Our Projects


We design using our collective creative resources and rigorous research methods to inform our theory of change. Through careful observation and reflection we test our assumptions and adapt our approach. The following projects are laboratories for creative engagement. We are proud to lead successful collaborations with countless makers, thinkers, researchers and educators.


The makeSPACE professional development program brings together eight Oregon school districts for teacher-centered explorations of creativity and arts integration. Creative Engagement Lab leads the design and facilitation of makeSPACE courses and institutes. Our priority is developing teachers’ courage to use the arts as a classroom catalyst for learning and belonging. During online coursework and in-person institutes, teachers’ engagement takes many shapes. They gesture, soundscape, sculpt, make metaphors, and reflect (often). All are opportunities to grow creative empathy while gaining experience with student-ready creative routines.

Early research provides promising evidence that makeSPACE teachers are developing the creative mindsets and skills that foster conditions for students’ creative engagement.

makeSPACE is funded by the US Department of Education through an Assistance for Arts Education Development and Dissemination Grant.


The ArtCore project brought arts integration to 600 socioeconomically marginalized students in five Oregon middle and high schools. In collaboration with other teaching artists, CEL specialists designed and implemented dynamic arts integrated professional development opportunities and one-on-one arts integration coaching and modeling alongside more than 75 teachers.

During ArtCore we tested the notion that creatively-engaged learning promotes academic development and growth mindsets and found it to be true! One key insight from our research is students’ creative metacognition—their own thinking and feeling about their creative process—was a key to unlock their creative potential in learning. We also found that feeling a sense of belonging in the classroom was essential for creative risk-taking.

ArtCore was funded by the US Department of Education, the Oregon Community Foundation, and the Mills Davis Fund.

Creative Engagement For Health

What conditions need to be in place for people to engage their unique creative resources? How can teachers support their students’ sense of autonomy, belonging, and competency through engagement in artistic and creative processes? These questions are fundamental to this arts integrated curriculum aimed at supporting student wellbeing by attending to their development of creative resources. Collaboration across teachers and mental health professionals is central to CEL’s design and implementation of this series of experiential lessons.

Creative Engagement for Health is funded by the Mills Davis Foundation.

Culturally Responsive And Sustaining Teachers (CReST) Course

CReST expands visual arts teachers’ awareness and resources so they can support students from diverse backgrounds to give voice to their lived experiences. The course is centered around the creative work and voices of diverse contemporary artists and invites teachers to integrate course themes while engaging in visual arts processes. We are facilitating a design process that includes a diverse team of collaborators from Drexel University, Artura, and the Brandywine Workshop and Archives.  

CReST is funded by a grant from the Windgate Foundation. 

Site-Specific Design & Facilitation

We design and facilitate arts-integrated experiences for groups of all kinds. Interested? Contact us!


We work with teams of all sizes--and all disciplines--to facilitate experiential creative learning.