Carmelle Nickens is the Founder and Manager of Rural Arts Collaborative (RAC), an initiative of the Fayette County Cultural Trust. RAC was founded to provide Teaching Artist residencies in rural schools in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Teaching Artists are placed in schools to work with students and teachers to enhance the existing arts curriculum and make it more robust through project based learning. Teaching Artist residencies are a generally a full academic year, and at minimum, one full academic semester, during school time. Funded by the Benedum Foundation with additional funding from Chevron, Community Foundation of Fayette County and EQT.