Information for Educators

Centrum is a non-profit, artist-centered organization with a 40-year partnership with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). OSPI recognizes the value of Centrum’s programs for teachers as well as students, and awards clock hours to teachers attending a workshop with their students.

Centrum’s weeklong intensive programs provide an exceptional educational experience for students engaged in the arts and sciences. Our currency is creativity in all its forms, experienced through hands-on learning. A recent IBM poll of 1,500 CEOs identified creativity as the No. 1 “leadership competency” of the future. Another recent study of 1,500 middle schoolers found that those high in creative self-efficacy had more confidence about their future and ability to succeed. (Cited from “The Creativity Crisis,” Newsweek)

The model for our elementary and middle school programs is to have artists and scientists, engaged in the most current cultural issues of our times, mentor young people in grades 5-9, as well as the teachers and adult chaperones who accompany them. High School students, and youth attending summer programs come to Centrum on their own, without chaperones. Artist faculty in high school programs serve as superb mentors for their students.

Centrum’s Explorations program for middle school students introduces young artists to visual art, dance, music, theater and creative writing in a weeklong intensive workshop. Each day is divided into four workshop sessions, with plenty of time for meals, exploring, and rest. During the evenings artist faculty present showcase performances/lectures about their work. The week culminates in a showcase presentation for friends and family.

“Students returning from the Centrum experience demonstrated a stronger inner strength and an internal desire to produce higher quality work in their academic subjects. We also noticed students intentionally seeking out relationships that broke down clique boundaries and forged unexpected bonds. The immediate effects of Centrum were increased student academic resilience and achievement, as well as a healthier classroom community as a result of leadership displayed by Centrum alumni.” – Brenda Buck, Language Arts teacher, First Creek Middle School

Centrum’s Water World is a groundbreaking week for students in grades 5-6 that integrates art with marine science, in a week of personal and environmental exploration on the edge of Puget Sound. Students work with educators from the Port Townsend Marine Science Center to discover and explore marine ecosystems. Then, working with visual, movement, and literary artists, students learn how to creatively express and embody the results of their research.

Centrum provides a completely hands-on experience outside the traditional classroom. As an educator/participant at Centrum, you interact with professional artists to evaluate and understand the content of your artwork, learning new techniques in a variety of genres. The arts are offered with an eye towards 21st century skills- thinking creatively, critically, analytically and logically.

The creative process is presented in a fresh and original way. For Water World, working with both artists AND scientists, you experience an approach to learning that begins with inquiry and observation then takes you into the field, working in science labs and art studios. Spending a week focused on art, or a combination of art and science, allows for the kind of concentrated accomplishment that is renewing and transformational.