Who We Are

A dual mission since 2002: accessible teacher training for all Columbia MFA students and community enrichment through the arts.


Founded in May 2002, Columbia Artist/Teachers (CA/T) is a faculty of Writing Program MFA candidates. CA/T provides MFA teachers with training and teaching opportunities on and off campus, with students of all ages and levels. We collaborate with local schools and various community organizations in New York to establish no-cost arts education programs designed specifically to the needs and goals of the institutions. These writing workshops and seminars—which present the opportunity for an educational artistic outlet, developing literary talents—encourage sharing, discussion, critical thinking, and creative expression. Our instructors are experienced, dedicated, and passionate about teaching writing and the arts. CA/T is advised by Professors Alan Ziegler (the Writing Program Director of Pedagogy) and Dorothea Lasky. The organization is run by student directors and coordinators.

We are so happy to have a partnership with the CA/T program at Columbia. The students who are involved benefit so much from the writing and literary adventures they are guided through.

Sofia Apostolidis, Frank Sinatra School of the Arts

Why CA/T?

CA/Ts enhance their own understanding of writing and literature while gaining experience that will serve them in obtaining—and excelling in—post-MFA teaching positions. 


CA/Ts are encouraged to design curriculum and develop programs that support their aspirations as arts educators. 


CA/T faculty are supported in their early teaching careers by a caring network of fellow teachers, alumni, and staff.

CA/T is a great program that provides organizations with accessible writing programming. During their time at The Door, the young people learned various styles of writing and connected to the Teaching Artists in a deep and meaningful way. I definitely recommend this program!

Paris Alexandra, The Door

Teach with Us

All students in the Writing Program (including Research Arts) are eligible to be a member of Columbia Artist/Teachers. Interested students should attend a brief information session, held at the beginning of the Fall semester, which addresses time commitments and stipulations particular to each teaching location, as well as application protocol.


If a student is unable to attend this information session, they should contact Galina Nemirovsky​ or a CA/T coordinator to schedule a one-on-one meeting. 


Students who are not pursuing their MFA in writing (visual arts, sound arts, theater, film) and are interested in teaching for the program should contact CA/T Faculty Advisors Alan Ziegler or Dorothea Lasky or Director Galina Nemirovsky

Teaching creative writing at the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has been restorative as it has reminded me of the importance of self expression and the potential for writing to lift the human spirit. I am continuously humbled by my students' passion, humor and enthusiasm in exploring different literary styles and sharing their voices. Their inquisitive nature, as well as their openness in approaching new techniques and materials is inspiring to witness.

Jenessa R. Abrams, Artist/Teacher

Become a Teaching Site

If you are a school or community organization looking for a NO COST ARTS EDUCATION PROGRAM, please contact CA/T Faculty Advisors Alan Ziegler or Dorothea Lasky or Director Galina Nemirovsky


We can set up a partnership and provide creative writing instructors with skills specific to your organization’s needs as early as the start of the next semester.