The Watershed Project

Teacher Institute

Fall 2020 / Montpelier

The watershed is the web of life.

It is an interdependent network of natural systems that require nurturing in order to thrive. 

How can understanding the watershed help us to build a more thriving web of life in our schools and communities? 

The goal of The Watershed Project is to deepen our understanding and sense of ownership in the health of the watershed, and how the health of the watershed is interwoven with the health of our communities.


The project is limited to six schools on a first-come-first-served basis..


Schools may join The Watershed Project by forming a team of at least three teachers/staff to attend the five-day Vermont Creative Schools Initiative Teacher Institute, Fall 2020 in Montpelier.


At the Institute, your team will co-create an arts-integrated curriculum project alongside master teaching artists and national leaders in project-based learning and creativity.

Teachers receive three graduate credits or a certificate for 35 professional development hours.

Each school team* will receive:

  • Two teaching artist residencies, 12 days total (visual art and photography/videography).

  • In-class Energy Teaching Partner Workshops and consultations on science and climate change integration, provided by VEEP (Vermont Energy Education Program).

  • In-class workshops on the watershed led by Friends of the Winooski River or Friends of the Mad River.

  • Staff support to develop community partners for your project—bringing the community into the school and the school into the community.

  • Creative community events at your public library to strengthen community engagement in your project.

  • PR/media and production support for your project's culminating event.

*Teams must consist of three or more teachers/staff. 

Photo: Ember Photography

What to Expect

The Creative Schools Initiative Teacher Institute is an experience in collaborative and creative planning and learning.

Creative Collaboration

  • Collaborate with two teaching artists (visual arts and photography/videography) who work with your team throughout the week to co-design your project.


Foundations of Creative Learning

  • Develop authentic ways to model creative learning in your classroom and with your colleagues through hands-on creative engagement throughout the week.


Teaching & Assessing Transferable Skills

  • Strengthen your understanding of the skills inside the creative process and techniques for teaching and assessing your students’ creative capacities.  

Climate Change 

  • Feature climate challenges to the watershed as a key component of your project.

UbD - Understanding by Design

  • Leverage the project’s essential question – How can understanding the watershed help us to build a more thriving web of life in our schools and communities? – to map your projects’s enduring and desired understandings. 

Backward Design – Authentic Reflection – Scaffolding Skills

  • Learn best practices with national leaders in the fields of project- and inquiry-based learning. 



(Vermont Energy Education Program)

Friends of the Winooski River

Friends of the Mad River

Public Libraries


"This has been the best professional development in my 27-year teaching career. The faculty was amazing."


Early bird registration before May 1st: $1,990 per person for three graduate credits or $1,690 for non-credit (35 professional development hours), includes snacks & lunches at the Institute.


After July 1st there is a $100 per participant late registration fee. 


Email Community Engagement Lab Partnerships Manager Theresa Murray-Clasen. 


Or visit the FAQ page for answers to questions about fees, choosing your teaching artist and planning your project's culminating event.


To reserve your spot in The Watershed Project



Eric Booth

Eric Booth is widely referred to as one of the nation’s best teachers of creativity, and the father of the teaching artist profession. In 2015 he was awarded the nation's highest honor for an arts educator ( the Arts Education Leadership Award by Americans For The Arts), and was named one of the 25 most important people in the U.S. arts.


In arts learning, he has taught at Juilliard (13 years), Stanford University, NYU, Tanglewood and Lincoln Center Institute (35 years), and The Kennedy Center (12 years). He was the Faculty Chair of the Empire State Partnership program for three years (the largest arts-in-education project in America), and held one of six chairs on The College Board’s Arts Advisory Committee for seven years.


He is the founder and co-designer of the International Teaching Artist Conferences, and is the recipient of the first honorary doctorate in teaching artistry (New England Conservatory), and was the keynote speaker at UNESCO's first world arts education conference.

Judith Bose, Ph.D.

Judith Bose is an independent arts education consultant, specializing in the area of teaching artist development and the intersection of cultural organizations, schools, teachers and teaching artists.


She previously served as the Director of Teacher Education and Educational Initiatives at the Longy School of Music of Bard College, where she developed an innovative Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Music degree program, and led Longy’s Teaching Artist Program. In New York, she was a master teaching artist at the Lincoln Center Institute and the New York Philharmonic for ten years, and she has worked with numerous schools and cultural organizations both nationally and internationally.


Currently, Judith is working with Longy and the WolfBrown arts research firm on a multi-site national evaluation study of El Sistema-inspired programs in the US. 



Alissa Faber

Alissa is an artist, designer, and educator. She holds a bachelors in Fine Arts and has a background in arts-integrated school residencies and afterschool eduction. Faber graduated from Alfred University with a degree in sculpture and has worked in glass and ceramic studios across the country. Much of her work is directly influenced by teachable moments and student questions. Alissa's sculptures and installations are about interacting with each material so viewers can see the fluidity of hot glass, feel the texture of clay or see the vibrancy in natural materials. 

Renee Greenlee

Renee began her career in the nonprofit sector after receiving her Masters degrees in both Communication and Theology. She then created and managed programs for low-income communities, photographing the people and places impacted by these services. After completing an intensive photography program, she shifted to making work and teaching photography full time. She envisions the practice of photography as communication; a dialogue between light, memory and the meaning of making an image.


Harris and Frances Block Foundation



41 Summer St.

Montpelier, VT 05602


Staff contact info 

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon

© 2020 by Community Engagement Lab