Interested in being a Mentor/Teaching Artist with Urban Word NYC, one of the leading youth arts & literacy organizations in the country? Learn more about the amazing work we do at

Our organization has been teaching across the city for 20 years, facilitating workshops and residencies at schools, community centers, and venues across the city. Our Mentors are internationally acclaimed poets and educators experienced in teaching in our classrooms while attending national poetry competitions, touring the world, or working on amazing independent projects.  

If you have a passion for building curriculum using poetry/hip-hop to help youth explore their writing and their voice, if you have classroom experience especially with middle and high school-aged students, if you desire to create safe spaces for youth, and if you believe that the arts can be the gateway to literacy and self-awareness, join us!


Please see below the lists of what we need for you to apply and what you can expect as one of our mentors:
What To Expect:
– Flexible Scheduling: As we know our mentors are touring artists, working with other organizations, or in school, we work with your schedule! Once a teaching artist, Urban Word will request that you provide your availability and update it whenever it changes so we know when to book. Keep in mind that work fluctuates with the seasons and school demand.
— Varied Opportunities: Mentors looking for regular work have the opportunity to commit to long term residencies (regular workshops that last from 8 weeks to a full school year). Mentors also have the option to teach shorter term residencies (1 day to a few weeks). Lastly, we have Mentors that do on-time/one-day workshops and performance opportunities. The choice is yours!
– Biweekly Payments: We take paying our artists seriously.    
– On-Going Professional Development: As a UW Mentor, you are committing to continuously perfect your craft as a teaching artist. Through our required New Mentor Institute, our connections with various arts & educational organizations as well as our monthly Professional Development Socials, you will have access to number opportunities to learn new skills and techniques for the classroom.



Email your resume and 3 sample lesson plans targeted to middle school and/or high school ages with a cover letter in the body of the email to Shanelle Gabriel at (The lessons are just to get an idea of your teaching style.


Candidate will meet to discuss their specific pedagogy around teaching artistry, and learn even more about the Mentor role.



The UW Mentor roster is increased every year on an as-needed basis, and all mentors who are considered but do not make the final selection are invited to submit again for future school semesters.

Apply Here

For more information email your resume and letter of
interest to our Program Director, Shanelle Gabriel at