Students on an exploratory field trip of art in urban spaces, Phoenix, AZ, 2019, photo by author.

Johanna Taylor’s classes connect interdisciplinary scholarship and real-world examples to inspire students to become active in creating their own narratives, seeing themselves as not just living in the world but realizing that they can be agents of transformation. Classes bring professionals into the classroom to share their experiences as artists, public administrators, and city officials as well as take students into the field to study.

Since 2017, she has been teaching core classes in the MA in Creative Enterprise and Cultural Leadership program at Arizona State University. The program grounds future arts leaders in core management skillsets to support the creative industries in disrupting traditional business models, advancing technological change, and democratizing access to culture. She led a redesign of the graduate curriculum to center social impact and place, elevating connections to faculty across units with new courses and cross-cutting themes.

Taylor’s teaching in this program including a methods course connecting students with the City of Tempe to create real world policy infrastructures to support artists and designers with space, connections, and resources. The class taught both creative approaches and qualitative research methods through hands on assignments in the classroom and in the field. She developed a core course about the organizational contexts and leadership structures of nonprofit, public, and for-profit institutions around the central theme of cultural equity. This course responds to the changing landscape facing arts leaders, looking at everything from new funding structures such as social impact investing and the solidarity economy to deeper implications for accessibility and labor issues. She has also taught classes about art, community, and public spaces, including a collaborative lab course that partnered business school students with art and design students working with a local business improvement district.

Prior to joining ASU, she taught undergraduate classes at Parsons the New School for Design about art and urbanism, socially engaged art, and seminars for first year students in writing and research methods. She also taught a class for undergraduates about activating urban spaces at Stanford University as a Creative Cities fellow.