A PRACTICING TEACHING ARTIST for forty-four years, working with the world’s most prestigious organizations (including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Juilliard, seven of the ten largest orchestras in the U.S. and organizations in sixteen other countries) and hundreds of grassroots initiatives, Eric Booth is widely called “the father of the teaching artist profession.”
A Broadway actor, successful entrepreneur, keynote speaker, global consultant and teacher, and author of seven previous books, he co-founded the International Teaching Artist Collaborative (ITAC), the first global network of artists who work in communities and schools. He lives in Hudson River Valley north of New York City, and works actively with programs around the world, especially Vermont’s Community Engagement Lab, the Academy for Impact through Music and the Global Leaders Institute. His website: ericbooth.net
As an actor, Eric Booth performed in many plays on Broadway, Off-Broadway and around the country, playing over 23 Shakespearean roles, directing and producing in New York, and winning acting awards on both coasts.
As a businessman, he started a small company, Alert Publishing, that in seven years became the largest of its kind in the U.S. analyzing research on trends in American lifestyles. He was a frequent public spokesperson on trends with three books and regular appearances on CNN, NBC and in major print media, and a nationally syndicated radio program on the Business Radio Network.
As an author, Eric Booth has published eight books. The Everyday Work of Art won three awards, was a (brief) bestseller and was a Book of the Month Club selection. The Music Teaching Artist’s Bible was published by Oxford University Press and is translated into six languages and is widely used as a university textbook. Playing for their Lives (W.W. Norton, co-written with his wife, Tricia Tunstall) is the only book on the global music for social change movement. Tending the Perennials is his book on the relationship between artistic and spiritual skills in everyday life. He has published over 53 articles, for seven years wrote the education column in Chamber Music magazine, and he was the Founding Editor of the quarterly Teaching Artist Journal. He published The Ensemble for the El Sistema movement, the largest publication in the field. He has many essays available on his website.
In arts learning, he has been on the faculty of Juilliard (13 years), and has taught at Stanford University, NYU, the Kennedy Center (16 years), Tanglewood (5 years) and Lincoln Center Education (for 41 years), and he has given classes for every level from kindergarten through graduate school. He has given workshops at over 30 universities, and 60 cultural institutions. He co-founded the Art and Education as well as the Mentoring programs at Juilliard. He has designed and led over twenty research projects, and seven online courses and workshops, including with Harvard University (Harvard Project Zero) and Columbia University (Teachers College). He wrote the course Teaching Artistry for Social Impact (available for free on Kadenze.com) in 2022 through ITAC, and it is used by teaching artists around the world.
He was the Faculty Chair of the Empire State Partnership program for three years (the largest arts-in-education project in America at that time), held one of six chairs on The College Board’s Arts Advisory Committee for seven years, and co-founded and now co-directs the Community Engagement Lab in Vermont, one of the nation’s leading projects experimenting with the connections between communities and schools to build creative capacity.
He serves as a consultant for many organizations, cities and states and businesses around the country, which has included seven of the ten largest U.S. orchestras, and five national service organizations. He is a founding advisor and Board member for ArtistYear, a national service program for artists. Formerly the Founding Director of the Teacher Center of the Leonard Bernstein Center (now on the Board of Directors), he is a frequent keynote speaker on the arts to groups of all kinds.
He is the Senior Advisor to the El Sistema movement in the U.S. He was asked to give the closing keynote address to UNESCO’s first ever worldwide arts education conference (Lisbon 2006), the keynote to the world’s first conference on orchestras and community engagement (Glasgow 2006), and the keynote speaker to all six International Teaching Artist Conferences‚—Oslo 2012, Brisbane 2014, Edinburgh 2016, New York/Carnegie Hall 2018, Seoul (virtual during pandemic) 2020, and Oslo 2022.
He is the first person to be given an honorary doctorate for teaching artistry (New England Conservatory 2012), and in 2015 he was given the nation’s highest award in arts education (Americans for the Arts 2015 Arts Education Leadership Award) and was named one of the “50 Most Powerful and Influential People in the American Arts.”