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About Art21 Educators

As a year-long intensive experience, the Art21 Educators program encourages teachers to consider new ways that contemporary art can support teaching and learning both in the arts and when the arts are brought into the classroom to enrich and deepen learning in other disciplines.

This program provides a unique opportunity for participating educators to develop in the following areas:

  • Use Art21 and other resources to develop greater knowledge of and expanded perspectives about contemporary art, artists, and themes;
  • Use Art21 and experiences with contemporary art, artists, and themes to support innovative curriculum development and teaching across disciplines;
  • Use documentation and reflection practices that capture changes in personal growth, student learning, and classroom culture;
  • Participate in a professional learning community of supportive and reflective educational practitioners.

More information

Summer in the City

The program begins with the Summer Institute in New York City. Over the course of six days, participants work with Art21 staff, visiting artists, and guest presenters to develop their familiarity with contemporary art and artists. Educators learn new teaching strategies related to contemporary art and interdisciplinary pedagogy. They explore ways to use Art21 films and educational materials in the classroom, consider new documentation practices, and engage in collaborative reflection in support of their continued participation in the program throughout the year.

All participants receive an assortment of Art21 physical materials and an introduction to a variety of online media resources and strategies for teaching with contemporary art using Art21 films and artists. Participants design and develop curriculum, watch and talk about films, visit museums and galleries, and hear from artists and other educators. Teachers return to their classrooms with a unique unit of study that they have designed to teach during the school year, as well as lesson ideas and resources generated by fellow participants.

Past sessions included:

  • Contemporary art in contemporary classrooms
  • Exploring contemporary questions
  • Interdisciplinary perspectives and contemporary art
  • Curating the classroom
  • Technology tutorials and filming workshops
  • Studio visits and guest presenters. Participating artists in past years have included: Laylah Ali, Janine Antoni, Abigail DeVille, Mark Dion, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Oliver Herring, Mary Mattingly, Allan McCollum, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Arlene Shechet, Shahzia Sikander, Jessica Stockholder, and Fred Wilson.

Hear from alumni about the program.

Online During the Academic Year

Art21 Educators continues during the school year through monthly online meetings that build on the momentum of the Summer Institute. Through these meetings, the program introduces participants to new resources and supports continued curriculum planning and teaching during the school year. A private Google Classroom allows participants to share documentation of their current work (video, photography, and writing) and receive feedback from peers and Art21 Education staff to reflect on and enhance their teaching.


If selected to participate in Art21 Educators, you will be paired with a mentor who is an alumni of the Art21 Educators Program for the school year. Your mentor will also attend the Summer Institute, and you will meet with your mentor once a month (both individually and in small groups) from August 2019 through May 2020.


Each year a select number of educators from across the United States are asked to participate. Participants include a diverse group of teachers who represent rural, urban, and suburban demographics, varied school and student populations, and a range of subject areas and grade levels.

Although the program does not require any specific technology experience or video production skills, teachers must have a willingness to learn about and use video and online networking forums with training provided by Art21.
Participants are expected to participate fully in all aspects of the program, including ongoing documentation of their teaching, peer support through online forums, and program evaluation during over the course of the entire programmatic year.

For more information, please watch our Summer Institute film.

Program Fees

Accepted participants are charged a $475 registration fee to participate in the full year of the program. This fee includes participation in the Summer Institute, webinar forums and social networking applications presented throughout the year.

Alumni attending summer institutes are charged a $100 program fee to cover the cost of materials.
Participants must also pay for travel and living costs affiliated with attending the Summer Institute in New York City. Accepted participants can request to stay in housing arranged by Art21.

Scholarship Opportunities 

Art21 offers limited scholarships to teachers who would not otherwise be able to attend the annual Summer Institute. Scholarship awards include housing booked by Art21 for the week at no cost to the awardee and a travel stipend of $500 to cover the cost of getting to and around New York City. Art21 scholarships do not cover food or entertainment costs.

To apply, interested applicants should send a brief essay (no longer than one page) explaining why they are deserving of a scholarship to attend the Institute and how their participation will impact their students and school community. Scholarship Applications must be sent as PDF files to Education [at] Art21 [dot] org by April 03, 2020, Midnight EST to be considered. Please title the email ‘Scholarship Application’ and include your full name and contact information in the body of the email. Awardees will be notified no later than April 30, 2020.  

Academic Credit

Accepted educators are able to receive a total of 6 graduate credits from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design for participation in the full year of the program. Participants are responsible for paying the additional cost for the credits. Once accepted to the program, program participants will receive more information and a registration form.  If educators are able to get credit through their local school system, Art21 will supply any necessary paperwork or further information to help the educator.