Teacher programs

Recharge your creative drive and expand your toolkit

As a K-12 arts educator, you understand better than anyone the benefits of the instruction you provide:

  • innovative thinking
  • technological savvy
  • curiosity
  • empathy
  • self-starting discipline
  • ability to manifest a creative vision

But when was the last time you immersed yourself in the arts for the sake of your own professional and artistic development? At Watkins, you can join a cohort of inspired educators eager to do just that.

In our Teacher Community Education classes, you’ll work with Watkins professors and fellow educators to develop strategies for incorporating thematic and contemporary ideas, projects, and techniques into your curriculum. You also will expand your own creative and professional horizons by making art in new and familiar media. Most important, you’ll reinvigorate the passion that led you to a career as an arts educator.

Upcoming programs

Our lineup of free workshops for arts educators in Middle Tennessee features a rich variety of materials, media, and methods, and this year’s curriculum is no exception. Workshops are funded in full by the Memorial Foundation.

When you find the workshop for you, register as soon as possible. Space is limited, and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Watkins Community Education has a strict cancellation policy that requires 48-hour notice if you are unable to attend a workshop. Failure to comply with this policy will preclude you from future educator workshops hosted by Watkins.

Fall 2017 & Spring 2018 Teacher Workshops

Fall 2017


Large Scale Embroidery
TA: Anna McKeown

Friday, November 17th 9am – 4pm Location: Watkins Free with lunch included

Embroidery isn’t just for small, personal projects. It also can be for large-scale projects created by multiple artists! This workshop will introduce basic embroidery techniques that can translate to large-scale classroom projects for children of all ages. Teachers will create a collaborative embroidery piece using yarn and burlap. They also will learn how to create large-scale embroidery pieces using yarn, fabric scraps, and unconventional media like chain link fences and pegboards.


Spring 2018


February workshop with Dee Kimbrell
Suminagashi Paper Marbling & Book Binding
TA: Katie Gonzalez

Friday, March 9th 9am – 4pm Location: Watkins Free with lunch included

Create a collection of decorated papers using the meditative method of suminagashi marbling. Dating back some 800 years, this Japanese technique floats ink pigments atop a liquid bath. With gentle manipulations—such as blowing across the surface of the water—and a good deal of spontaneity, patterns form and are transferred to paper. In this one-day workshop, you’ll leave with inspiration for your own art and tons of ideas for classroom projects and adaptations for students.


Botanical Watercolors
TA: Mary Gwyn Bowen

March 23 9am – 4pm Location: Cheekwood Free with lunch included

Explore the techniques used for centuries by artists who portrayed, in accurate detail, the flora and fauna of our world. Learn dry brush watercolor, color theory, and other methods for the lovely depiction of nature. Emphasis is on detailed plant portraits in true form and color. Master the art of capturing the intricacies of light and shadow in the complexity of the beauty of growing things. Pencil rendering and color mixing for accuracy will be covered as well as layering and other dry brush techniques of botanical watercolor painting. Examples of nineteenth century European Botanical Art will be presented during the course and in a suggested textbook.


Woven Collage
TA: Anna McKeown

Friday, April 13th 9am – 4pm Location: Watkins Free

Memory, storytelling, and collage are woven together in this teacher workshop designed to break down barriers between artistic media. Teachers will experiment with collage, weaving, embroidery, and hand-written essays to create woven collages inspired by writing prompts. Teachers are welcome to bring collage materials they are interested in using, including photographs and other paper ephemera that may be scanned and printed during the workshop.