Fostering Creativity by Making Real Time for Art

Roxana Craciun from Redwood Shores Elementary is a passionate parent docent in the Art in Action program and has seen first-hand the impact setting aside dedicated time for art has on students.

“I have taught Kindergarten through second grade and can see how the kids have grown artistically. Some of the kids have had behavior issues and I have seen that art changes their behavior. They can express themselves through art. As soon as they have a brush in their hands, their world changes.”

For Roxana the biggest reward for being an Art in Action docent comes when the students say “Hooray! It’s time for art.”

Fostering Creativity by Creating Spaces for Art

Michele Haferkorn, a second grade teacher at North Elementary School in Iron Mountain, MI, hesitantly took over teaching Art in Action after the school’s beloved art teacher took another job. Michele told us, “To be honest, I wanted to quit my job. I had been teaching for over twenty years and just never planned this route. I was never afraid of the content but I just didn’t want to disappoint the students who really loved art when it was not my passion.”

But Michele persevered and got creative. Using her students’ artwork based on the Art in Action lesson on Lascaux cave paintings, she transformed a school alcove into a cave, displaying the students’ artwork on the walls and ceiling. “It was such a great experience,” Michele reported. “We have had so much attention at school because of it. It really fired up all the grades. I think I can actually say I LIKE teaching art!”

Fostering Creativity Through STEAM

Where do art, math and gardening science collide? Our new lesson, Spirals in Nature is a fascinating unit that combines gardening, science, math and art while unlocking the wonder of the Fibonacci sequence and the Golden Ratio. This is a truly special lesson that taps into a child’s curiosity, intellect and creativity.

One second grader shared her enthusiasm for the lesson. “First we went down to the garden and looked at spirals in the plants. Next, we went into a room and talked about spirals in pinecones, pineapples, flowers and plants! Then we got to draw a picture of the spirals and turn it into something like a wave. It was super fun. I love the Fibonacci sequence!”

We are grateful for the support of our donors, volunteers and school communities that helped us reach a record number of students this past year while investing in the quality and experience of the program through new initiatives.

Art in Action ended the 2014–2015 fiscal year with a modest surplus on a budget of $1,087,000. Earned income from Programs grew 18% over the prior year. Revenue from our special event, OBJECT:ART, increased 25% year-over-year.

Gardner Center Implementation Study

During the past year, Art in Action partnered with The John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities at Stanford University on a significant study of the impact Art in Action has on all stakeholders in a school. The Gardner Center study is our first university research partnership to better understand the transformative power of Art in Action.

Development of New Curriculum

Lessons based on the sculpture of Ruth Asawa, the street art of Os Gemeos, the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright and the STEAM-infused Spirals in Nature were developed over the year and will be available to our schools in the 2015-2016 school year. The Spirals curricula was presented to educators at four conferences in California. In addition, more than a thousand users have signed up for our free online course on integrated art curriculum development like Spirals through Udemy, which was funded by a generous grant from the company. Finally, an article on our STEAM curriculum development was also featured in the Education Closet’s digital STEAMed magazine.

New Lesson Website

A new interactive website was developed over the past year as the main portal for school/teacher/docent access to all of the lessons and resources. With streamlined navigation, printable teaching notes, high resolution images, a robust community forum and many other features, the site makes teaching Art in Action easier and more fun than ever before.

Title I School Growth Made Possible Through Grants and Donations

Through the generous support from the Adobe Foundation, Leo M. Shortino Family Foundation, The Wente Family Foundation for Arts Education, Wells Fargo Foundation, Palo Alto Community Fund and Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund nearly 1,400 students in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area are now experiencing art education at no cost to their schools.

Fifth grade teacher Kelsey Rothrock at Horace Cureton Elementary School in San Jose, CA used her grant support to make the history of the Underground Railroad come alive for her students. Using the Faith Ringgold lesson as the central project, students studied period music, read stories of the Underground Railroad and discussed how the art of quiltmaking could be used to send secret codes to help southern slaves escape to the north. The class excitedly worked together, sharing their ideas and their messages as they stepped back in time.

Object:Art/Art Visionary Award

Nearly four hundred guests gathered for our annual fundraising event, OBJECT:ART 2015. Our first annual Art Visionary Award was presented to Dennis Hwang honoring his creative work as the Founder of the Google Doodle Program. The Art Visionary Award pays tribute to an individual or organization whose work has inspired a culture of art in our society. Generous supporters like you helped us raise over $150,000 to further the mission of Art in Action.


Thanks to our passionate volunteers, Art in Action reached more students in more schools than ever last year. Volunteers donated almost 3,500 hours doing mission-oriented work such as:

  • Service on our Board of Directors and volunteer committees to guide and support our impact
  • Thousands of teachers, parent docents and school coordinators creating a culture of art in their school community and making art accessible to over 50,000 kids
  • 400 corporate and volunteer partners including One Brick, Cisco, Genentech, Shutterfly, Symantec, Adobe, Jump Associates, Mach 1, Menlo College, Stanbridge Academy, San Jose State University, National Charity League and Electronic Arts packed 17 tons of art materials for our schools

Our Donors


  • Adobe Foundation
  • Anne Dauer
  • Shackleton Family Fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation
  • Leo M. Shortino Family Foundation


  • Nancy Buck Ransom Foundation
  • Elizabeth Grover
  • Hurlbut-Johnson Charitable Trust of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation
  • LaureL Foundation
  • Palo Alto Community Fund
  • The Wente Family Foundation for Arts Education


  • Facebook, Inc.
  • Ruth and Jeffrey Housenbold
  • Janet Larson
  • Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation


  • Bryon and Rachel Botsford
  • Mary and Greg Carbullido
  • Donor Circle of the Arts of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation
  • Anne and Gerald Down Charitable Fund
  • Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin
  • Jeanne Heise
  • Suzanne Kline and Paul Katz
  • Lori and David Rhodes
  • Lee Scheuer and Kimberly Fraedrick of the Schwab Charitable Fund
  • Shannon and Jim Thompson
  • Rodney Toy
  • U.S. Bancorp Foundation
  • Udemy, Inc.
  • Wells Fargo Foundation
  • Pushpa Zalawadia and Sharad Patel


  • through Silicon Valley Gives
  • Anne Campbell and Michelle Green
  • Karen and Ed Canty, Jr.
  • Dennis and Renee Capovilla of the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund
  • Amy Rhoads and Casey Carsten of the Schwab Charitable Fund
  • Cisco Community Connection through
  • Kim Cooper
  • Diane and Howard Crittenden III
  • Doug and Kristen Edwards of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation
  • The Stephen and Margaret Gill Family Foundation
  • Urmila and Joseph John of the Josuma Coffee Company
  • The Melind John Charitable Gift Fund of the Schwab Charitable Fund
  • Bronwyn and Barry Lewis
  • Menlo Art League
  • Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
  • Ann Morrical
  • Jeffrey and Barbara Newton
  • Courtney and Dennis Payne
  • Barbara and Chuck Preuss
  • Anne and Dan Rudolph
  • Julie and Colin Savage
  • Susan Speicher
  • The Studio Shop
  • United Airlines Volunteer Impact Grant
  • Judy and Gerron Vartan
  • Celia Walker
  • Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
  • Xilink, Inc. of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation
  • Yahoo Employee Foundation of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation
  • Yale Capital Corporation


  • Lorne Abramson and Elana Lieberman of the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund
  • Peg and Frank Austin
  • Terri D. Bullock Family Foundation of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation
  • Charley Clark and Toni Wrenn
  • Stephanie and Chris Dauer
  • Josephine and John De Luca
  • Jeffrey Dollinger and Lizabeth Soares
  • Nargues and Christian Eder
  • Google Inc. through The Benevity Community Impact Fund
  • Amy Gurley
  • Mary Henry
  • Susan and Joel Hyatt
  • Intel Volunteer Grant Program
  • Kevin and Roseann King
  • Lee/Hueschen Family Fund of the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund
  • Suzanne Legallet Charitable Fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation
  • Greg Welch and Ann Lewnes
  • The Mathews Living Trust
  • Jo and Steve Mitchell
  • James and Rebecca Morgan Charitable Foundation
  • David Sacarelos
  • Libby and Ron Utecht
  • Harvey and Leslie Wagner Foundation
  • Kim Zamboldi


  • Scott Allen
  • Amgen Foundation
  • Willow and Jay Bechtel
  • Carolyn and C. Preston Butcher of the Schwab Charitable Fund
  • Jane and Peter Carpenter
  • Patricia and Michael Cremer
  • Dorith Dooley
  • Wynne Dubovoy
  • Judy Ford and Daniel Mathalon
  • Anne and Neil Garfinkel
  • Jim and Marilyn Garrison
  • Genentech through the The Benevity Community Impact Fund
  • Rusty Gibson
  • Heritage Bank of Commerce through Silicon Valley Gives
  • Julie Herlihy
  • Roderick Hsiao
  • Susan Kay Lang
  • Kim Lazarus through the United Way of the Bay Area
  • Heather and Peter Macdonald
  • Janie McArther
  • Cori McKenzie
  • Karen McSorley
  • Barbara and Dean Nelson
  • Sarah Orton
  • Nancy Painter
  • Theivanai Palaniappan and Alagu Periyannan
  • Jessica Palmer
  • Mark and Leslie Platshon
  • Mary and Matt Powell of the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund
  • Subathra Ramanathan
  • Maggie and Tom Rancatore
  • Lynne and Daniel Russell
  • Michelle and Paul Speert
  • Cathy and David Tokic
  • Michael D. Topper and Kimberly A. Freitas of the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund
  • Donna and Garrett Wada


  • Adobe Matching Gifts
  • Anonymous (2)
  • Kenneth Arai
  • Jeanette Ayala
  • Molly and Richard Bahr
  • Patricia A. Baker
  • Lynn and Bob Bastida
  • Manuelito Biag
  • Cameron and Tito Bianchi
  • Sally and Brian Biles
  • Cathy Bloomfield and Brock Siegel
  • Pamela Brandin
  • Margaret Brockman
  • Nancy and Penn Butler
  • Kay Cadei and Clark Newby
  • Mark Cason
  • Sharon and Richard Catura
  • Michael Chun
  • Vannie Chang through Cisco
  • Susan and Pat Coan
  • Alison Cormack and Thomas Kuhnle
  • Laurie Coulter
  • Geri Crane
  • Amy and Jeff Crowe
  • Colleen Devlin and Rick Rosenthal
  • Robert and Sylvia Dickinson
  • John and Alison Draper
  • Mary and Gary Ellison
  • Matt Ethridge
  • Kaela Fine and Paul Loewenstein
  • Ulla Foehr
  • Kimberly Fusch
  • Rhonda and Andrew Gessow
  • Cheryl and Steve Glaiser
  • Lynne Griffiths
  • Mara Grimes
  • Mavis Harrison
  • Michele and Dennis Haussler
  • Clorinda Hawkins
  • Margaret and Harvey Hinman
  • Wai Keung Ho and Sou Kyu Ho
  • Mary Hofstedt
  • Donna Ito and Jozef Ruck
  • Jacque and John Jarve
  • John Kiechel and Laurel Katz
  • Mary and Matt Kircher
  • Barbara Kitchen
  • Linda Knoll
  • Gloria and Lester Laterza
  • Jill Layman
  • Elise Liddle
  • Robert and Constance Loarie
  • Rachelle Lopp
  • Stephani Martin
  • Mattel Children’s Foundation Matching Gifts Program
  • Jan and Phil Meyer
  • Lisa Miller
  • Jeanne Moulton
  • Jim and Geri Nicholas
  • Patricia and Kevin O’Connor
  • Oracle Corporation
  • Gretchen and Robert Ostenberg
  • Sonja Palmer
  • Richard and Dannette Peltier
  • Barbara and Ron Peyton
  • Leslie and Stefan Poortman
  • Sally and Russell Porter
  • Denise Porterfield
  • Verity and Geoff Powell
  • Pamala Pritchard
  • Christine and Bryan Raassi
  • Jan Reed
  • Marion and Jerry Rhyne
  • Richard Ro
  • Kathleen and Michael Roeder
  • George and Lynn Rossmann
  • Collette Rudd
  • Daniela Saavedra
  • Ciema Salem
  • Susan and Richard Seiler
  • Jan and Don Shockey
  • Charlot Singleton
  • Sue and Howard Slayen
  • Katie and Alex Stamos
  • Emily Stapleton
  • Bob Herzog and Robin Stewart
  • Tamara Sullivan
  • Carol and Donald Teodoro
  • Nisha Thatte-Potter and John Potter of the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund
  • The Federated Women’s Club of San Carlos
  • Richard Thesing
  • Sylvia Tso
  • Lisa and Steven Tsuruoka
  • Mary and John VanDyke
  • Elizabeth Weal and Bruce Hodge
  • Keith Whitman and Kelly Leo
  • Michael and Margaret Williams
  • Danielle Wohl of the Franklin Charitable Giving Program
  • Flo Oy Wong and Edward Wong
  • Mariko Yang

Under $100

  • Lindsay Alsadir
  • AmazonSmile Foundation
  • Michele Ashland
  • Trudy Barnes
  • Jost and Heidi Baum
  • Alice and Bruce Bishop
  • Mary Alice and Roger Bowie
  • Kelly and Fernando Bravo
  • Barbara Carlitz
  • Margaret Carney
  • Mary Cicalese and Dan Shiffman
  • Erin Coady
  • Tom Crawford
  • Mirta Degastaldi-Ortiz
  • Tara Dixon
  • Danielle Dowdy
  • Lynn and Joe Drake
  • Marge and John Draper
  • Marilyn Fogel
  • Joyce and Jay Friedrichs of the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund
  • Meg Gordon and Peter Margolis
  • Nancy and Henry Greenberg
  • Gini and Gordon Griffin
  • Betsy Halaby and Rick Wales
  • Lorraine Hamby
  • Terry Hewins
  • Gail Hicks
  • Jill Higa
  • Marian and Thomas Hill
  • Marilyn Hohbach
  • Kerry Hyman and Gary Gerber
  • James Karnell
  • Robert Karnell
  • Kasumisou LLC
  • Ingrid Katz
  • Debby Kelleher
  • Sarah Kelsey
  • Cara Kuroda
  • Carol Lampe
  • Pamela Landes
  • Lory and Mark Lawson
  • Arlene and Paul Leiber
  • KyAnn Lewis
  • Valerie Liberty
  • Elizabeth Lillard
  • Mary Lindmeier
  • Phyllis Lippe
  • Susan Lobalzo
  • Rhonda and John Luongo
  • Catherine Lush
  • Carol Lynd
  • Erica Lyons
  • Andrea McMahon
  • Lynda McNally
  • Martha Michel
  • Rita Murray
  • Emily Ocon
  • Stephanie O’Rourke
  • Ella and Parker Painter
  • Yuri Payton-Miyazaki
  • Henk Pechler of the The Benevity Community Impact Fund
  • Roy Powers
  • Matthew Queary through the J.C. Penney Corporation, Inc. Employee Engagement Fund
  • Jennifer Reynolds
  • Judith and Charles Rino
  • Claudia Robles
  • Judy Rodgers-Bianchi
  • Mary Ellen Rosenberg
  • Majorie Rubin
  • Dorothy Saxe
  • Elsa Schafer Raval
  • Helen Sellers
  • Shugoll Research, Inc.
  • Shelley Smith
  • Jeanne Sole
  • Suzanne Stewart
  • Patricia Stone and Charles Ortenberg
  • Lisa Striebing
  • Danielle Sunshine and Igal Ladabaum
  • Lillian Svec and Wayne Burdick
  • Christine Taylor
  • Jonelle and Perry Teevens
  • Kathy Todd-Klebe and Roy Klebe
  • Sammy and David Wartman, Jr.
  • Nancy and Milt Yuen

In Kind Donations

  • Adobe
  • Ed and Karen Canty
  • Constant Contact
  • Bill Daniels
  • Faber-Castell
  • Bill Friedman
  • Google AdWords
  • Jeanne Heise
  • K & L Wine Merchants
  • Kelly Moore Paints
  • Greg Kirbabas/Anna Zeilman
  • Mollie Stone’s Markets
  • Morrison & Foerster
  • Palo Alto Almanac
  • Palo Alto Weekly
  • Papa’s Pilar Rum
  • Jana Paquette
  • Roku
  • Salesforce
  • Denise & Woody Shackleton
  • Shutterfly
  • Liz Soares
  • Southern Wine & Spirits
  • The Container Store
  • Amy Tucker
  • University Arts
  • VPTax
  • Woodside Vineyards
  • Todd Zucker

Honorary and Memorial Gifts

  • In Memory of Richard P. Brennan
    Carolyn Brennan
  • In Honor of Karen and Ed Canty
    Martha and Mark Greenough
  • In Memory of Larry Chun
    Lisa and Steven Tsuruoka
  • In Memory of Sonia Chun
    Lisa and Steven Tsuruoka
  • In Memory of Mitch Confer
    Greg Welch and Ann Lewnes
  • In Honor of Anne Dauer
    Jane and William Stocklin
  • In Honor of Francesca Eastman
    Alanna Dittoe
  • In Honor of Jim Garrison
    Sally and Russell Porter
  • In Honor of Meg Gordon
    Mark Cason
  • In Honor of Mara Grimes
    Grace Hassid
  • In Honor of Jeanne Heise
    The Merchant Family Charitable Fund of the Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program
  • In Memory of William Patton
    Anne and Dan Rudolph
    Gail Andrews Whelan
    Sue and Mike Davison of the Schwab Charitable Fund
    Hannay Family Trust
    Alyssa and Terry Haught
    North Bay Recovery
  • In Honor of Barbara Preuss
    Timothy and Sarah Howard
  • In Honor of Judy Sleeth
    Ann and Floyd Criswell
    Joyce and Jay Friedrichs
    Anne Leahy Jones and Robin Jones
    Jane and William Stocklin
  • In Honor of Lisa Tsuruoka
    Sherry Chan
  • In Memory of Henry and Lily Tsuruoka
    Lisa and Steven Tsuruoka
  • In Memory of Marie Ah Tye
    Lisa and Steven Tsuruoka
  • Bring the Art in Action Program to your children’s school or refer a friend.
  • Donate to Art in Action. Ask your employer to contribute a matching gift.
  • Volunteer your time at Art in Action or at a school.