The Association of Florida Teaching Artists is an association of fine arts, literary arts, and performing arts professionals who also teach.
Member artists have been trained to use their individual art forms to strengthen and expand classroom instruction of core curriculum subjects utilizing individual art forms.
As a non-profit arts organization, AFTA is dedicated to supporting the community through arts programing that is engaging and exciting.
Our mission is to:
- Support the principles and practices of arts integration.
- Contribute to the quality of Florida public and private education through arts integration.
- Create a supportive community of Teaching Artists.
- Further professional development and training by sharing information and expertise.
- Establish a mentorship program for professional artists who seek to improve their skills as Teaching Artists.
- Collaborate with other arts, education and community organizations.
We support our community of professional artists in bringing their programming into our communities, schools and libraries.
We believe strongly because we see the results of our work each day, that arts integration is critical to foster the creativity and future success of our children, so they excel and achieve not only in school, but in life. It’s been well documented that arts integration also has a tremendous impact on children’s ability to learn.
AFTA connects artists and the community through meetings, social media and public events that inform the artists about available opportunities in the community.
Through our AFTA Afterschool Program, we provide free, safe afterschool arts programming to underserved communities, including the Newtown Estates Community of Sarasota County.
Through our partnership with EdExplore, we help connect valuable teaching artists with teachers, principals and parents so they can work together to deliver more arts education in the schools.
We also support our teaching artists in a variety of ways, including providing artist insurance, advocating for their work status and connecting them with Professional Development Training.
We are proud, and grateful, to be funded by Johnson Singer Foundation.
About our Founders
Association of Florida Teaching Artists, Inc. was founded as a resource for artists interested in working in schools, organizations and communities for arts and cultural education projects and programs at their sites.
Mary Kelly, Chair | Mary is a visionary, innovator and community initiator with a Masters of Fine Arts Degree. In addition she has over 30 years of experience instructing students at pre-k through college levels, consulting and facilitating for private and non-profit organizations, providing customized instructional materials and implementing arts integrated related programs.
Judy Levine, Co-chair | Judy is a lifelong educator, arts integration specialist and visual artist. She has trained teachers and artists in arts integration methodology and has worked as an arts education professor at Montclair State University, N.J. She owns Phoenix Art Workshops, providing art talks and workshops. She holds a B.A. in art and art education and an M.F.A. in visual arts.
Andrew Salgado, Co-chair | Prior to coming to Sarasota, Mr. Salgado was the Executive Director of InCollaboration, Inc., an arts and education organization in New York City. Mr. Salgado is a Media Artist who offers instruction in screenwriting, narrative writing, digital photography, and videography.