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Summer Institute for Creative Teaching

The Summer Institute for Creative Teaching is a three-day, in-person learning experience for Indiana educators. Through hands-on experience and collaboration with peers, participants will learn effective and innovative teaching strategies to implement in their classrooms. The program includes engaging artistic activities and opportunities to explore how creative teaching can enhance curriculum. Register to attend the three-day workshop on the registration tab below.

Note: This program is eligible for PGP points.

The Summer Institute for Creative Teaching is presented through a partnership of the Indiana Arts Commission and The Indiana Department of Education.

When and where is the Summer Institute?

The 2024 Summer Institute for Creative Teaching will be taking place July 10-12, 2024 at the Herman B. Wells Community Center at Lebanon High School (510 Tiger Way, Lebanon IN, 46052).

See the Agenda tab for a detailed schedule.

What will participants learn?

  • Hands-on art workshops to try new artforms
  • Best practices in using art to enhance learning in other curriculums and standards
  • Connections with creative educators and community arts leaders

Who is the intended audience of the Summer Institute?

  • Classroom Educators K-12 who want to try new creative activities and learn how to apply them to their classroom
  • Arts Education staff at arts organizations who want to connect with other professionals and learn new strategies in arts learning

While arts educators and artists play a critical role in educating students, this conference is designed for those with less experience with arts education and arts integration.

Testimonials from Past Attendees

“Overall this was an amazing experience. I had a great time & learned so much. I'm inspired & motivated to implement what I learned into my class.”

“Poetry & wool felting were both AWESOME! One was academic and methodic while the other was hands on & experiential.”

    • 100% of last year’s attendees said the conference was fun and informative.
    • 97% said it was relevant to their work directly.
    • 97% said they would attend again and 100% would recommend to a friend!


Q: Why not Art Teachers?
A: This program is meant to *introduce* creativity and art to non-arts educators. Art Teachers already bring their creativity and arts skills to their classrooms every day. Much of the strategies covered in the conference will already be known by arts educators. Fine arts educators (music teachers, visual art teachers, etc) and artists play a critical role in educating students. This conference is designed for those with less experience with arts education and arts integration to connect with their creative side.

Day 1 - Wednesday, July 10

Time Block (Eastern Time) Title and PresenterDescription
12:30 - 1:00 PM Registration Table Opens Arrive early so you don’t miss our opening performance!
1:00 - 1:15 PM  Epiphany African Dance Collective Epiphany Dance Collective is an African dance company based in Indianapolis. This dynamic group of adult and teen performers has been cultivating West African dance since 2010. Through quality artistic performances, Epiphany Dance Collective entertains, educates, and preserves African traditions. 
1:00 - 2:20 PM Welcome Session Welcome session will include guest speakers, an Arts Integration 101 talk, and will preview the sessions to come throughout the conference
2:30 - 3:20 PM (OR)
3:30 - 4:30 PM
Felt Painting as Self-Expression with  Paula Scott Frantz This session explores needle felting as a way to access imagination and the enjoyment of self-expression.
2:30 - 3:20 PM (OR)
3:30 - 4:30 PM
Improv Games for Academic and Social Success with Jim Ansaldo In this active and participatory workshop, participants will experience fun and impactful improv theater games that support the academic and social success of all students! We’ll explore ways to implement the games in any classroom and discuss how improv games align with the Universal Design for Learning framework, and participants will gain access to a free online “starter pack” of games.
2:30 - 3:20 PM (OR)
3:30 - 4:30 PM
Writing the 3-Part Poem aka ‘J9 with Curtis Crisler This session will use the “J9” prompt for groups (and individual writing) to explore and develop new poems.
2:30 - 3:20 PM (OR)
3:30 - 4:30 PM
Cultural Dance of West Africa with Ronne Stone Participants will be introduced to traditional dance techniques and symbols of West Africa and participate in group and solo dance opportunities.
2:30 - 3:20 PM (OR)
3:30 - 4:30 PM
Street Art and Mathematics Workshop with Leon Crosby Using rulers, pencils, and pens to create street art style lettering and create 3d designs. Incorporating measurements into drawing is a great way to engage visual learners with math.
3:50 PM - 4:30 PM Understanding Both Worlds: Collaboration and Communication Between Teachers and Arts Organizations (Arts Administrator Track) In this session designed for arts administrators, join us for an insightful panel discussion on fostering effective communication and collaboration between teachers and arts organization staff. Learn practical strategies and tools that promote understanding, trust, and shared goals within educational settings.
4:30 - 7:00 PM Optional Networking Event Details to come!

Day 2 - Thursday, July 11

Time Block (Eastern Time) Title and PresenterDescription
9:00 - 10:15 AM Keynote Session As we launch the second day of the Summer Institute, we'll hear from Indiana superintendents about how creativity and the arts are important to student growth and learning.
10:30 AM -12:00 PM Dancing through the Curriculum with Melli Hoppe In this interactive dance workshop, you will learn how the elements of dance can bring joy into your classroom while connecting with themes such as: cloud types, simple machines, layers of a pond or rainforest, states of matter, parts of speech and the water cycle. This workshop will also address SEL skills including:  self-awareness, self-management, cooperation, and problem solving.
10:30 AM -12:00 PM Theatre Integration Techniques: Beyond Readers Theatre with Christy Burgess This interactive theatre session will allow participants to be 'students' in a theatre integration classroom and experience the joy and learning that happens when you add  theatre techniques to the curriculum.
10:30 AM -12:00 PM Retelling:  Using Music to Communicate Key Details of a Story with Kristi Unger and Emily France In this session, participants will have the opportunity to learn how to create a music arts integrated lesson. This will involve understanding how to align the lesson with standards, develop engaging content, and assess student learning. Additionally, participants will get to experience the lesson as a student, allowing for a more immersive and hands-on learning experience.
10:30 AM -12:00 PM Drawing Conclusions: Leading Drawing Projects for Non-Artists with Jingo De La Rosa If you "can't draw a stick figure" but still know that drawing could get your students engaged, come to this session to learn basic elements and techniques of illustration art that will be able to be used in any unit of learning.
10:30 AM -12:00 PM Arts Learning Program Design Best Practices (Arts Administrator Track) Discover proven best practices in our interactive workshop designed to empower arts organizations to create engaging, relevant, and effective arts learning experiences. This session will also include content dedicated to including accessibility for students with special needs, and a Q&A with speakers.
1:30 - 1:45 PM Student Performance Details to come!
1:30 - 3:00 PM Connecting Conversations With Art Stations (Arts Administrator Track) Arts Admin staff, it’s time for a brain break! Debrief with fellow arts org attendees, network, and share ideas, or engage in art making at a variety of stations around the space.
1:45 - 2:50 PM Making Connections through Learning Together we'll debrief what each deep dive experience covered and how we can make connections back to our everyday work.
3:00 - 5:30 PM Excursion 1: Thorntown Visual Arts Experience Hop on the Bus to Thorntown! At Sugar Creek Art Center participants will tour the art studio, make art, and have a walking tour of nearby murals.
3:00 - 5:30 PM Excursion 2: Lebanon Theatre and Downtown District Experience Staying local, this short bus ride will have several stops along the way. First we'll visit Black Box Theatre Studio, then we will head to the downtown district to get an arts experience.
3:00 - 5:30 PM Excursion 3: Zionsville Cultural District and Music Experience All Aboard to Zionsville! This excursion will visit several Zionsville arts organizations to experience Performing Arts magic.

Day 3 - Friday, July 12

Time Block (Eastern Time) Title and PresenterDescription
8:00 - 8:50 AM Networking Breakfast Connect with fellow attendees over a hot breakfast spread and collect contact info for future collaborations.
9:00 - 9:30 AM Day 3 Welcome Session Gather for the third day welcome session.
9:30 - 10:30 AM How to Communicate Program Value to Stakeholders (Arts Administrator Track) Join our panel discussion to learn effective ways to communicate the value of your program to school administration, stakeholders, teachers, community members, and more. Gain insights on messaging strategies that resonate with funders, to generate support and recognition for your initiatives.
9:30 - 10:30 AM IRL: Arts in the Classroom "In Real Life" Hear from a panel of the 2023 Fellowship For Creative Teaching classroom educators about their Creative Teaching projects and partnerships.
10:45 -11:45 AM Benefits of Expanding Your Teaching Artist Roster with Different Perspectives Join our panel discussion to explore strategies for expanding your teaching artist roster. Learn from experts about the wonderful outcomes that can happen when we look beyond our immediate network to create arts learning programming.
10:30 -11:45 AM Artists in Classrooms: All the Logistics You Never Knew You Needed Hear from arts integration expert Stephanie Haines of the Indiana Arts Commission about the logistics of collaboration between classrooms and arts organizations including questions you should be asking and how you can avoid the common pitfalls.
11:30 AM -12:00 PM See you later, not goodbye. The big sendoff of the conference will include Raffle Prizes, a performance, and more.

Register to attend the Summer Institute for Creative Teaching.

The registration fee is highly subsidized and represents only a fraction of the whole cost of the event. The registration cost covers 3 days of enriching activities, carefully designed professional development experiences, all materials and supplies, and meals including two lunches and two breakfasts.

Scholarships are available for Educators. Apply for Scholarships here.

Registration TypeFee to Attend
Early Registration (February 22- May 1)$75
Regular Registration (May 2 -  May 28)$110

Announced Soon!

Coming Soon!

Stephanie Haines
Arts Education and Accessibility Manager
Indiana Arts Commission

(317) 450-9973