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Press Release

Front & center

March 15, 2023

2023 Teaching Artist Cohort Announced

In celebration of ᏔᎷᏣ The Basket

Twenty-one artists have received $10,000 and supportive connections.

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Graphics by Elephant in the Room

ASHEVILLE, NC (March 15, 2023) – The Center for Craft is proud to announce the inaugural recipients of a grant who make up the 2023 Teaching Artist Cohort. The program supports artist-educators in building and sustaining a generative practice, providing them with funding that may allow time away from teaching  to focus on their art – which will, in turn, create an enriching impact on the  communities they engage. This year, 21 teaching artists have been welcomed into the cohort.

The Teaching Artist Cohort experience is tailored to mid-career craft artists whose practices include arts education, defined broadly by the Center in recognition of the many paths craft education can take. Each artist receives a $10,000 unrestricted grant and participates in eight months of programming that includes workshop-style sessions, mentorship, and peer-to-peer learning on topics like taxes for teaching artists and deepening connections through artistic and teaching practices. This year’s teaching artists work in a variety of roles  such as adjunct faculty members, teachers at craft schools, museum educators, and community workshop instructors.  

Participation in the cohort will help textile, drawing, and installation artist Elnaz Javani as she takes the next steps of her career through developmental support, mentorship, and building multidisciplinary programming with others. “It will enable me to establish myself more as an artist teacher,” she adds, “and it will give me an opportunity to work with other artists and educators as part of an interdisciplinary team, and to sharpen my critical thinking skills while being exposed to different facets of practice."

Material artist Ryan Takaba hopes that involvement in the program will help him and other participating cohort members “create new models in furthering a studio practice that piece together many facets into a sustainable living, and will provide many artists time and a space to share information and experiences with the hope of finding solutions in a career path that needs to be very nimble.”  

The Teaching Artist Cohort builds on the Center for Craft’s mission to empower and resource craft artists, organizations, and communities through grants, fellowships, and programs that bring people together. In the program’s planning stages, the Center identified artists who teach as particularly vulnerable in our current cultural and financial climate. Many are under-compensated and under-resourced.

Glass and digital fabrication artist Amy Lemaire notes that the cohort comes at exactly the right time as she makes a mid-career shift. She is particularly interested in learning from other cohort members who juggle the duties of being teaching artists. “Being part of a cohort would help extend my network outside of the glass community, and could increase potential for collaboration across the craft landscape."

Time and funding will support these artists as they enhance, advance, adapt, or rebuild their practices or careers. Their months together as a cohort will also create a vital space for connection as they forge relationships that will continue to impact their work and, ultimately, their communities.  

The Center for Craft is thrilled to announce the inaugural 2023 Teaching Artist Cohort:

Alyssa Sakina Mumtaz, Williamstown, MA


Gina Siepel, Greenfield, MA


Katja Toporski, Takoma Park, MD


Ryan Takaba, San Antonio, TX


Annie Meyer, Jamaica Plain, MA


Padma Rajendran, Catskills, NY

Drawing, Textile,  Printmaking

Amy Lemaire, Brooklyn, NY


Kathleen Kennedy, Mechanicsville, VA


Tanya Crane, Providence RI


Kit Paulson, Spruce Pine, NC


Jenny Yurshansky, Los Angeles, CA

MultiMedia / Sculpture

Brian Fleetwood, Española, NM


Amy Meissner, Anchorage,  AK


Bukola Koiki, Cape Elizabeth, ME


Elnaz Javani, Chicago, IL


Minah Kim, Philadelphia, PA


Ursula Hargens, Minneapolis, MN


Aspen Golann, Rollinsford, NH


Michelle Im, Queens, NY

Ceramic - Functional

Keri Miki-Lani Schroeder, San Antonio, TX

Book Arts

Horacio Rodriguez, Bountiful, UT


This program is funded, in part, by the Windgate Foundation and the Maxwell-Hanrahan Foundation. Read more about this year’s Cohort  here. The next application cycle opens Fall 2023.

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The Center for Craft is a 501(c)3 national nonprofit that increases access to craft by empowering and resourcing artists, organizations, and communities through grants, fellowships and programs that bring people together. Founded in 1996, the Center is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential organizations working on behalf of craft in the United States. For more information, visit