To apply, please send your cover letter and resume to with the position title in the subject line.

Position Summary.

The Teaching Artist (TA) is a mentor and artistic coach who works with at-risk young adults in our post-release program to create original theatre, songs, stories and poetry. The TA reports to the Program Manager and supports the Artistic Lead with implementing creative programming and workshops to address social emotional learning. The TA is responsible for coaching participants through the creative process, conducting one-on-one conversations about the story, character development, motivations, and emotions of the piece. The TA will participate in all rehearsals and performances. They must demonstrate collaborative skills and be a role model for others, especially in stressful situations.

This is a part-time, hourly, position working an average of 12 hours per week, in-person. This individual must work successfully with all persons in the organization without regard to ethnicity, religion, age, national origin, physical challenge, sexual orientation, or gender.

About the Changing Voices Program.

Changing Voices is a year-round supported employment program composed primarily of emerging Black and Brown adults in the justice system who are 17-24 years of age. The
program, which has an eight-month enrollment period for groups of up to 21 participants at a time, uses story-writing, performances, civic engagement, job/life skills training, and case management support to empower participants to meet personal goals. Under the guidance of trained teaching artists, participants collaborate to create and perform original musical theatre inspired by their personal stories while also receiving case management support.

Job Duties and Expectations.

  • Artistic:
    Study and develop proficiency in Storycatchers Theatre’s artistic process.
    Work with participants to help them share and write personal stories; read drafts of all participant stories.
    Learn choreography, blocking, songs, and other elements of staged readings or productions and be prepared to coach and/or understudy participants in all aspects of performance.
    Provide participants with individual acting or presentation skills coaching as needed.
    Support participants onstage; manage onstage entrances and exits as needed.
    Lead theatre games and rehearsal activities.
    Attend weekly team meetings.
    Provide emotional support to participants as needed; model professional rehearsal demeanor; work with other TAs to create and maintain a safe, positive program environment for all participants.
  • Additional expectations:
    Act as a role model for participants by being on time to program sessions, rehearsal calls, and/or touring calls as determined by specific program needs.
    Maintain a mature, respectful, and patient demeanor.
    Maintain working rehearsal space, including participation in setup and breakdown of rehearsal elements.
    Comply with security and access procedures as outlined by partner facility.
  • Some things a teaching artist might do in a typical week:
    Attend a weekly program meeting to discuss a young person’s challenges in writing their story.
    Develop a creative workshop that addresses a curricular goal
    Discuss the lyrical emotions of an original song with a composer.
    Help block a scene or teach a new piece of choreography.
    Run the group warm-up.
    Prepare youth for a post-show discussion with the community.
    Talk with a young person about why health and wellness are important.
    Check-in with a young person about progression towards a personal goal.
    Provide encouragement through a stressful program session.
    Empower youth to develop coping tactics for handling a personal situation.
    Convince a young person to take advantage of a case management workshop.
    What you’ll need to be a great candidate.

What you’ll need to be a great candidate.

  • Experience in the arts or art therapy including: theatre, music, dance, creative writing, or visual arts.
  • Have experience working with and be willing to work within a documented, trauma-informed writing methodology.
  • Be level-headed, resilient, and patient in the face of challenges and/or volatile situations.
  • Have experience teaching in and collaborating with a diverse team.
  • Self-starter comfortable balancing immediate responsibilities and urgent tasks.
  • Be willing to respectfully accept and apply feedback.
  • Able to accommodate a flexible, changing schedule.
  • Have a strong interest in advocating against the societal issues and oppressions prevalent in minority communities and the justice system.
  • Have a strong sense of professional boundaries in relationships with youth participants.
  • Successfully complete a facility-required background check.

Required Availability and Compensation.

  • Part-time position: average of 12 hours per week.
  • This program operates Monday-Thursday at a Storycatchers Theatre-managed space in Chicago, 60609.
  • Paid hourly, we compensate for program time and assigned prep time including staff meetings and required trainings.

About Storycatchers Theatre.

Storycatchers Theatre guides young people to transform their traumatic experiences into powerful musical theatre, developing the courage and vision to become leaders and mentors. By creating support for youth within the criminal justice system, Storycatchers prepares them to change their lives and emerge successfully from court involvement. We dedicate all our resources to meet the complex needs of adolescents and young adults who have become involved in the justice system. We have worked with young people in the Illinois juvenile justice system since 1990, developing and refining a nationally recognized, award-winning, trauma-informed creative youth development methodology. We conduct year-round residential programs in three separate juvenile justice facilities and offer a post-release performing arts jobs program, Changing Voices, to young people navigating reentry to Chicago.

We are a collaborative organization that believes in committing to each other as well as the youth we serve. We implement a uniquely effective arts education model that helps marginalized young people develop the capacity to envision and pursue meaningful futures. We believe in second chances.

Our Core Values.

  1. We commit to each other. We hold strong to our own integrity, beliefs, and actions. We care for each other, acknowledging our traumas and joys, challenges, and celebrations. We show up in the face of adversity; and with our shared trust, inspire others to realize the true measure of bravery in moving forward together.
  2. We commit to our community. We strive to create a place of safety and resource for young people. We do this by connecting with allies who share our values and understand what can be accomplished with a network of support. Through this collaborative vision, we provide young people with the stability that is necessary for meaningful growth. ​
  3. We respect that everyone has a unique story. We see each person’s story as a remarkable gift. We value the diversity of our staff and youth’s unique perspectives and their impact on our collaborative process. This allows us to expand boundaries and create innovative solutions to address challenges that often seem unconquerable.
  4. We believe that youth can be the authors of their own lives. By letting the youth voices guide our work, we develop a common language, build trust, and give them tools to unlock their potential. We affirm their lived experience and use the power of applause, positive reinforcement, and public acknowledgment to create a lasting sense of personal value for our entire  Storycatchers community.
  5. We are innovative. We believe that paired together, creativity and purpose are the keys to tackling  the  complex  challenges  confronting  youth. We explore and play, using our values to test boundaries and discover solutions that transcend traditional ideas and rules. We combine ingenuity and resources in extraordinary ways to develop art and the facility to make real change.