TA Advocate Eric Booth talks guts, bliss, & activating collective action

We continue the thread of advocates with this post by hearing from a longtime leader and advocate – Eric Booth. TAs often wait to earn titles, such as Master Teaching Artist. But why do we wait? Who designates us as a Master? Who elects us as leaders? What are we waiting for? What if the phone doesn’t ever ring for us? What if the email doesn’t come through? Must we wait? Perhaps this waiting is a consequence of the power dynamic we experience in our current relationships with the arts organizations that hire us.

You are a leader. We want you.

You are an advocate. We need you.

Don’t wait any longer. Elect, nominate, designate yourself Master, Leader, Advocate Teaching Artist (or whatever you seek out), and become one today! Adopt the phrase:

“As a Teaching Artist Leader, it is my responsibility to advocate for the field of teaching artistry.”

And then begin the work. Today.

Need some advocate and leader inspiration?

Eric might have a touch of inspiration for you. He responds to these four questions:

  • What is your creative superpower?
  • Why TAMA?
  • What message do you send your former self?
  • What burning question do you have about your work right now? Can our community help? Ask us anything!

What is your creative superpower?

Eric Booth, Teaching Artist Advocate and Leader

Gutman!  Over my many decades of making stuff I care about, I have developed a gut feel for when a choice is right (or not), a direction is promising (or not), a part (or whole) is complete, an opportunity is appearing. I can feel it more palpably now than when I was younger, and I trust it more now after such a long time as its follower. 

Why TAMA? 

There are mighty few organizations that support and tap the enormous potential of teaching artistry. TAMA is a growing adolescent and is finding near-adult ways to make an ever bigger difference. 

What message do you send your former self?  

Going back 50 years, as I was just finding my way out of school and into the world.  I would say, “That motto that you heard from Joseph Campbell—”follow your bliss”—I know it sounds hippy-like and quasi-irresponsible.  Well, trust it.  It actually works as a life guide.  The world does rise to ones passionate commitment; other people do join wholehearted commitments; and nothing creates sustainability more than loving what you’re doing.  It turns into enough money, and enough good work. Trust it.” 

What burning question do you have about your work right now? Can our community help? Ask us anything!

My two questions are:

  1. How do we activate teaching artist energies into collective action that is ingeniously targeted to amplify real change in the world?
  2. You ask this question too!  What funders care about supporting teaching artistry? Here is this sleeping giant of a workforce, that countless organizations are willing to rely on to accomplish their more essential, pioneering work; organizations that grantors fund well. Yet, funders are not willing to support the health, growth, and sustainability of the workforce their grantees rely on.  I am old now, and it pisses me off.  I still believe there are funders out there who would care about this blindspot.  Who are they? 

Become an Advocate and Take Collective Action

Are you pissed like @ericbooth? Reach out to him on this #FollowFriday. Find him on FB.

We absolutely can create an environment that supports the health, growth, and sustainability of Teaching Artists! We need leaders and advocates. Are you ready to name yourself?

Remember the village that @ramonstevens spoke about last week. Find yours! If you are in the mid-Atlantic – join us! Become a TAMA member today!

Check out the forum for this blog here, where you can connect with @ericbooth and the many others that are gathering through TAMA’s website!

Next #TeachingArtistTuesday, spotlight Eric Booth and let others know that you are in support of finding answers to the questions he raises!

And don’t be a stranger. There are upcoming network meetings for you to attend. Check out our event calendar and mark your calendar.

Our village needs creators and joiners and LEADERS AND ADVOCATES. You absolutely can, and you should be all of those identities!

Nominate yourself.

Elect a colleague.

Connect with each other.

Build a public narrative about the field of teaching artistry in your community and region.

Together, we can grow!

Know of an event we should include?

Thanks for completing your profile!

One of the challenges of our profession is that there is very little data about who we are, what we do and where we are working. Without a documentable presence, it’s difficult to advocate for funding and policies that benefit our work. Your profile will both help promote your work individually and it will help us aggregate data for our region. As you fill in the blanks below, you will have a choice as to who is allowed to see some of the information. Please note that the “Just Me” option does allow TAMA administration to see what you’ve entered. For example, when you enter your phone number, you can prevent that from appearing in your profile if you like, but TAMA administration can see it.