K12ArtChat the Podcast

The Creativity Department

A podcast for K-12 art educators interested in connecting with colleagues and ideas. Each episode, hosted by Matt and Laura Grundler, takes you backstage with guest hosts from #K12ArtChat to dig into the latest art education innovations and resources. You’ll find tips, tools, and inspiration to keep you connected and moving forward.

All Episodes

The Creativity Department speaks with Jeannine Flores, Vice Chair of Create CA. Listen in to this informative conversation about building vibrant and visible local alliances that spark partnerships and spread art advocacy. Learn how Create CA is working to ensure every student receives a complete and creative education.

Nov 18

32 min 9 sec

In this episode – The Creativity Department talks with Kerri Smith, author of Wreck This Journal! Joining them is Carrie Baughcum, author of My Pencil Made Me Do It. Each author talks about their approach to sketch noting as art and as a form of self-care. Discover what inspired the creation of their books, their creative process, and how the prompts for their books came to be.

Nov 10

57 min 28 sec

In this episode – Team Grundler are chatting together about how to deal with end of the year burnout and reigniting the joy of teaching. Matt and Laura also go over your answers from the chat, stories from the art room and multiple happy teacher moments!

Nov 4

41 min 55 sec

In this episode The Creativity Department wraps up their chat with NAEA Leadership about Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (ED&I). This meaningful conversation, driven by questions and topics sent in for discussion from art educators in the field, continues to explore details we all must deeply consider when thinking through the work needed to create social transformation and remove barriers. From thoughtful insight to support and resources this discussion is packed with strategies you can put into use today.

Oct 28

39 min 43 sec

In this episode – The Creativity Department chats with NAEA Leadership about Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (ED&I). This meaningful conversation, driven by questions and topics sent in for discussion from art educators in the field, dives into the detail we all must deeply consider when thinking through the work to be done to bring about social transformation and remove barriers. From thoughtful insight to support and resources this discussion is packed with strategies you can put into use today.

Oct 21

49 min 22 sec

Matt and Laura chat with Keisha Casiano about dignity in the art room. How do you teach students about mindsets and to be proud of who they are, no matter their disability? It’s harder than it sounds, that’s where Keisha comes in. She has years of experience working with students with disabilities and learning to overcome her own disability. Whether it’s using a piece of cardboard to paint or another unconventional method, Keisha and the Grundler’s share resources to help you help your students.

Oct 14

47 min

The Creativity Department talks with Dr. Dorothy VanderJagt of iFireUp about embedded professional learning. Dr. VanderJagt dives into the importance of developing a culture of trust among educator colleagues to ensure a safe space exists. Meaningful PD is built on this trust and the ability to safely cross examine and collaborate. When PD is embedded in the workday - like learning walks or during staff meetings – there will be natural connections that will ultimately support the students.

Oct 7

44 min 44 sec

Orlando Bolaños talks with the Creativity department about Social Engagement Practice, how our art rooms are mirroring the diversity of our students, and how Culturally Relevant Pedagogy can be used to achieve teaching goals. Orlando goes into detail about how a student’s own identity can be used to develop strong student-teacher relationships and advocate for growth in the art room.

Sep 30

55 min 3 sec

The Creativity Department speaks with Sandra Munoz & Esmerelda Fernandez, bilingual art educators from Plano, Texas. Sandra and Esmerelda share their experiences with ELs, the communities they come from, and how the arts can help them find their personal identities. It’s not always easy to create equity in bilingual communities, but Sandra and Esmerelda share their stories and resources on how to make it happen!

Sep 23

57 min 52 sec

In this episode – the Creativity Department talks with Dr. Desiree Alexander about building relationships with students in the art room and promoting connection with students with a variety of backgrounds and "lenses". Class identity and collective culture within the art room can be difficult to implement, but as Dr. Alexander explains – it can help students open up with their art.

Sep 16

46 min 15 sec

The Creativity Department speaks with NAEA Elementary Division leaders Tiffany Belz and Devon Calvert about the importance of support and engagement. Discover how much help is available through your state and local art associations. Listen in to hear about the benefits of having an entire community of educators ready to share and collaborate across your state and the country.

Sep 9

37 min 34 sec

The Creativity Department speaks with Dr. Heidi C. Powell, recipient of the FAEA Art Educator of the Year Award for higher education, about her research on the topic of cultural continuity and what it means to hold true to traditions and heritage in a contemporary way. During the conversation Dr. Powell discusses how we create national and community identity through art making practice and how those practices help us maintain identity, strengthen connections, and foster community. 

Sep 2

56 min 39 sec

In this episode the Creativity Department talks to artists turned teachers Sean Justice and Andrea Kantrowitz about multimodal and collaborative learning. Focusing on visual journals, sketch noting, and bring different ways of thinking, doing, and learning into contact with each other, this episode is packed full of unorthodox ways to teach your students how to be creative.

Aug 26

55 min 43 sec

The Creativity Department speaks with Manuel Herrera, Coordinator of Learning Services for the Affton School District and adjunct professor for Webster University in St. Louis, MO. Manuel is an educator, speaker, and illustrator who specializes in sketchnoting, visual thinking, and design thinking. Listen in for ideas on how to implement the many benefits of using visual thinking strategies, sketchnoting, and storyboarding to fully immerse students in the creative process.

Aug 19

48 min 28 sec

As you face what the new school year holds, take a few minutes to hear about tools like Padlet and Flipgrid. The Creativity Department speaks with educator Mike Call about how the digital tools we have come to rely on help bring students together. 

Aug 12

31 min 47 sec

The Creativity Department discuses using drawing, sketch noting, visual journaling, and creativity to process large problems with young students. In this episode they speak with author and educator, Chris Gadbury. Listen in to learn about the work he does around the world promoting student agency and creativity while tackling global issues we are all challenged with solving.

Aug 5

44 min 31 sec

In this episode, The Creativity Department is joined by Karen Blessen, founder of 29 Pieces and creator of The American Love Project. Listen in as Karen and Judy Stone-Nunneley, Visual Arts Coordinator for Grand Prairie ISD in Texas and project participant, discuss The American LOVE Project. Learn about this nationwide public art project designed to illustrate the power of art to transform communities. Discover how this program works to heal and create positive social change and how you can participate.

Jul 29

43 min 22 sec

In this episode – Reggio Emilia expert and author Cathy Topal joins The Creativity Department to discuss art education in early childhood. During the conversation, Cathy shares strategies to build community, how to approach design with young children, and what she defines as an open-ended lesson. 

Jul 22

47 min 5 sec

An insightful conversation with Hall Rockefeller, art historian and founder of Less Than Half, an online platform created to proactively address the lack of information that exists about female artists. Laura, Hall, and Matt discuss the importance of uplifting under-represented voices. During the conversation, they explore themes such as supporting female and non-binary students as artists, how to teach about intersectionality through art, and avoiding stereotypes.

Jul 15

41 min 7 sec

In this episode, recorded earlier this year, The Creativity Department talks with Learning Experience Designer, Kurt Klynen about ways creativity can be used to shape experiences, inspire your work and those around you, and essentially get us through anything.

Jul 8

34 min 58 sec

During this year of COVID, it was important to know when to disconnect and step away. In this episode Laura and Matt are going to talk just a little about what they did this year to take care of themselves. They share suggestions teachers like you offered up during the Twitter chat on June 10th and most importantly encourage you to do everything you can to shut it all off and enjoy some down time!

Jul 1

24 min 27 sec

During the June 17th Twitter chat Joseph Boatfield and returning guest Kevin Hsieh facilitated a conversation about LGBTQ+ inclusiveness in the art room. The chat covered inquiries about stereotypes, how to navigate the topic with administration, and how to show support for students. In this episode The Creativity Department speak candidly with Kevin and Joseph to get their own perspective on the questions they asked, as educators and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Jun 24

43 min 37 sec

This week the Creativity Department is joined by Craig Yen. Craig is an elementary classroom teacher that infuses everything he does with art. He understands the importance of creativity, creating, and making sure students have a voice and outlet to use it in his classroom. As everyone has traversed this last year, he’s made sure his students have had even more art to help them navigate the constant changes. Listen in to this week’s conversation for information, advice, resources, and ideas on how to engage students in the process of creating content around topics important to them.

Jun 17

40 min 46 sec

In this episode the Creativity Department speaks with Carlos Cruz and Tara Rousseau from the NAEA LGBTQ+ Interest Group. During the conversation they share readily available resources that explain LGBTQ+ issues to help you understand what students need to be successful. You’ll discover inspiration, ideas, and advice on ways to connect with students, learn, grow, and be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Jun 10

44 min 29 sec

Recent waves of discrimination and prejudice due to the pandemic have created an even greater need for education and resources in support of Asian culture. In this episode the Creativity Department speaks with Dr. Ryan Shin and Dr. Kevin Hsieh about educating students on Social Justice and diversity as well as ways in which educators can respectfully and honorably incorporate Asian art, culture, and artifacts into their curriculum.

Jun 2

56 min 6 sec

The past year and a half has been tough on everyone, but art and creative expression have eased the anxiety we’re all facing. In this episode, Matt and Laura talk to guest Adam Saenz who specializes in creative writing to expand emotional intelligence and about how art can be used to address mental health.

May 27

47 min 22 sec

During this episode, the Creativity Departments speaks with the research team behind the Who Is American Today project, Flavia Bastos and James Rees. Discover what Critical Digital Citizenship looks like, what role it plays in student’s lives, and how art education prepares students to examine their identity and become critical digital citizens.

May 20

55 min 51 sec

Media Arts IS challenging, it requires educators to be open, learn new things and be ready to constantly pivot. In this episode the Creativity Department interviews Justin Pierce, a dynamic art educator who has had great success developing a Media Arts program that creatively engages students of all abilities - REMOTELY. Get an inside perspective on the challenges, pros and cons, and successes of developing and teaching a Media Arts program in unprecedented times.

May 13

40 min 36 sec

The Creativity Department discusses learnings and dare we say advances achieved this year with Carl Hooker, educator and consultant. From student driven learning to thoughtful technology integration Carl’s insight is a driving force for change in the classroom. How can we ensure there is opportunity for interspace learning and keep the advantages discovered over this year? Enjoy this episode filled with ideas.

May 6

48 min 24 sec

From brainstorming to critical thinking and problem solving, Collaborative Tape Art has countless benefits! In this episode the Creativity Department speaks with Leah Smith and Michael Townsend of the original Tape Art Crew. Listen in and learn about the importance of experimentation, thinking big, working together, and taking risks for students of all abilities across all grades.

Apr 29

50 min 55 sec

The perceptions of digital art can be hard to overcome and hurdles such as lack of training, fear of technology, and fear of "failing" all make the idea of including digital techniques daunting. In this episode the Creativity Department speaks with Kasmira Mohanty, Digital Artist and Art Educator, about how to get past the perception of digital art and why it is important.

Apr 22

56 min 29 sec

The Creativity Department speaks with Dan Ryder, an expert in project-based learning who infuses creativity into the work he does with students. Dan connects everything in his work and uses creative expression to deepen understanding. Listen in for a different perspective on the importance of creativity as Laura and Matt dig into how you can always find time for building experiences that go deeper and allow for expansion.

Apr 15

1 hr 2 min

The arts offer equity in a different way than any other class, through creativity and the process of making. Allowing students to bring their authentic selves to the classroom, dig into their identity and culture, and discover who they are is essential. In this week’s episode The Creativity Department speaks with James Wells, Innovative Teaching and Learning Manager at Crayola, about the topic of equity and the importance diversity and inclusion have in creating it.

Apr 8

55 min 8 sec

In this episode the Creativity Departments discusses adaptive art with author and educator Bette Naughton. Learn how to focus on the potential of all your students and think with an adaptive mindset. Discover available resources to create a network in your school or district and develop strategies to remove roadblocks impeding student learning and creativity.

Apr 1

43 min 38 sec

In this episode the Creativity Departments speaks with NAEA President James Rolling about the importance of recognizing the arts as the power needed to create social change, build resilience, rehab our minds and spirits, break down systems that hurt us, and inspire the champions around us.

Mar 25

1 hr 1 min

In this episode - The Creativity Department speaks with Barbara Libby-Steinmann and Anna Rochester about why making Social Justice action visible in your school and community is vitally important. Discover how the need to connect and understand and one idea sparked school and community-wide action to help students explore their concepts of identity, build empathy, and understand Social Justice in non-confrontational and enriching ways.

Mar 18

52 min 31 sec

In this episode of K12ArtChat The Creativity Department speaks with Crocodile River Music about culturally connecting. As visiting artists, Crocodile River creates experiences for students that provide a chance for them to understand African culture and traditions through art and music. Listen in as they explain what "NOT being a tourist of art" means and how important it is to understand the hard work and history that goes into making art.

Mar 11

42 min 2 sec

In this episode The Creativity Department speaks with Tricia Fuglestad. Tricia shares ideas and tips to engage students in virtual and hybrid classes. Be as kind to yourselves as you are to your students and consider goals for the year from a different angle. By creating less stressful and more achievable ways of working with students it is easier to focus on the important goal of ensuring they feel seen and heard. 

Mar 4

32 min 29 sec

Having an anti-racist curriculum requires attention all year long. In this episode The Creativity Department interviews Abby Birhanu, Francesca Levy, and Paula Liz from the Anti-Racist Art Teachers group of educators. Listen in to discover how to build an anti-racist classroom environment in a way that is responsible and student centered.

Feb 25

57 min 26 sec

In this episode, The Creativity Department interviews Al Thomas, educator, principal, and visual storyteller about how creativity in the classroom provides opportunities for conversation and can help students process emotions and develop their own EQ. Through visual storytelling students can slow the world down, process emotion, and engage fully in a moment.

Feb 18

47 min 25 sec

The Creativity Department speaks with sequential artist and author David Gorden about the importance of asking "why" questions during the process of character development to avoid stereotypes, and the value of understanding the "rules of art" before you try to bend them.

Feb 11

51 min 53 sec

This week The Creativity Department speaks with Trevor Bryan, author of The Art of Comprehension. Discover new techniques and strategies to engage students and help them open up, connect to art and the world, and have meaningful discussions in the process.

Feb 4

32 min 4 sec

Developing investigation, experimentation, and communication skills is the focus of AP & IB Art programs. This week, The Creativity Department speaks with high school art educator Connie Jimenez Zammett about how these programs challenge students to ask questions and inquire deeply about their process, empowering them to be independent thinkers.

Jan 27

36 min 33 sec

Listen in to this conversation with Michael Hernandez (educator, speaker, and author) as the Creativity Department digs into how graphic novels (a.k.a. sequential art) can help students tell their stories and engage with important questions about life, experience, and art.

Jan 21

39 min 32 sec

The difference between engaged and empowered students boils down to what you do for them versus what they do for themselves. In today’s world of constant distraction, students must be intrinsically motivated to buy into their learning. In this episode, The Creativity Department speaks with Kelly Young (@teachthisorthat) and Karen Caswell (@kcasw1) about shifting mindset beyond engagement and empowering students to be excited about using what they learn in ways that make sense to them - to OWN their learning.

Jan 14

31 min 31 sec

Empathic curiosity, radical imagination, design thinking... these skills are essential for developing well-rounded students prepared to live in the world. In this episode The Creativity Department delves into these ideas with Jason Blair as they discuss his C4 research project with Columbus Museum of Art and Harvard’s Project Zero.

Jan 7

31 min 36 sec

Happy New Year! Matt and Laura talk about the difficulties of this past year, their personal goals for 2021, and how to find balance between art, work, and life.

Dec 2020

25 min

Chris Sweeney, Art/Makerspace Teacher and Artist in Philadelphia, details what a makerspace is and how it can be used in any art classroom.

Dec 2020

41 min 57 sec

Matt Neylon, Director of Visual and Performing Arts at Mount Vernon School, discusses the importance of strong support networks.

Dec 2020

35 min 27 sec

Let's talk about Augmented Reality! Jaime Donally, author and Instructional Technology Consultant discusses practical ways to use technology in your classroom.

Dec 2020

42 min 45 sec