Subs with SuitCASEs – Creative Approaches to Substitute Education – serves our community’s need for well-trained, highly-prepared teaching artists who deliver outstanding arts-based education to K-12 students.  Equipped with a suitcase stocked with art supplies, participating teaching artists are fully prepared to provide a wide range of art activities in our community. Teaching artists work in a variety of formats. Visit their individual profiles to learn more about their teaching philosophy, media, and which formats they are available to offer. Possibilities include:

Classroom Residencies and Support for Teachers – Penland works with teaching artists to create arts-based, curriculum-inspired lesson plans that enliven classroom learning. These two-hour art workshops engage students in the exploration of topics including: life cycles; astronomy; oceans; weather; folktales; mythology; plant growth and more through the lens of poetry, creative writing, drawing, painting, felting, collage, song, drama, bookmaking, sculpture, embroidery – the list goes on! In Mitchell County, teaching artists work with all 2nd and 3rd grade students, conducting 15 two hour sessions in every classroom. These lesson plans are available to Yancey County teachers by request for mini-residencies in classrooms. Yancey teachers – to request lessons in your 2nd or 3rd grade classroom, contact Stacey Lane or Holly Phillips at 828-765-8060.

Substitute Teaching – Ready to implement educational activities left by teachers, these teaching artists can spontaneously integrate art activities into the prepared lesson plan, and – with advance notice – they can plan special art lessons that tie directly into the current curriculum.  Drawing on the magical qualities of the suitcase, an icon of possibility and anticipation, substitute days turn into creative opportunities that enliven curriculum and engage students with multiple learning styles – resulting in memorable time well spent. Every sub must complete the official approval process for subs in their county of service.  Subs with SuitCASEs teachers are compensated by the school system at the standard rate, and when they offer art as part of a substitute teaching day, they are provided with an additional $50 stipend through Penland to offset materials and time planning special art activities.

Afterschool Programming – These teaching artists are open to working with afterschool programs to teach new techniques, or plan projects to compliment the program’s goals. You may approach them individually to explore what is possible!

Work with Special Needs Populations – These teaching artists have experience with and interest in working with groups with special needs.

Private Art Instruction – These teaching artists are interested in private instruction both for individuals or small groups.

Workshops for Clubs or Community Organizations – These teaching artists can collaborate with you to design a special arts experience for your club or group.

Please note: The teaching artists in this directory are professionals. When planning for an activity outside of Penland sponsored programs, we suggest that the pay rate be at least $25/hour for teaching. Materials costs should also be budgeted, and will vary depending on the activity. Penland has a lending library of tools through Community Collaboration that can help make a wide variety of activities possible. If you would like help envisioning a project or planning a budget, please feel free to use us as a resource by contacting Stacey or Holly at 828-765-8060.

Participating teaching artists are all professional studio artists who also have experience working with children. Penland provides training and support for teaching artists in their work with youth, including:

  • Hands-on professional development workshops
  • Mentorships with experienced teaching artists
  • Background checks through the Rural Education Partnership and Mitchell County Schools
  • Ongoing evaluation and feedback of Penland sponsored work in schools
  • Ongoing staff and peer support through Penland’s Teaching Artist Network and The Arts Matter, a group dedicated to helping further arts education in Mitchell County.

To learn more about Subs with SuitCASEs teaching artists, visit our “teaching artist profiles.”  To learn more about what’s been happening in the classroom, click here to “see what our subs are doing.”  For additional information contact communityeducation@penland.org.

Red logo 2015

The mission of Penland School of Crafts is to support individual and artistic growth through craft.

Penland’s programs engage the human spirit which is expressed throughout the world in craft. Penland enriches lives by teaching skills, ideas, and the value of the handmade. Penland welcomes everyone–from vocational and avocational craft practitioners to interested visitors. Penland is a stimulating, transformative, egalitarian place where people love to work, feel free to experiment, and often exceed their own expectations. Penland’s beautiful location and historic campus inform every aspect of its work.

United Way Logo

Art materials for Mitchell County programs are provided in part by a grant through United Way of Mitchell County, Inc.

This project was supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.

Funding for this program was provided by The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. The Community Foundation is a nonprofit organization that serves the 18-county mountain region by promoting and expanding regional philanthropy and making grants to nonprofits in the region.

2 Responses to “Teaching Artists Working in Community”


  1. 1 Sherri Hyder April 7, 2011 at 10:22 am

    This sounds like a wonderful program. I would like more information about this. I have worked with Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area, Rocky Mount Living History Museum, Roan Mountain State Park, the Mineral Museum, and would love to learn more about this. I am a basket maker, chair bottom weaver, soap maker and do 18th Century Crafts including fireplace cooking, stenciling, and others.

    Sherri Hyder


  1. 1 Welcome! « Subs with Suitcases Trackback on December 2, 2009 at 4:14 pm

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