Position Description: Teaching Artist – Musician

  • 2 days/week (16 hours/week total), year-round
  • $28.41/hour
  • Preference given to those with primary practice with piano/keyboard, guitar, ukulele, and/or a digital practice with a secondary practice in songwriting, writing, and/or poetry
  • Teaching Artists are members of the Snow City Arts staff, with guaranteed hours and benefits

About Snow City Arts
Snow City Arts (SCA) inspires and educates children and youth in hospitals through the arts. SCA provides one-on-one and small group instruction in the visual arts, creative writing, poetry, theater, music, dance and media arts to patients at Rush University Children’s Hospital, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Children’s Hospital University of Illinois (UIC), and Cook County Health. Snow City Arts’ programming also includes virtual instruction to meet the needs of young people who are isolated due to illness. Further, SCA is leveraging its investment in virtual learning to launch Communities Creating Together to foster community building across our various locations and our broad range of constituencies.

Snow City Arts’ curricula are steeped in studio practices and benchmarked by the National Core Arts Standards and Common Core State Standards. SCA works in close partnership with Chicago Public Schools and suburban school districts. With permission, student’s learning outcomes and portfolios are sent to their schools in order to generate credit assignment for work completed with SCA. The Snow City Arts team includes an administrative staff of five and an artistic staff of eight part-time, professional Teaching Artists, as well as numerous interns, work-study students, and volunteers. As a small yet mighty organization, our team values an “all hands on deck” approach balanced with a strong commitment to wellness. Snow City Arts is committed to generating a work environment that centers on learning, equity, and inclusivity. A cohort member of Enrich Chicago, SCA is committed to advancing systemic change in the arts and is building a vision and framework for anti-racist work across the organization.

Summary of Position
SCA seeks insightful, equity-focused Teaching Artists committed to cultivating spaces for student-centered learning that privilege the abilities of all young people. Teaching Artists are responsible for developing and delivering Snow City Arts’ rigorous project-based curriculum both virtually and in-person, recording and assessing student learning outcomes in the SCA custom-built database, and contributing to regular professional learning activities. Teaching Artists report to the Program Director and are members of the SCA staff on payroll, with guaranteed hours and other such benefits.


  • Curriculum Development and Delivery
  • Project Proposals:
    • Create innovative, artistically and academically rigorous curriculum that is specifically designed for both in-person and virtual healthcare environments and includes multiple pathways for differentiated instruction for learners with diverse cognitive and physical abilities.
    • Write detailed project proposals that outline clear learning objectives, situated within an anti-racist framework.
      Collaborate with the Program Director to ensure each project is artistically and academically rigorous, aligned to learning standards and SCA assessment outcomes, provides multiple pathways for differentiated instruction and is situated within an anti-racist framework.
    • Virtual and In-Person Workshops: Facilitate SCA’s project-based curriculum through workshops to all interested and available students on the pediatric floors of SCA’s partner hospitals, as well as to virtual programming referrals, offering individualized instruction to meet each student’s learning profile.
  • Collaboration: Seek to develop projects in tandem with a fellow Snow City Arts Teaching Artist, resulting in cross-disciplinary work.
  • Hospital Partners: Develop and maintain collaborative relationships with pertinent staff at SCA’s partner hospitals, including in-hospital teachers, Creative Arts and Child Life teams and nurses.
  • Testimonials: Occasionally write and submit narratives that describe exemplary SCA workshops to illustrate our process to external audiences.
  • Program Documentation
  • Daily Documentation: Record student information, workshop details, artwork, and workflow in SCA’s custom-built database.
  • Assessment: Document student learning outcomes for each workshop, aligned to SCA’s internal assessment rubric and learning standards.
  • School Reports: Work with the Administrative Assistant and Research Specialist to ensure that comprehensive assessment data is completed and artwork portfolios are uploaded for all eligible students, to be submitted to students’ schools, often at the close of a semester.
  • Archival Work: Maintain high-resolution digital records of student artwork and transfer this data to the SCA artwork archive on a quarterly basis.
  • Compliance: Collect and upload consent and release forms for new students and perform bi-annual renewal of release and consent forms whenever possible.
  • Exhibitions of Student Artwork
  • Self-Curation: Organize all relevant works of art and submit the best representations of student artwork to the curatorial team for consideration for Gallery Night (our annual student exhibition) and other installations.
  • Installation Assistance: Provide all reasonable and relevant assistance to the curatorial team for large-scale artwork installations.
  • Presentation: Advise curatorial team on best practices for presentation of genre-specific artwork.
  • Professional Learning
  • Attendance: Participate in bi-monthly all-staff professional learning sessions, unless an approved previous commitment precludes attendance.
  • Participation: Engage in SCA racial-equity trainings and working groups including, but not limited to, monthly lunch-and-learns, racial identity caucusing, and SCA racial equity resource databank, demonstrating a commitment to continue to grow personal critical analysis of anti-racist frameworks and practices.
  • Presentation and Knowledge-Sharing: With specific objectives in mind, occasionally present to SCA staff on personal areas of expertise within the arts, education, anti-racist education, or other relevant fields; share ideas for future opportunities and provide feedback on other staff presentations.

Miscellaneous Duties

  • Hospital Partners: Complete and uphold the principles of all mandatory education and orientation as required by SCA’s hospital partners and follow all procedures outlined by hospital partners.
  • HIPAA*/FERPA**: Complete and pass an annual HIPAA compliance test to maintain understanding of patient privacy and uphold HIPAA- and FERPA-compliant practices in all work.
  • Presentation: Act as an SCA ambassador by occasionally attending outside events and speaking on current projects and best practices at SCA.
  • Special Projects: Contribute to special projects at SCA, including conferences, exhibitions, fundraising events, strategic planning, and anti-racist initiatives, based on availability.
  • Space Maintenance: Regularly organize supplies and workspaces to maintain a professional work environment, if physically able to do so.

Priority Skills and Experience

  • Strong verbal communication skills and the ability to adjust communication style for multiple audiences.
  • Working knowledge of curriculum development benchmarked to state learning standards.
  • Maintenance of a professional artistic practice in music. Preference given to those with a secondary practice in songwriting, writing, and/or poetry.
  • Strong understanding of trauma/healing informed practices with an interest in arts education practices and pedagogy.
  • Commitment to developing an anti-oppressive work environment.
  • Commitment to growth of personal critical analysis of anti-racist frameworks and practices.
  • Interest in working within a culture of collaboration, cooperation, and accountability.
  • Ability to navigate tense or challenging interpersonal dynamics in a manner that is centered on trust, respect and shared vision.
  • Commitment to innovation and lifelong learning.
  • Ability to respond to shifting priorities and support multiple aspects of program delivery.

Desired Skills and Experience

  • Experience working directly with youth and families, especially those who identify as ALAANA***, queer or LGBTQIA+, newcomers, first-generation immigrants, and people with diverse abilities.
  • Background in arts education and/or youth development.
  • Ability to manage and manipulate artwork files with proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite; knowledge of Google Drive.
  • Familiarity with the public school and arts education landscape of Chicago.
  • Passion for arts in health and/or arts education.
  • Ability to speak and write Spanish and English proficiently.
  • Experience with filmmaking and editing as a creator and/or educator.
  • Interest and/or experience in curatorial decision-making, exhibition preparation, and gallery installation.

Compensation and Benefits

This is a part-time, non-exempt staff position with an hourly rate of $28.41/hour, 16 hours a week, divided over 2 days/week, year-round. There are nine (9) paid days off annually split among vacation, sick, and holidays and we offer a flexible work environment. We will make any required adjustments per the new City of Chicago ordinance so this might shift on July 1. We offer a Flexible Spending Account as well as an employee retirement SIMPLE IRA account, the latter with a 3% match from Snow City Arts.

Background Check and Health Records

A criminal background will not automatically eliminate you from consideration, though a criminal history background check will be conducted for final candidates prior to beginning employment.

A variety of documentation (typically related to vaccines and annual tests and a 10-panel drug screen, which are paid for by Snow City Arts) is required to meet the health documentation requirements of our hospital partners. COVID-19 vaccines, including documentation, are required prior to or within the first two weeks of employment.
*HIPAA: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
**FERPA: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
***ALAANA: African, Latinx, Arab, Asian, Native American
Snow City Arts is an equal opportunity employer. Snow City Arts is committed to building a culturally diverse and pluralistic team. ALAANA-identified individuals, transgender and gender-nonconforming people, people from poor and working-class backgrounds, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

How to Apply

Interested candidates should send the following to [email protected] no later than 5:00pm on February 7, 2024:

  • Cover letter
  • Current résumé
  • One short lesson plan sample
  • Access to an artistic portfolio (e.g., link to a personal website or digital portfolio)