Call for Artists and Teaching Artists: Professional Service Contract

The Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA) is accepting applications for short-term work with ArtsWA’s Creative Start program. Selected artists and/or teaching artists will produce materials to support math and arts learning for early learners (ages 3-8). The project will result in series of arts and math-focused videos and lessons for the online Creative Start Studio. Resources developed for this project will be shared widely.

This is a short-term, professional service contract opportunity (not a grant). Interested artists must submit a complete online application, including a video sample and a resume by January 8, 2021. The Creative Start team does not have capacity to offer feedback to applicants at this time. You will be notified via email about application decline or acceptance.

This Mini-Lesson project seeks to support:

  • Creative learning for Washington’s youngest learners.
  • Caregivers and educators working with children ages 3-8.
  • Artists with direct contracts as a part of COVID-19 relief efforts.
  • Accessible math learning for early learners during a high stress period.

Selected teaching and working artists will produce:

  • (2) Mini-Lessons: Draft and refine two arts integrated (math & arts shared concepts!) Mini-Lessons (20-30 minute activities) using the framework of the Creative Start Mini-Lesson (example mini-lessons can be viewed here).
  • (2) Tutorial Videos: Record and upload raw footage for two corresponding Creative Start Tutorial Videos (3-5 minutes in length) that demonstrate how to teach the activity in each mini-lesson (above). Artists will upload footage along with a storyboard (support provided) for post-production. A production company will provide all post-production editing.

Lessons and corresponding tutorial videos will be offered as creative support to a diversity of caregivers working with early learners in any context.

Selected teaching and working artists will receive:

  • $1,500
  • Remote Mini-Lesson Orientation.
  • Remote workshop “Writing a Lesson Plan” with Tamar Krames.
  • Remote workshop “Planning for Filming” with Elliat Graney-Saucke.
  • Remote workshop “Teaching for a Virtual Audience” with Sara Porkalob.
  • Planning support and technical guidance from Creative Start team.
  • Participation in a state-wide cohort of community educators.

Application Timeline:

  • Applications Due: Friday, January 8, 2021 at 5:00pm (PST)
  • Applicant Notifications: January 13, 2021 by 5:00pm (PST)
  • Project Orientation & Workshop: January 19, 2021 4:00-6:00pm
  • Optional: hang out with Tamar – Lesson Plan informal support
  • Mini-Lesson plans Due: February 1, 2021
  • “Teaching for a Virtual Audience” Workshop: February 2, 2021 4:00-5:00pm
  • Planning for Filming” Workshop: February 9, 2021 4:00-5:00pm
  • Tutorial Videos raw footage & storyboard Due: March 5, 2021 5pm


  1. Applicants must be residents of Washington State.
  2. Applicants must be able to meet all deadlines and attend project orientation and workshops.

Applicants should have the following materials available:

  • Device for video recording (DSLR camera, cellphone, tablet, laptop, etc.)
  • Device for audio recording (cellphone, microphone, etc.)
  • A well-lit and quiet environment to record the Creative Start Mini-lessons.
  • Any materials needed to support the Creative Start Mini-Lessons.

Selection Process

We are continuously refining our work to ensure Creative Start programs are reflective of Washington’s diverse populations including; cultural diversity, artistic disciplines, multi-lingual artists, geographic locations, and under-invited populations.

The Creative Start team will prioritize artists/teaching artists who:

  • Have 2 or more years teaching experience with early learners (preschool through 3rdgrade).
  • Have written lesson plans using a variety of formats.
  • Are active practitioners in at least one arts-focus area (visual, literary, theater, music, dance).
  • Are technologically proficient (familiar with exporting, uploading, and sharing media files).
  • Can provide clear, concise, engaging instruction on screen.
  • Are comfortable home recording video lessons or tutorials.
  • Want to join a collaborative process with early learning focus.
  • Contribute to a regionally and culturally diverse pool of teaching artists.

For more information, please contact Alexis Sarah, ArtsWA Creative Start Project Manager, at