MINDPOP is a non-profit consultancy that designs and implements creative learning systems nationwide.
At MINDPOP, we use the tools of collective impact to bring equity and access to quality arts education in schools and communities, and to build the instructional tools of teachers to lead creative classrooms. Our approach combines empirical research, a strong theoretical base and decades of practical experience.
We are the backbone organization of Austin's Creative Learning Initiative (CLI), a partnership between the City, Austin Independent School District and over 140 arts partners. In its 7th year, CLI is embedded in 63 participating schools, serving 3000 educators and 40,000 students.
Nationally, MINDPOP shares its knowledge and expertise with learning systems leaders through short and long term consulting engagements, as well as convenings of national communities of practice.
In 2010, leaders from across our community decided to work across institutions to ensure equity, access and quality in creative learning and the arts for all Austin students. It represented a unique opportunity for school leaders, philanthropy, higher education, government and the arts community to pool their resources to make significant change in the lives of our young people. The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in support of our efforts, chose Austin as the 7th Partner City for their Any Given Child Initiative providing excellent facilitation of a strategic long-range plan.
With a solid plan and leadership in place, Austin ISD committed to a 10 year plan to make all schools arts-rich and creative campuses; the City of Austin included the effort in the 20-year comprehensive plan Imagine Austin; and an anonymous donor boosted the initiative by committing a $1,000,000 to help high-poverty schools reach their creative campus goals.
Today, the initiative is thriving, and meeting all benchmarks towards making all schools arts-rich by 2023 and assuring all students live in neighborhoods with creative learning opportunities. With 100+ arts partners, several departments within Austin City government, and thousands of Austin ISD school leaders, students in the Creative Learning Initiative receive increased access to arts learning in music, visual arts, dance and drama; increased experiences through community arts organizations; receive the academic and cognitive benefits of creative teaching across the curriculum; and much more. Teachers receive intensive professional development in research-based instructional techniques, and artists have access to additional training and a coordinated system that helps them serve more students. Even the facilitators through the parks and recreation system receive professional development in creative teaching. Our effort addresses all the players in the creative learning system, helping assure all students have access to the arts and the benefits of creative learning.
Thanks to the vision of the MINDPOP founders, attendance and student engagement has increased in schools and students are showing a boost in academic achievement and creative development. As a result, our students are better prepared for college, career and life.
Chris Visit, Frank & Victor
Christian Clarke Cásarez, Austin ISD
Ellen Ray, Still Water Foundation
Jessica Slade, Webber Family Foundation
Kelly Ballard, Samsung
Kevin Brown, Waller, Lansden, Dortch & Davis, LLP
Kyle Cox, ATP Fund
Michele Walker-Moak, Applied Material Foundation
We thank our Board of Directors and the following incredible supporters who make our work possible:
Alice Kleberg Reynolds Foundation
Applied Materials Foundation
Austin Non-Profit Relief Grant
Emerson-Griffin-Toring Private Foundation
Harris & Ann Clark
John T. Savage
Still Water Foundation
The Magnolia Charitable Foundation