Artists in Schools & Communities

Artist Residency

Bringing local artists, schools, and communities together.

An Artist Residency Project is designed to have lasting benefits for all of the participants: students are fully immersed in an art form and see how it connects to life and learning, teachers are exposed to alternative ways of experiencing and sharing the creative process and what it brings to their classrooms, and administrators realize the ways in which the arts fully engage students and impact their learning across the curriculum.

PCA&M places great emphasis on recruiting professional, trained, practicing artists to work in our programs as part of the mission. Artists are accepted into the program based on the quality of their artwork, their familiarity with best practices in arts in education and community artmaking, and their abilities as communicators, educators and facilitators.

Through residencies in dance, craft, music, folk arts, theater, media arts, literature, visual and interdisciplinary arts, schools, community organizations, and service agencies can expect to improve themselves and strengthen their communities. By immersing participants in the creative process from beginning to end, and giving them ownership of the process, Resident Artists model the needed focus and rigor of their school and life.

Artists of all Disciplines

We have over 40 Resident Artists in our program including visual artists, media artists, dancers, folk artists, musicians, photographers, glass artists, craft artists, and writers.

browse resident artists

Project Highlights

Follow up with highlights from this year and years past to see what kind of amazing things our current resident artists have accomplished with schools and communities.

view project highlights

Exploring and Mapping Pennsylvania

In Fall 2019 Pittsburgh Center for Arts and Media and ArtsPath at IUP received funding from the PA Council on the Arts’ Arts in Education Partnership to implement two innovative Artist Residency Projects connecting students from two school districts. Participating 4th grade students/teachers in PCA&M’s residency project at Allison Park Elementary School, in the Chartiers-Houston School District, worked, learned, and created with talented Teaching Artist/Papermaker Katy DeMent and Visiting Artist/Illustrator Jayla Patton. Visiting Artist/Woodworker Linda Van Gehuchten worked with Katy and 3rd grade students/teachers at Dassa McKinney Elementary School in the Moniteau School District. Students at each school constructed 4’ X 6’ handmade paper maps full of imagery depicting Pennsylvania’s physical world and cultural/historical landmarks. Filmmaker Rishi Sethi documented the projects to create this Collaborative Arts in Education Story.

watch our Arts in Education Story video!

Love Cry, Speak Your Peace 2020

In Summer 2020, PCA&M Teaching Artist and Hip Hop producer Akil Esoon, artist Sarah Zeffiro, Center for Civic Arts, and CCA youth apprentice Ruqqiyah (Keya) Mosley facilitated "Speak your peace!" (A Hip Hop culture song & scrapbook during a pandemic and protest.) Community members were convened on Zoom from their home town of Wilkinsburg while also reaching participants in New York, Florida, Chicago, and as far away as London and Iceland for a 10-day virtual conversation. Participants spoke about peace, the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, the racially fueled protests, and global impact. Sarah Zeffiro created compelling graphic illustrations of daily discussions while Akil Esoon composed unifying chants and stimulating movements set to an original composition entitled “Love Cry” that features an original poem by Cat Reddington of Chicago and inspired by participants' conversations.

listen to Love Cry

Artist Residency Resources

Program Downloads

School Planning Form
Artist Plan for School Projects
Community Planning Form
Artist Plan for Community Projects
Photo Media Release Form
Sample Invoice
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Pennsylvania Council on the Arts

Through our partnership with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts’ Arts in Education Division, Pittsburgh Center for Arts and Media (PCA&M) offers Artist Residency Projects and other vital arts services to schools, community organizations, and nonprofit service agencies working with both children and adults in Allegheny, Beaver, Greene, and Washington counties.

Artist Residency Projects that are currently taking place or have recently been completed include: Bobtown Elementary in Greene County, Sacred Heart, Southwest Veterans Center, Pittsburgh Concord K-5, Borland Manor, Bethlehem-Center, Western Pennsylvania School for the Blind, Ringgold Elementary School South, AIU Academic Institute, Avonworth Primary and Middle Schools, POWER House, Familylinks, IU1 Colonial Campus, Pittsburgh Sunnyside PreK-8, Highland Middle School, South Allegheny Elementary School, Hill House/Sweetwater Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh Linden K-5, Falk School, South Fayette Intermediate School, Pittsburgh Beechwood PreK-5, Sisters of St. Francis at Mt. Alvernia, Wylandville Elementary School, Tree Pittsburgh, Ambridge Area Middle School, Penn Hills School District and plenty more!