FILIPINX Teaching Fellowship

In its third year, the Filipinx Teaching Artist Fellowship provides free studio workspace to a Filipinx artist in exchange for being an integral part of Root Division’s Studios Program. In large part, the commitment involves teaching classes one to two afternoons per week at Bessie Carmichael Elementary School and the Filipino Education Center (FEC), an after school program for newcomer children who have recently emigrated to San Francisco.

Working as a teaching-artist in residence for the full school year, the FTAF incorporates monthly themes from the BCE/FEC cultural calendar into projects, which guide students in discussions, story-telling, and art-making around in their transition to a new home in the U.S. Instruction in the program is in Tagalog and English, so the FTAF is expected to be fluent in both languages.

Here is a sample project from our 2019-20 Filipinx Teaching Artist Fellow, ChiChai Mateo and her 4th + 5th grade students at Bessie Carmichael Elementary School ( Filipino Education Center).


Instructor: ChiChai Mateo 

Bessie Carmichael Elementary School 

Project Title: Fil-Am Artist Biographies with Paper Bag Puppets
Students: 4th + 5th Grade
Materials: Brown paper bags, multi-purpose glue, colored pencils, markers, tissue paper, construction paper, pipe cleaners, beads

About the Project: For this project, each student was assigned a Filipinx-American artist to learn about and represent in their work. The students were given a biography of their historical figure, as well as a printout with photos of them and samples of the artists’ work. The students made a brown paper-bag puppet of their artist, using their creative and analytical skills to create a visual interpretation of what they learned about their figure’s external and internal traits. The goals of this project were to allow students to learn and teach each other about different Fil-Am artists, and to boost students’ self-esteems by showing them that Fil-Ams have made a great impact in the US.



To learn more about ChiChai Mateo, our 2019-20 Filipinx Teaching Artist Fellow, you can visit her RD Studio Artist page and read our blog interview on RD Talk. You can also download a free project tutorial from ChiChai on Expressive Portraits here.

Interested in applying for the 2020-21 Filipinx Teaching Artist Fellowship? Application page is here.

For questions, email Michael Gabrielle, Education Programs Manager: