Storme Webber’s Improbable Beautiful
1. How long have you been a teaching artist?
All my life. Professionally, over the past twenty years.
2. What discipline(s) do you teach?
Primarily creative writing/poetry - from an interdisciplinary place incorporating visual art, music, movement, meditation & performance.
3. Describe the setting(s) in which you teach.
University of Washington -Young Writers Workshop- middle school summer camp 2 week sessions.
Arts Corps. - After school at low-income housing developments. Also at secure facilities for youth involved with juvenile justice system.
Prisons- men’s and women’s.
1. Hedge brook – women writers retreat on Whidbey Island
2. Vashon Island Poetry Festival
3. Chuckanut Writers Conference
4. NYC public schools
5. NYC shelters
4. What funding source(s) support you as a teaching artist?
nonprofits, barter, grants, scholarships and patrons of the arts.
5. Who shaped your initial thinking about teaching art?
The experience of being saved by art as a child.
6. Describe the relationship between your personal art practice and your art teaching?
Ideally in synch, expressing the powerful transformative nature of art.
7. How has your training and/or other life experiences benefited your teaching?
Immeasurably, by telling & showing me how mighty creativity is.
8. What are the biggest challenges you face as a teaching artist?
9. What are the unexpected rewards of being a teaching artist?
Inspiration in seeing others especially youth & elders empowered & inspired.
10. What advice do you have for other artists interested in teaching?
Training is helpful, and community with other teaching artists.
11. What is your hope for the future of arts education?
I hope that it is expanded & placed everywhere that education is, and that it is funded so that TA s will be fairly paid (min $50/hr)
Please share one anecdote of a memorable Teaching Artist experience.
Seeing someone who seemed impervious to the very idea of creative effort, catch ahold of an impetus, write some truth about their life, and be subtly amazed.
*About the photo:
This was an outstandingly wonderful experience- I also co directed, chose music & dramaturged, & dressed the cast in period wardrobe.
The challenge was to imbue them with the revolutionary spirit of the 60s. This occupation followed Alcatraz & was inspired by the emerging AIM activism. In the end it happened, and the play debuted at Daybreak Star itself- the cultural center created by what happened in the play! on Palm Sunday. Resurrection City was the name given to the encampment. Several elder activists were present and appreciated the work. For me it was a powerful affirmation of the transformative nature of storytelling and activist history. Truly a highlight of the journey thus far.