Our mission is to place creativity at the center of learning so all students have the creative and critical thinking skills they need to succeed in school and life.



Founded in 2011, the Community Engagement Lab is a leader in putting creativity at the center of learning. We work with classroom teachers, teaching artists, school administrators, and community groups that share a vision and agenda to make learning more creative and engaging.


Coalition Building
We are the backbone of a growing coalition of organizations from across the state focused on developing more creative and engaged learners. The coalition is strengthening our ability to work together to more effectively nurture students’ creativity skills and a personal hunger to learn.

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

This includes our teacher institute, Creative Curriculum From The Inside Out, which is a ten-month learning, planning and programming sequence for PreK-12 teachers who want to integrate a creative project into their core curriculum subjects.

We also host the Creative Learning Forum. The Forum brings together national leaders in arts integration, Vermont education leaders and expanded learning providers to develop new ways to use creative engagement to advance personalized learning. The 2016 Forum was attended by 95 educators and expanded learning providers from across Vermont.

Creative Projects
This is what it’s all about – creative classrooms and communities in action. We award a $5,500 teaching artist residency to our partner schools. The in-school teaching artist residencies take place in the winter and culminate in the spring with public events that present the students’ work alongside and in performance with professional artists.

The Creative Schools Initiative
This is our flagship program. The Creative Schools Initiative brings together students, educators, school administrators and community partners into a coalition that shares a vision and shared agenda to develop the creative and critical thinking skills that our youth need to succeed in school and life.


For the 2016-17 school year, we worked in 14 schools in 5 counties, from the Northeast Kingdom to Brattleboro. Schools served by Creatives Schools Initiative professional development and in-school teaching artist residencies have included:

Thatcher Brook Primary School
Union Elementary / Montpelier
Montpelier High School
St. Johnsbury School
Concord School
Randolph Union High School
Stowe Elementary School
Ferrisburgh Central School
Cabot School
U32 High School / Washington County
All six elementary schools in Windham County, in partnership with the Brattleboro Museum
Peacham School
Barnett School
Main Street Middle School / Montpelier

Learn more about these CSI projects in the Project Archive.


Invite your school to get involved. Attend a public performance. Invest in our work. You can help grow the number of high quality creative opportunities for Vermont’s children, youth and communities.




Eric is widely referred to as the father of the teaching artist profession and one of the nation's most creative teachers. He received Americans for the Arts 2015 Arts Education Award, the most prestigious award in U.S. arts education, and was named in the "Top 50 Most Powerful and Influential Leaders in the Nonprofit Arts (USA) for 2015" in Barry's Blog. In arts learning, he has taught at Juilliard (13 years), Stanford University, NYU, Tanglewood and Lincoln Center Institute (for 26 years), and The Kennedy Center (14 years). He was the Faculty Chair of the Empire State Partnership program for three years (the largest arts-in-education project in America). He is the Senior Advisor to the Music National Service initiative (lead trainer and training designer for MusicianCorps); and he is Senior Advisor to El Sistema USA, a national organization training Abreu Fellows and spearheading the development of El Sistema-related sites around the U.S. Formerly the Director of the Teacher Center of the Leonard Bernstein Center, he is a frequent keynote speaker on the arts to groups of all kinds. In the past four years, Eric has been invited to seven countries to present and train teaching artist leadership—including five weeks of presentations in Australia, a national program launched in Norway, and helping design a national program in Scotland. He designed and led the word's first International Teaching Artist Conference in Oslo in 2012, and an expanded Second Conferences in Brisbane, Australia (2014) and Edinburgh, Scotland (2016). Back in the U.S., Lincoln Center Education has launched the highest profile teaching artist training in the U.S., with Eric as primary advisor.


Judith Hill Bose, Ph.D. JBosephotocopySENIOR TEACHING ARTIST

Judith specializes 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.



Marialisa Calta's eclectic career has included work as a newspaper and wire service reporter, a freelance writer, cookbook author, nationally syndicated columnist, and public relations specialist for non-profit organizations. She holds a B.A. from Georgetown University and and M..S from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and has taught journalism at the University of Vermont.

(802) 272-7661

PGDoboextendedPaul Gambill CO-FOUNDER &

Paul has 25 years experience as a non-profit administrator and educator, specializing in helping schools and communities re-imagine how to strengthen their partnerships around creative projects. His innovative school residency projects have been Grammy nominated and won three national awards for children's media, including the Parents’ Choice Foundation Gold Award. He began his career as a public school music teacher in Minnesota, and soon turned to non-profit administration. In addition to his role as executive director, Paul serves as creative director for the culminating exhibitions of the Creative Curriculum From the Inside Out residency projects, which present public events featuring creative projects built by students in communities across Vermont.

(802) 595-0087

Naomi Keepin BUSINESS MANAGERNaomiphoto

Naomi has a decade of bookkeeping and financial management experience with Vermont businesses and nonprofits. Following professionally in her mother’s footsteps, Naomi began her bookkeeping career while still in high school. After graduating from Mills College in Oakland, California with a B.A. in Economics, she specialized in accounting work for nonprofits and fiduciary attorneys. As owner of Even Keel Bookkeeping, she leads a team of consultants that support a wide variety Vermont businesses and non-profit organizations.

(802) 262-6013

Richard Mannoia SENIOR TEACHING ARTISTRMannoiaphoto

Richard has trained teachers and designed curriculum for many organizations including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, and the Guggenheim Museum. Concurrent with his CEL work, he serves as Principal Advisor for Juilliard's K-12 programs and is a Senior teaching artist of the New York Philharmonic. He has served as director of the Longy School of Music's Teaching Artist Program and as the lead mentor of the Juilliard-Carnegie Hall Academy. Richard holds degrees in performance and education from the Manhattan School of Music and Harvard University and is an assistant researcher at Harvard's acclaimed educational research group, Project Zero.



A native Vermonter and first-generation college student, Beth was raised by blue-collar parents who instilled in her a strong sense of place and love of natural history. After graduating from Antioch University New England in 2002, with a master's degree in Environmental Studies, Biology Certification, Beth taught high school science in a variety of New England schools. Ten years of questions that extended beyond the classroom propelled Beth to pursue a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Vermont. Today she studies equitable access to education, systems that engage learners in cooperative problem solving around authentic, community-based, real-world dilemmas, and exploration-based, interdisciplinary learning opportunities.

(802) 598-6408




Community Volunteer

Senior Advisor
ipCapital Group

Library Director
Joslin Memorial Library

Alexander Beck
Workforce and Education Program Manager
Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation

Eric Booth
Engagement Director

Paul Gambill
Executive Director

Larry Meier
Downs Rachlin Martin

Edith Yovu
Educator, Craniosacral Practitioner