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The Association of Teaching Artists (ATA) is a not for profit advocacy organization in New York State that brings together artists who teach in schools and in the community to: Educate, Collaborate, and Communicate.



Recipients of ATA Distinguished Service to the Arts Education Field Award

Back to ATA Distinguished Service to the Arts Education Field Award

2003 Award, Barbara Fisher and Richard Speigel
The 2003 Association of Teaching Artists’ Teaching Artist Distinguished Service to The Arts In Education Field Award will honor Barbara Fisher and Richard Spiegel. The Award was created in 2002 to honor individual artist educators who not only pioneered the Arts In Education Field, but who also continue to define the best of what it means to be a Teaching Artist. This award is the first in the nation to recognize artist educators for service to the Arts In Education field.

Richard Spiegel and Barbara Fisher, native New Yorkers, met in 1977 while organizing the annual alternative press New York Book Fair for which he was poetry coordinator and she fiscal director. They’ve published Waterways: Poetry in the Mainstream 11 times a year since 1978 giving voice to adult poets from Indonesia to Coney Island. They’ve published more than 2,000 separate student literary magazines, and close to 10,000 youths since beginning their partnership with NYC schools in 1979 first by letterpress, then xerography, and more recently on the web. Their program, The Waterways Project, began as a collaboration of 30 small poetry presses determined to bring poetry to the people coming to readings on piers, riverbanks and waterfront areas of NY State.
Ten Penny Players
, their children’s theatre was begun in 1967 providing live and puppet programs to youths of all ages. With a particular mission to persons with disabilities they have worked in hospitals, rehabilitative settings, self contained special education classrooms, and prisons. Spiegel has published 6 chapbooks of poetry, 2 of which include his paintings; Fisher has written and illustrated more than 25 books for children/young adults. They’ve both been published extensively by the alternative press and were married on the Brooklyn Bridge.



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Barbara Fisher and Richard Speigel

Richard Lewis