For Teachers

Lynden offers a range of professional development opportunities for K-12 educators, from the intensive, cross-disciplinary Innovative Educators Institute; to a series of creative hands-on workshops developed by teachers, for teachers; to discounts on our artist-led workshops.

Lynden operates as a laboratory that creates, supports, and shares experiences at the intersection of art, nature, and culture. Partnering with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Art Education program, Milwaukee Public Schools, and others, we have used Lynden’s unique resources to develop a place-based approach to K-12 education informed by critical aesthetic pedagogy and principles of attentive living derived from an in-depth exploration of place. This place-based approach is supported by a relational learning space that extends from Lynden to the classroom, encompassing the exchanges between the two, and that integrates outdoor education, hands-on art-making, and an experiential learning process that encourages children to reflect on their “doing.”

Lynden is a partner in ArtsECO, and our professional development programs are designed for art educators and classroom and content area teachers who are committed to teaching through the arts. We support cross-disciplinary curriculum development; provide tools (field trips, artist residencies) that enhance arts-integrated teaching; nurture teacher-as-artist practices through engagement with artists at Lynden and in the classroom; and create staff positions and establish networks that support teachers as they develop their competence and confidence to teach through the arts.

We believe that teacher-as-artist practices--making time for art (whatever the discipline) and reinvigorating one's personal art practice--have a positive impact on teachers and teaching. It is in this spirit that we offer these teacher professional development opportunities.

Innovative Educators Institute
Teacher Professional Development Series
Educator Discounts on Workshops

Admission to the Innovative Educators Institute (IEI) is by invitation. If you are interested in participating, please contact Anna Grosch at

Lynden has been working with UWM's Art Education program for several years to develop a place-based K-12 curriculum that focuses on the intersection of art, nature, and culture, providing hands-on experiences that integrate Lynden’s collection of monumental outdoor sculpture and temporary installations with the natural ecology of the site. Thanks to the generous support of the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, we have been able to build the IEI into an intensive, hands-on, year-round professional teacher development experience that brings together pre-service, early-career, and veteran teachers with artists, Lynden staff, and university faculty to test approaches to sustaining and supporting early-career (years 1-5) teachers who are committed to teaching through the arts.

The institute runs in three-year cycles, and is built around cross-disciplinary, school-based teams. These teams are typically made up of an art educator and one or two generalists or teachers with other academic specializations. The focus is on developing and sharing interdisciplinary, arts-integrated strategies and methodologies that are easily adapted to the classroom. We also support teacher-as-artist practices through the IEI; provide resources and opportunities to the classrooms of participating teachers, such as hands-on field trips to Lynden and school-based residencies with Institute artists; and work closely with teachers to develop unique programs to support their individual teaching experience.

Each year the Institute is built around a different theme.

2019: Re+stor+ation
Faculty member: Rina Kundu Little
Participating artists: Rosemary Ollison, LaNia Sproles, and others to be announced.
The 2019 Innovative Educators Institute focuses on the theme of restoration. "Repairing," “rebuilding," “reconstructing,” and “returning” are processes associated with restoration; they allow us to reconnect to self, re-imagine others, and rediscover our relationship to the land. The summer lab will use an experiential, interdisciplinary approach to learning while developing skills, confidence, and understanding of the value of place. It will build cooperative learning strategies that involve members of a place in the process of education; enable listening and learning from the community and the land; and facilitate restoration through art-making and myth-making. Rosemary Ollison will be one of the featured artists for the workshop. She is a self-taught artist who creates drawings, sculptures, quilts, jewelry, and environments by repurposing collected materials. Her art often works at a catalyst for well-being with restorative possibilities.

2018: Entanglement
Faculty member: Rina Kundu
Participating artists: Reggie Wilson, Arianne King Comer, Portia Cobb, LaNia Sproles
Entanglement provides a metaphor for a non-hierarchical, reciprocal approach to thought, creativity, and expression—and a dynamic understanding of place as a web of movements, actions, and materials. Entanglements call us into connection, shaping us as we intra-act with people, flora, fauna, objects, structures, and culture. Our learning about entanglement will be grounded in Lynden’s local phenomena, artifacts, and environment in relation to our own experiences, memories, and histories. Using movement, making, and writing, we will explore the fluid and flexible processes of the experiential, the affective, the haptic, and the performative that construct and connect us to place.

2017: Narrating Space: Wandering, Encountering, Dwelling, Resonating
Faculty member: Rina Kundu
Participating artists: Fo Wilson, Reggie Wilson, Colin Matthes, Rose Curley

2016: Emplacement
Faculty member: Rina Kundu
Participating artists: Fo Wilson, Tyanna Buie, Colin Matthes

2015: Movement and Migration
Faculty members: Laura Trafí-Prats/Rina Kundu
Participating artists: Reggie Wilson, Santiago Cucullu, Nirmal Raja

2014: Living Matter
Faculty member: Prof. Laura Trafí-Prats
Participating artists: Linda Wervey Vitamvas, Kevin Giese, Emilie Clark

2013: Attentive Living: Art, Nature and Place
Faculty member: Prof. Laura Trafí-Prats
Participating artists: Roy Staab, Shana McCaw and Brent Budsberg

In autumn 2018, Lynden launched a new series of hands-on creative workshops for K-12 educators developed by Lynden’s teachers-in-residence, Sue Pezanoski Browne and Katie Hobday. To this we added workshops developed by some of our partners. The Teacher as Writer, a series of mini writing retreats for educators, is part of our collaboration with the UWM Writing Project, an affiliate of the National Writing Project. Since last spring, we began to focus our collaboration with Woodland Pattern Book Center on residencies and workshops of special interest to educators.

This fall, Pezanoski Browne and Hobday are offering all ages drop-in workshops at the intersection of art, nature, and culture. Feel free to attend on your own or bring your family.

Language as a Playground: A Workshop with Peter Markus
Saturday, October 19, 2019, 12-3 pm
In Collaboration with Woodland Pattern Book Center
Fee: $20. For online registration, click here. A limited number of full tuition waivers are available; call 414-446-8794 for more information. Advance registration required.

In this three-hour workshop, writer and longtime arts educator Peter Markus will pull from twenty-five years of teaching creative writing in the public schools of Detroit to offer teachers and artist educators a variety of methods and model poems to bring back into their own classrooms. Markus believes there is a poet in every child and is coming to Milwaukee to share that belief. 

Join Peter Markus for a reading and Q&A on Sunday, October 20, from 2-3:30 pm at the Woodland Pattern Book Center, 720 E. Locust St., Milwaukee, WI 53212. This reading is free and open to the public.

About Peter Markus
Peter Markus is the author of Inside My Pencil: Teaching Poetry in Detroit Public Schools, as well as six other books of fiction, among them The Fish and the Not Fish and We Make Mud, both from Dzanc Books. His fiction has appeared in such places as Chicago Review, Iowa Review, Black Warrior Review, and BOMB, and his essays on teaching poetry to youth have appeared frequently in Teachers & Writers Magazine. He is the Senior Writer with InsideOut Literary Arts of Detroit and is a special lecturer in Creative Writing at Oakland University.

Family Drop-in Workshop: The Sound Tree Project
Sunday, October 20, 2019 – 12:30-2:30 pm
Sunday, November 17, 12:30-2:30 pm
Free to members or with admission to the sculpture garden. Younger children should be accompanied by an adult. No registration required.

The Sound Tree Project is the focus of Pezanoski Browne and Hobday’s collaborative artist residency. Working in a grove of trees on the Lynden grounds, they are constructing an environment filled with clay chimes that they make and fill with personal narratives. This exploration of art, nature, memory, and materials is informed by their thinking about movement and migration—about life as movement interspersed with pauses of various lengths.

On two Sundays this fall, people of all ages can join the artists as they work on their installation. On October 20, participants will explore the tension between movement and stillness by creating a large weaving between the trees. On November 17, you will use clay to add sound to the installation, experimenting with various natural forms to create chimes.

Watch for more Sound Tree Project drop-in workshops in the spring.

ART AS ACTIVISM: A Mini Writing Retreat with the UWM Writing Project
Saturday, November 2, 2019 10 am-12 pm
Registration is closed.

Engaging with art often stimulates our desire to investigate more of our world and develop a disposition for taking action. Join UWM Writing Project Teacher Leader, Kelly Saunders, and ZIP MKE Founder, Dominic Inouye, for an opportunity to connect educators with a passion for exploring social justice issues. Through participation in a series of reflective visual literacy and writing activities, you will use your own unique experiences to build collective knowledge about how to express our most passionate beliefs and advocate for positive change.

Lynden offers discounts on its workshops on a space-available basis. To view the list of qualifying workshops, and to register for a workshop as an educator, visit our Educators' Portal.

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