41 Summer St.

Montpelier, VT 05602



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© 2019 by Community Engagement Lab


             at the Center

    of Learning

Photo: Gordon Miller


Keep up with all the CEL news.


$50,000 Awarded to Teaching Artists
To Engage Communities Around Climate Change Challenges

The first Thriving Communities Project Grants – each worth $10,000 – have been awarded to five teaching artists and artist teams to lead creative place-making projects that will engage their communities in an exploration of a local challenge related to climate change.

The projects include nine teaching artists working with 24 community organizations in four communities: Middlebury, Brattleboro, Marlboro and Burlington. 


Peoples Academy
Creative Schools Initiative


Vermont Public Radio featured a story on the project that teachers, students and community members in Morrisville are developing to answer the question: What makes my community sustainable? 


Peoples Academy senior Cami Lowcock and high school art teacher Averill McDowell stand before some of the 23 banners created by art students, featuring people who make up the Morrisville community.



OUR MISSION is to empower communities to thrive by engaging people of all ages in projects that activate their creativity and inspire their social imagination.

Who We Are


Founded in 2011, the Community Engagement Lab is a leader in putting creativity at the center of learning. Our goal is for all Pre-K-12 students in Vermont to have greater access to high quality creative learning opportunities for developing the creative and critical thinking skills they need to succeed in school and life.

“I found out that I can be self-directed.”

- 6th Grade Student
Creative Schools Initiative project

What We Do


Our flagship program, the Vermont Creative Schools Initiative, has three key components:

Creative Projects  This is what it’s all about: creative classrooms and communities in action. We award a seven-day teaching artist residency to each of our partner schools to help teachers and community partners provide more creative learning opportunities for their students.  LEARN MORE


Professional Development for PreK-12 classroom teachers, teaching artists, expanded learning providers, and community leaders to develop more high-quality creative learning opportunities for Vermont students.



Community Network Building to align the programming of like-minded organizations for greater impact, and to build a shared vision and agenda for placing creativity at the center of learning.  LEARN MORE

Where We Work


Since 2014 we have served 3,500 students, 110 classroom teachers in 37 schools from the Northeast Kingdom to Brattleboro.  Our goal is to serve 3,000 students each year in all regions of the state by 2021.

"I have more motivation and more ability to go out and be an active member of the community.”

- 12th Grade Student
Creative Schools Initiative project

Creative Schools Initiative project at Randolph Union High School

Finnie's 41 sec. Creativity Pledge from the Creative Learning Forum

  Lead Sponsors & Programming Partners  

Bay and Paul Foundations

Hendrickson Family Foundation


© 2017 by Community Engagement Lab