Community Engagement Teaching Artist

Cumbe is searching for versatile dance and music teaching and performing artists with strong knowledge of African and Diaspora dance to join our community engagement roster. Teaching artists will create and deliver high-quality  engaging curriculum for youth and adults on-site at our studios, in schools and other community settings. Performing artists will present high-quality, engaging, interactive and culturally informative dance and music pieces of or influenced by the African Diaspora.  Through their work, teaching and performing artists will advance Cumbe’s mission of championing African and Diaspora culture as listed above.

Key Responsibilities  

  • Attend two required bi-annual teaching/performing artist training and professional development sessions to maintain status on our roster.
  • Create and implement lesson plans that incorporate the standards in NYC Blueprints for Teaching and Learning in the Arts and connect to multiple academic subject areas, in line with school’s curriculum
  • Able to teach classes across multiple grade levels
  • Address the learning needs of diverse student populations
  • Hire and direct live percussionists, as appropriate, in classes
  • Prepare students to participate in student showcases
  • Submit documentation of teaching practice, including curriculum and/or lesson plans
  • Assist Cumbe in documenting progress toward educational goals
  • Provide performances, one-time workshops or multi-session residencies for arts and other non-profit organizations, corporations and individuals.
  • Facilitate Cumbe corporate client modules based on clients’ needs.
  • Provide facilitation plan and reflection notes for each corporate engagement.

Qualifications (not all qualifications are necessary for each type of engagement)

  • Strong knowledge in African and Diaspora culture, dance and music
  • Fluent in the dance/music traditions of at least one of the following cultures: West African, Central African, Southern African, East African, Caribbean, African rooted South American and African American
  • Five years practicing African/Diaspora dance forms and two years minimum experience in teaching African/Diaspora dance classes
  • Experience implementing a showcase, directing or presenting student work to an audience
  • Ability to develop lesson plans and implement overarching class curriculum
  • Strong decision making skills, versatility and initiative
  • Strong organizational, human relations and communication skills
  • Enthusiasm and the ability to work well with participants and develop harmonious relationships with Cumbe’s different constituencies: parents, school personnel, community engagement clients and partners
  • Bachelor’s (or advanced degree)preferably in dance/arts related field a plus (not required)
  • Department of Education and Department of Health fingerprinting strongly encouraged
  • Experience in dialogic facilitation a plus


This is a freelance position. Engagements may range from one time workshops, to year long (school year) residencies,  solo performances to performances with five or more people. Applicants are not expected to be able to fulfill all types of engagements. All accepted teaching/performing artists will be added to our roster and will be called when appropriate opportunities arise. Being on our roster does not guarantee work, as requests are based on the needs of clients and teaching artist is selection based on abilities and specialities of teaching/performing artists.


Compensation varies based on the type and length of the engagements, and experience of artist.

To Apply

Please send the following information to Senior Program Manager, Kendra Ross at Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Include ‘Community Engagement Teaching Artist’ in the subject line. You will receive a confirmation of receipt. Due to capacity, we will only contact candidates we are inviting to move forward in the application process. Please, no phone calls.


  • A cover letter detailing your role as an Artist and Teaching Artist.
  • A current resume highlighting your related experience and education
  • Two employment/character references with titles, contact numbers and/or emails

Applicants who will move to the next phase of our application process will be notified and asked to submit a sample lesson plan and/or up to 5 min work sample video of an interactive performance. Selected candidates will be invited to an in person interview. Selected teaching artist candidates will be required to attend a mandatory training late summer or early spring.