Theatre and has  been a drama teacher at Haven of Peace Academy since 2009 until the present, where she is developing she is developing the Creative Arts Department. Beginning as a teaching artist with the International Theatre and Literacy Project in 2008 and 2011, she facilitated professional development workshops for teachers at Nkoanrua Secondary school Summer 2010 & 2011 for ITLP, and was promoted to be the Tanzanian Director of ITLP in 2010  through the present. This program brings experienced theatre teaching artists from the U.S. to work in intensive playwrighting workshops with Tanzanian teenagers. She was hired by Urban Gateways to work with inner city youth in Chicago during the summer of 2009. Grace is also a key leader for an outreach program with Tanzanian youth living near the school in a quarry who have nowhere to play, engaging them in sports and games, drama, music, and crafts.

Brad Haseman – Australia

Formerly a drama teacher and advisor in Queensland secondary schools Brad Haseman has worked as a teacher and researcher for over 30 years pursuing his fascination with the aesthetics and forms of contemporary performance and pedagogy. He is known as a passionate advocate for the arts in Australian schools and served for more than a decade on committees concerned with the provision and delivery of the arts in Queensland schools.

Brad is recognised for his contribution to the fields of educational drama, process drama and applied performance. In recent years he has been an invited keynote speaker and workshop leader in Singapore, Canada, Norway, The Netherlands and Austria. His work also takes him throughout the Pacific where he has taught and given workshops in the Solomon Islands, PNG and Kiribati in the Central Pacific.

Brad a member of the Australia Council for the Arts where he chairs the Community Partnerships Committee which offers a range of programs to support community based arts and culture, including community cultural development. Since commencing this role in 2008 Brad is actively involved with the Australia Council’s current strategic priorities for the Arts in Education, Artist in Residence programs for Australian schools and communities and building a knowledge hub for the arts in Australia.

Sarah Johnson – USA

As Director of The Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall, Sarah Johnson is responsible for developing and overseeing all educational and community activities at Carnegie Hall on a local, national, and international level, annually serving over 350,000 children, students, teachers, parents, young music professionals, and adults in the New York City metropolitan area, across the United States, and around the world. During her time at Carnegie Hall, Ms. Johnson has launched numerous programs including the award-winning Musical Connections, which uses teaching artists to serve people in acute need in healthcare settings, correctional facilities including juvenile justice centers, homeless shelters, and senior service organizations; The Achievement Program, a national music assessment program in partnership with Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music, and the recently announced National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, which will have its first season in the summer of 2013.

Prior to joining Carnegie Hall in April 2007, Ms. Johnson served as Director of Education and Community Partnerships at The Philadelphia Orchestra. Ms. Johnson has helped to develop and/or lead professional development programs for musicians from the Philadelphia Orchestra, Saint Louis Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, and Tanglewood. Ms. Johnson has also worked as a teaching artist with the New York Philharmonic and Lincoln Center Institute. A graduate from the Juilliard School, Ms. Johnson received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in oboe performance.

Johannes Joner – Norway

Johannes Joner is a Norwegian actor and director, known for his work on television, stage and screen. He has played in over twenty movies, numerous TV-series and is part of Oslo Nye Teater’s actor ensemble. Johannes is passionate about art in education and has participated in numerous projects in this regard. This work includes writing and directing the feature film “Respekt” (a cooperative project with Nordisk Film) about school dropouts, participating in a theater project in East-Congo, serving on SEANSE’s Artistic Advisory Board and is a partaking in SEANSE’s Teaching Artist program.

Johannes Joner has been awarded Hans Christian Ostrøs Memorial Prize for his work in East-Congo and the Kosmorama  Prize for best debut and youth film (“Respekt”).

Juan Felipe Molano – Colombia

Juan Felipe Molano is currently National Orchestral Director of Batuta Colombian National System of Youth Orchestras, Music Director of Batuta Bogota Youth Symphony Orchestra, Valle Youth Symphony Orchestra and Advisor of the Youth Orchestra of Salinas (California). He became Music Director and Principal Conductor of Yucatan Symphony Orchestra in Mexico from 2003-2008, which has since become one of the Mexico’s most prestigious orchestra.

European appearances include orchestras in Spain, Italy, Germany and Austria.  Molano has led prominent orchestras of Mexico, Colombia and Brazil. He graduated with honors from the Vienna Conservatory, where he studied orchestra conducting with Georg Mark and Reinhard Schwarz.

Currently conducting professor of National University of Colombia, Maestro Molano divide his musical activities between pedagogy and conducting.

Marit Moltu – Norway

Marit Moltu has worked with objects and installations since 1975. Educated mainly in Germany, she has a strong connection to West-German artistic-movements, where in particular the constructivist and minimalistic genres have inspired her work. Marit has participated in a long series of Norwegian and international events (such as the UNESCO World Heritage Project in the Geiranger fjord), in addition to over thirty solo exhibitions in Norway. The main focus of her work is however temporal art – projects centered on environments, installations, actions and performances – and “pictorial movements”.

In addition to her work as an artist she has been active in school settings in cooperation with regional and national institutions, museums and schools – in particular in inter-disciplinary cooperation with other artists.

Richard Ndunguru – Tanzania

Richard Ndunguru is an Instructor at the Department of fine and performing arts of the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

He has a speciality in Theatre and Media studies. Richard has worked in a number of research projects that employ the Theatre for Development process, and recently he has embarked into using this process to come up with Film for Development. He has worked with children and youths in summer camps, facillitates after school projects, and works with vulnerable youths to spot talents.