ArtistCorps Tennessee (ACT) is a specialized training program for teaching artists that integrates arts learning objectives with service learning objectives. Modeled after the national Learn and Serve America program, ArtistCorps Tennessee utilizes an arts-based service learning approach, engaging students as active participants in service learning initiatives. ArtistCorps Tennessee is composed of members of the Teaching Artist Roster who have undergone training in arts-based service learning provided by the Tennessee Arts Commission.
Arts-Based Service Learning projects involve students in researching and identifying community needs and social justice issues that become the focus of classroom arts projects, performances and/or exhibitions. Citizenship, creativity, problem-solving skills, leadership, and teamwork are among the personal growth opportunities that students, teachers, and artists experience as designers and participants in arts-based service learning projects. Young people are actively engaged in identifying community needs and, together with an artist and their classroom teacher, they work as a team to apply academic concepts in a real-world setting.
To ensure that students receive a high quality academic experience, ACT is curriculum-based, integrating national arts education standards with national service learning standards. In arts-based service learning projects, the arts serve as primary pathways to learning and are the catalyst for highlighting a social issue or drawing attention to a need within the community. Learning occurs when students actively reflect on the service through the arts.
Schools may apply for Student Ticket Subsidy grants to secure the services of an ACT-trained artist.