Applicants seeking financial aid are encouraged to apply for a scholarship. Information about how to apply for a scholarship - for either Teaching Artist Project or Summer Institute - can be found in the application guidelines at the links above. Scholarships are available to participants thanks to The Wiley Fund.
The Birkhofer Family created The Wiley Fund, a charitable fund in memory of their son, Wiley Birkhofer. The Wiley Fund will provide scholarships and support for Teaching Artist trainees and interns in Community-Word Project's Teaching Artist Project.
Wiley was about to begin work as a trainee in the Teaching Artist Project at Community-Word Project at the time of his death in 2014. He was a powerful and influential member of Community-Word Project's Summer Institute 2014, and we looked forward to welcoming him into our Teaching Artist community. Creative writing and, specifically, poetry was his passion, which he wanted to share with children living in hard hit communities across New York City after graduating with an MFA from New York University. Sadly, his nascent writing and teaching career was cut short at the age of twenty-seven.
The Birkhofers - Wendell, Celeste, and their daughter, Elise - are excited that Wiley’s legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of young poets and artists, who share his same enthusiasm for teaching children in underserved communities. The family supports Community-Word Project’s mission to empower youth through the arts, and a voice for social change, through the written word and other forms of artistic expression. Their generosity will help Teaching Artist Project accomplish this goal by training artists to collaborate and bring their creative energy into the classroom. Numerous artists have already benefited from the Birkhofers' generous support. Scholarships have made it possible for them to share their art and passion with children across NYC and beyond.
I had the immense pleasure of sharing several workshops with Wiley Birkhofer at NYU from 2012-2014. Wiley was the joy in all of those rooms. He and I really saw each other through our art. As a poet and as an athlete, Wiley was deeply inspired by the notion of devoting his life both to crafting his poems and, at the same time, supporting, teaching and protecting the youth in his community. When I realized that TAP's scholarship came from the Wiley Fund, it felt like a cosmic directional--to encounter Wiley's generosity and his enormously motivative energy again these years later. Thank you, from the very bottom of my heart, to the Birkhofer family and thank you always, Wiley, for the dream.
- Hannah Beresford, TAP 2018-19
I am so grateful to have had a scholarship so that I could attend the Teaching Artist Project training workshops. I am a professional musician/recording artist and teacher and I feel that, right from the first workshop, I am evolving into a better artist teacher/facilitator. The TAP team is such a caring, knowledgeable and generous group of individuals and they have helped me immensely to improve my teaching capabilities.
-Francisco Roldán, TAP 2018-19
This year, The Wiley Fund provided scholarships for over 70% of our Teaching Artist Project 2018-19 Class, making it possible for many artists to participate in the training who would otherwise not have the opportunity to do so.