Spotlight Series: International Teaching Artist Collective ITAC
An Interview with Madeleine McGirk, Managing Director
13 04 2021
Spotlight Series: International Teaching Artist Collective ITAC

"The ITAC Vision Is… A world where every country has artists working in the heart of communities and learning. Where these artists are continually improving, internationally connected and well supported, and the potential of the practice and its transformative power is visible and valued."

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ITAC finds spaces where artists can come together. These opportunities include an array of spaces. For example, they hold monthly online thinktanks (on Zoom) with a new host, coming from a different country choosing a topic of their choice. They also hold visioning labs, which involve international, intergenerational approaches to writing and creating something with an artistic voice. Alongside the Community Arts Network (CAN), they discuss arts for climate issues - combatting climate change with art.

According to Madelaine, arts and education are interconnected and the same; they are learning and expanding horizons. As a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be collective trauma from mental health, job loss, and loss of entire ecosystems. The antidote to social issues is human connection and artistic/creative engagement to change minds, behaviors, and patterns, and this comes from new experiences, as well as expressing the past year's struggles. This is also where the role of the teaching artist comes in.

ITAC is in the process of developing national hubs (e.g. New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, USA), which can do a deep dive in serving the community, and teaching artists come together to feed into this international strategy. The work is universal, and the goal is always the same: to create social transformation through art.

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