IMG_1576 (1)ATTACH fosters collaboration.

In the fall of 2015, we revolutionized our I.D.E.A. grant program and awarded our first cross-district, collaborative grant to art teachers from Centennial, Central and Urbana High. Designed to encourage idea sharing and cooperative planning, their project, titled ATTACH, has been a catalyst for so much more.

In October, nearly 100 high school students from Centennial, Central and Urbana converged on Krannert Art Museum (KAM) to explore the collections, discuss their favorite pieces and gather inspiration for future artwork.

For Piper, a sophomore at Central, this was her first visit to an art museum.“It exposed me to types of art I didn’t know existed.”

IMG_2771Network of support.
After spending a day together at the museum, students returned to their classroom studios and, over the course of several weeks, created a work of art inspired by a piece from the museum. Students and teachers continue to share ideas using Edmodo, as they planned a cross-district, student art show held at Lola’s Brush at Indi Go Gallery in December.

Bring your A-GAME.
Urbana teacher Susan Gleason says her students took the experience seriously. “Seeing the art in the museum, and knowing they were going to create something that would be in a ‘real’ gallery made them bring their A-GAME to the studio. They fully immersed themselves in the creation process.”


6Before the art show at Indi Go in December, the students organized and cataloged pieces. They spent an afternoon carefully arranging and installing their art work.

“I can’t wait to see other people’s work.” -Miranda, student at Central


The show at Indi Go was well attended and impressive! The students were delighted to share their work with family and friends.

IMG_1554 (1)Students aren’t the only ones.
Urbana High School teacher Jill Lagerstam says it’s been refreshing to work with other art teachers, and Carol-Lynn Comparetto says collaborating with experienced art teachers has been critical to her as a first year teacher at Central. “This project is far more robust than what I would have created on my own,” claims Gleason. “The other teachers have enriched me with their ideas, and in the end, our project has many more levels and nuances because of our group conversations.

Centennial teacher Shannon Percocco says this grant has rejuvenated her teaching.“Being awarded this grant has given me the confidence to try something fresh and new.”

Anne Sautmann, Director of Education at KAM, learned from the teachers and students. “I loved hearing their ideas. It was great to give the students more independence and see them explore, experience and connect with works of art.” Vlada, a junior at Urbana, was so inspired by her visit to KAM, she began volunteering at the museum.

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Funding for this grant was $2,700, less than $35 per student. Consider investing in our students and teachers through our grant programs. With your help we can fund COLLABORATIVE GRANTS in areas such as science, engineering or early literacy. Together, we can inspire students, elevate learning, and encourage more collaboration.