let's rekindle


makeSPACE invites educators to practice creativity, embrace vulnerability, and rekindle joy in their teaching practices

How did the makeSPACE project get started?

Inflexion, a non-profit education research and consulting group, led the development of the proposal and provides overall leadership and management of the makeSPACE grant. Inflexion staff oversee the research and evaluation of the project and provide guidance on the development of an effective schoolwide approach to arts integration.

What is makeSPACE?

MakeSPACE enhances the creative strengths of K-12 teachers and prepares them to integrate research-based artistic and creative practices into curriculum and instruction across content areas and grade levels. MakeSPACE is flexible and supportive by using a hybrid training format of self-guided online courses with a community of educators and in-person workshops and coaching. Teachers develop their own creative practice and adapt materials to suit their unique school context and classroom settings.

Where does makeSPACE funding come from?

This project is supported, in whole, by the U.S. Department of Education, through grant U351D180047 to Inflexion. The previous U.S. Department of Education grant, called ArtCore, contributed substantial materials and insights to the development of makeSPACE. The content of this website expresses the opinions of the key project personnel and does not represent the views of the U.S. Department of Education.

Who is invited to join the project?

We invite K-12 teachers to participate in the next phase of the makeSPACE project, where we will test, evaluate, and refine materials and share what we learn with the education field, broadly. Educator participation will contribute to new scalable innovations that can shape the educational experience of thousands of students and teachers in the future.

What would I do as a participant?

Participating teachers engage in online self-paced courses, virtual synchronous institutes, optional weekly check-ins, and other forms of sharing across a regional community of practice. In 2021–22, it is possible some potential participants may be asked to be “control” classrooms and receive all of the training and benefits in the 2022–23 school year. It is possible you will receive compensation for extra time spent in training outside of your district’s professional development hours.

Is my district eligible to participate in the grant?

If 20% of your K-12 students live in poverty according to 2018 Census data, your district is eligible to participate in the grant-funded activities. You can find out if your district is eligible by checking the following U.S. Census website.

What are the benefits to my students and me?

You’ll receive PDUs and, potentially, graduate credit for your course completion. You’ll contribute to research and dissemination of scalable innovations that can shape the educational experience of thousands of students and teachers in the future. You will have access to an online community of innovative educators, exchanging ideas and practices. Based on recent research findings, you may also develop new creative capacities, reduce your anxiety about being creative, reduce your stress in facing uncertainty, and gain new skills and techniques to integrate creativity and the arts into your work and life in and out of the classroom.

How does makeSPACE cultivate culturally responsive teaching?​

Creativity and the arts are universal forms of inquiry, expression, and meaning-making across cultures. Different creative and artistic modalities leverage the cultural assets of diverse learners and provide equitable opportunities to learn and contribute for students. We introduce creative routines that help teachers get to know their students’ cultural backgrounds. Our trainings introduce teachers to techniques, perspectives, and diverse examples of creative artists and innovators that will enhance the accessibility and responsiveness of their approach.

How does makeSPACE support Social-Emotional Learning?

Trusting relationships and social-emotional knowledge and skills are critical to effective teaching and quality learning. Creative engagement in the classroom is foundational to establish strong relationships, to support well-being of students and teachers, and to foster and put to practice social-emotional skills. Our arts integration strategies for creative engagement make space, literally, for feeling, thinking, expressing, identifying, and sharing emotions through the creative and reflective process in any content area at any grade level. Our approach is the result of 7 years of research and development with more than $4 million of grant funding.

Your Journey Starts Here


Foundations for Creative Engagement

Learn about and cultivate your creative strengths inside and outside the classroom. Understand the necessary conditions for your students' creative engagement in learning. Learn how to adapt and implement creative routines to develop your students’ creative habits and build a classroom culture for creativity. Develop skills in cross-cutting techniques for metaphor and reflection. Envision early stages of arts integration and connect with other educators in a growing professional learning community.​

Then We Dive Deeper


Music and Media Arts

Participants will develop tools for analyzing sound, practice approaches for active listening, experiment with story finding, and explore routines for making rhythm and melody. We will engage in creative routines that explore concepts such as perspective taking, curiosity, gratitude, resourcefulness, and student voice. This course lays the foundations for our 200 level work of generating rich, multidimensional audio and video content with students in a classroom setting.​


Visual Arts Integration

This 100-level course will help you prepare to integrate mixed media sculptural modeling into your classroom. You will practice 2-D and 3-D visual arts routines that prepare students with creative thinking, behaviors, and attitudes and support meaning-making through a variety of visual arts processes. We understand the real barriers teachers face when integrating the visual arts, and how vast and potentially overwhelming the visual arts can be. This strategy offers creative processes that we've found to be accessible, effective, and adaptable across learning contexts.​


Theater Arts Integration

This course provides tools to inspire students' creative engagement in learning. It offers culturally responsive strategies that invite all students to engage, regardless of previous experience or proficiency in the theater arts. Everything is scaffolded carefully, starting with basic theater games. Teachers will explore how practices taught in the makeSPACE Foundation Course apply within the theater arts context. Structured uncertainty, metaphor, and reflection remain central to meaning-making through embodied learning throughout the course.​

Why Creative Engagement?


(Research findings from 2017 Educator Quality of Life Survey)

1 %
of teachers reported feeling stressed often or always in their work
1 %
of teachers reported their mental health at work was not good for at least 4 days in past month
1 %
of teachers reported their mental health at work was not good for at least 11 days in past month (twice the national average for all workers)

Why makeSPACE?


(Research findings from MAKESPACE TEACHER Survey)

1 %
decrease in the stress taken on caring for students experiencing trauma
1 %
decrease in the frequency of anxiety experienced facing uncertain and ambiguous challenges
1 %
decrease in fixed mindset about the potential for their own creative growth

Let's Rekindle Joy

At makeSPACE, we believe that educators link our past, present, and future through the students they teach. makeSPACE celebrates this ever-important role by nurturing teacher creativity. Educators with creative confidence and ingenuity set the conditions for empowered and innovative learners to thrive. When teachers facilitate creative learning, they take risks, demonstrate vulnerability, and open up new possibilities for student curiosity and engagement in the world. 

When students witness this openness and playfulness in their teachers, they see their teachers anew, as curious learners themselves. By leaning in and being vulnerable with their creativity, teachers model important courage and trust. They offer permission to their students to take similar risks and share their unique creative insights and possibilities. Those possibilities lay the path for a better world. 



JOIN THE makespace story

Follow along the journey

Follow the makeSPACE podcast, Inside the Box, and our project blog. Our blog spotlights updates, insights, inspirations, stories, delights, research, and artists and educators paving new paths of understanding and possibility. The Inside the Box podcast will focus on all things creativity, teaching, learning, and life with a variety of formats, shapes, and sizes.
mS Blog Promo


the makeSPACE Story Blog

Our blog posts allow you to wade into the makeSPACE approach and peer around with your goggles and snorkel on. Our posts place key concepts, such as metaphor, from makeSPACE into the world around us. You will get to know the makeSPACE team through our own stories and experiences of creative engagement in life. Take a gander and share your thoughts.

Don't Look Down!!!

I pedaled the streets and across the bridges of Portland, Oregon, afraid to look down. Instead, I made eye contact with fellow riders and we shared timorous smiles. We couldn’t look down. We were all naked.

Our Vision

The makeSPACE story began with a simple vision: To bring creative engagement to classrooms across the country, starting with rural schools.


We’re thrilled for you to join us on this journey into realms of creative engagement. Together, we’ll unlock new methods of teaching and learning.


Let's Rekindle!

Contact us when you are ready to learn more about the current grant opportunity or if you would like to engage in our courses. We can explore a future partnership and solicit funding to bring makeSPACE to your community.

We want young people and their teachers to be fulfilled, to feel agency, and to shape their own lives and the world around them. We want them to thrive within the possible - as the world offers them moment after moment of uncertainty.