Turnstyle Program Teaching Artist


Groundswell is currently seeking to increase its vibrant roster of freelance Teaching Artists to facilitate our Turnstyle Saturday program in the 2017-2018 academic year! Groundswell brings together artists, youth, and community organizations to use art as a tool for social change, for a more just and equitable world. Our projects engage youth in societal and personal transformation, and give expression to ideas and perspectives that are underrepresented in the public dialogue.

The ideal Groundswell Teaching Artist is not only a practicing artist, but is also an excellent group facilitator with an interest in youth development and in addressing social justice issues through the collaborative process of art making.

Groundswell is actively committed to racial equity in the workplace and we encourage applications from members of largely underrepresented groups--particularly people of color, first generation college graduates, people from the LGBT community as well as those who identify as non-gender binary, people living/working with DACA, and people from low-income backgrounds.

Turnstyle is a 6-hour workshop that services court-involved youth who have been given an alternative sentencing option for minor offenses. These workshops employ the “5 C’s– Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, Compassion, and Conflict Resolution” to guide participants through activities in accountability, self-awareness through reflection and positive self-advocacy. Turnstyle meets on Saturdays from January through April from 10AM-4PM.

Groundswell Teaching Artists work on a freelance/contractual basis, an ideal candidate has a flexible work schedule. Teaching Artists are also required to attend paid Professional Development sessions for social justice pedagogy at Groundswell on Mondays from 12PM-3PM (December 11th, February 12th, and April 16th). 

About the Turnstyle Program:

Groundswell recognizes that for our youth, a single involvement with the justice system can have life-long consequences. In partnership with New York City Youth Courts, court-involved youth fulfill their community service and alternative sentencing requirements using art as a tool for self-reflection and affirmation.

Youth assigned to alternative sentencing will engage in workshops of self-reflection, conflict resolution, and emotional intelligence development. Using art as a tool for expression and exploration, youth are asked to evaluate their actions and set visions for their futures. Youth assigned to complete a community service sentencing will engage in a lesson around the connections between self and community and the ways in which personal decisions can affect those around you.

Turnstyle Teaching Artist Responsibilities:

·        Plan and implement Workshops. Workshop goals:

·        to help youth to identify their personal voice & value as vital members of their communities

·        for youth to gain basic tools for positive decision making in other Groundswell programs

·        introduced to visual literacy

·        Nurture a sense of safe space for youth

·        Collaborate with Studio Program Manager to develop workshop content

·        Maintain proactive communication with program staff as need

·        Participate in ongoing trainings around social justice pedagogy and classroom learning

Minimum Qualifications

Art + College:

·        Experience studying and/or working in youth development, social justice a

·        Commitment to using visual arts and design as a tool for exploring emotional intelligence.

·        Strong Familiarity with NYC art resources and institutions, especially for youth

Youth Development + Social Justice:

·        Demonstrates successful facilitation of arts-based youth development /emotional intelligence/ social justice workshops

·        Teaching or related experience working with youth from historically marginalized groups

·        Understanding or willingness to develop an understanding of culturally responsive pedagogy and lesson planning

·        Has demonstrated commitment to addressing issues faced by people from historically marginalized groups, particularly low-income communities, people of color and first-generation college students

·        Ability to engage students with multiple learning styles and abilities

·        Ability to mentor, coach and build student motivation and retention

·        Familiarity with evaluation methodologies


·        Effective oral and written communication skills (with youth, Groundswell staff, community partners, public)

·        Stellar organizational and time-management skills

·        Strong leadership skills and ability to take initiative

·        Ability to work effectively in a collaborative team and flexibility to learn from others

·        Interest in sharing best practices with Groundswell Teaching Artist community

·        A sense of humor and willingness to learn from mistakes


None specified


No requirement



To apply, email a cover letter, resume, sample lesson plan (that includes both social justice and art making components), jpeg image examples of work produced in past workshops and/or website link to ama@groundswell.nyc  with the subject title “Turnstyle Program Application – YOUR NAME”.

Deadline to apply: October 30th

Please direct questions or concerns to Ama Bentsi-Enchill, Studio Programs Manager, ama@groundswell.nyc.

Tatyerra Spurlock