Gramercy Partners, Inc.

The I.D.E.A. Works! “Joy2Learn Project"

The I.D.E.A. Works! “Joy2Learn Project

To collaborate with this provider, contact:

Susan Cambigue-Tracey & Inez S. Bush
Co-Directors, The I.D.E.A. Works!





Web Address:


The I.D.E.A. Works! team, comprised of Co-Directors Susan Cambigue-Tracey & Inez S. Bush, MAE & four Mentor Teaching Artists have developed a comprehensive offering of PD workshops that guide teachers to explore the J2L resources while gaining confidence & expertise in creating their own arts integrated lesson plans. Workshops have been developed with the latest arts education “Best Practices” research. Backed by Susan’s 48+ years of extensive experience delivering quality arts education professional development as the LA Music Center’s Director of Curriculum & Teaching Artist Development and Inez’s knowledge & experience in arts education as Associate Director, Pre-College Programs & Professional Development for Teachers at Otis College.

Program Objectives

Teachers are introduced to world-renowned artists, examine enduring works of art and strengthen their arts content knowledge. This program provides integrated model lesson plans inspired by the voices of internationally acclaimed artists. “Best Practice” lessons incorporate Joy2Learn’s free, on-line standards-based quality resources and include clear creative tasks and assessment. Mentor Teaching Artists guide teachers through robust experiences that build skills, demonstrate how to utilize the lesson plans and access the resources for the classroom. Teachers leave able to emulate model lessons and develop their own.

Teachers build ownership through experiences that provide tools, enhance skills and develop their capacity to deliver integrated arts lessons. Lessons are built on universal themes such as honoring diversity of expression & perspectives, exploring form & design, and communication through the arts. Through inquiry, teachers are encouraged to take ownership by investigating lessons on a deep, meaningful level. Capacity is built by working in grade level or school teams to review curriculum, identify and discuss connections that can be made with these materials. Teachers receive support to write their own relevant lessons and units.

Arts and technology become an integral part of the curriculum. By incorporating the J2L quality arts resources into their grade level units of study through both model lessons and ones they’ve designed, teachers will be able to introduce the arts in their classroom with confidence & skill, make relevant connections to universal themes & curriculum, and increase their capacity to teach arts with technology. Students will increase their computer skills by being guided to independently navigate through the J2L resources.

The I.D.E.A. Works! Joy 2 Learn program was developed to provide teachers with the tools to deliver equitable quality arts content to children and youth throughout LA County. The purpose of these professional development workshops is to introduce teachers to the materials, demonstrate interdisciplinary lessons for the classroom, and empower teachers to build their capacity to develop creative and relevant lessons that connect curriculum to the arts.


The program begins with a planning meeting to connect the workshop with school/district’s arts education goals. PD workshops include: overview of the J2L system & content, VAPA standards; voice of world class artists and enduring works of art; curricular connections to art concepts, elements, principles and themes; artistic, scientific, problem-solving and writing processes; guided teacher practice & collaboration; lesson planning & design incorporating core standards; assessment strategies based on task and criteria. Effectiveness is measured through written and verbal reflection/evaluation. Follow-up student workshops are available. The entire J2L PD program is comprised of 6 units. 3-6 hour PD sessions per unit at a cost ranging from $750 to $1250 and follow-up student workshops ranging from 2 sessions @ $300 to 4 sessions @ $500. These prices include planning. Open workshop space and computer lab preferable.


After establishing a safe supportive space for learning, the PD begins with an introduction to the J2L free online resources. Teacher’s prior experiences are assessed in order to provide a baseline of their comfort levels, skills, standards and arts content knowledge. Mentor Teaching Artists guide teachers through The I.D.E.A. Works! student-centered model lesson plans using instructional strategies based on “Best Practices” that include engaging, cognitively challenging, assessable tasks and criteria,. Teachers are then encouraged to take ownership to develop their own lesson plans inspired by the rich J2L resources and apply what they have learned to their teaching practice. Finally, teachers are empowered to reflect on their learning, assess their needs, and determine their next steps to provide high quality arts education. This PD program, developed by Susan Cambigue-Tracey and Inez S. Bush, was initially created under the auspices of the Music Center.

Participants' Experience

Being of the highest quality of artistry and featuring great works of art, the free J2L resources are a wealth of both inspiration and knowledge. Teachers who have taken these workshops state that they feel more confident in presenting the arts to their students, because they now have access to world-class artists as partners. These resources give them a toolkit of information and great works of art. This enables them to better understand the arts elements, use aesthetic valuing techniques and find connections to their curriculum. Teachers have the opportunity to actively participate and deconstruct the guided lessons and collaborate with grade level peers and school teams to identify curriculum, concepts and themes that relate to these art forms, styles and time periods. As a result, teachers experience a heightened ability to develop authentic quality arts integrated lessons and units of study, as well as extend their own knowledge, appreciation and understanding of the arts.

Classroom Relevancy

Workshops train teachers to guide and motivate students to navigate and explore the J2L resources in their classrooms/computer labs. Each PD takes teachers through student outcomes, progressive steps, task & criteria, rubrics & assessment. Through the wonders of technology, master artists invite the viewer into their world to see glimpses of them at work, their instruments & tools, as well as their creative process. Students have fun exploring works of art from master artists, learning art elements & principles, art making & history. The program includes innovative tests & games to help students assess their knowledge, challenge their skills and have fun while learning. Teacher guided lessons provide opportunities for students to discover personal relevance and meaning. A wide range of vocabulary is incorporated throughout. Artistic perception, creative expression, historical/cultural context, aesthetic valuing & connections are woven into the content & performance/exhibition clips.

Cooperative Learning

Throughout the workshops there are many opportunities for cooperative learning for both partners and small groups. Participants are placed in situations where they are challenged to create, collaborate, and problem solve with peers. Teachers personally experience what their students are asked to do when working in teams, including how to be inclusive rather than exclusive, negotiate and clearly communicate their ideas. There are opportunities to show leadership as well as cooperate as a team member. People build on ideas as they interact, constructing a wider scope of knowledge and possibility.

Effective Teaching Strategies

Through guided practice that models integrated arts and core curricular lessons, teachers learn new strategies to engage students in learning. These strategies include: experience and respond; inquire; create; reflect and refine; assess and evaluate. Teachers also learn to apply evaluation criteria that align with standards in both the arts and core subjects.

Inquiry-based Learning

With easy access to a wealth of artists and artworks from different disciplines, diverse styles, time periods, cultures and perspectives, teachers are equipped with tools to engage students in an inquiry-based approach to learning. Through the online resources, viewers experience the artists speaking directly to them. They learn firsthand about the struggles, inspirations, problem solving and fulfillment that the work has brought into their lives. This often provokes new questions in the minds of both teachers and students leading to meaningful discourse. They begin to see connections between the artist’s experiences and their own situations and goals.

Interdisciplinary Connections

The arts relate to every aspect of curriculum and learning. This program provides the tools to explore, discuss, create and find relevance to social issues, periods of time, cultures, literacy, etc. As teachers examine works of art, they discover universal themes and concepts that connect to the core curriculum. Mentor Teaching Artists guide teachers through a process that encourages cognitive thinking and creativity, leading to their own artistic interpretations and personal meaning. When teachers tap into their own authentic expression, they build the capacity to engage their students in the creative process and make their own relational connections.

Lesson Planning and Unit Design

The lesson planning and unit design format incorporates key research-based “Best Practices” that lead to more effective teaching. Teachers are encouraged to select a big idea, establish clear student outcomes that state what students should know and be able to do by the end of the lesson. The backwards-mapping process is used to develop culminating tasks with criteria for the lessons and units. Teachers then determine the progressive steps that prepare students to successfully achieve the final project. These tasks and criteria become the basis for teachers to develop a rubric to measure the qualitative success.


Although technology has become central to our lives, there are few programs that combine arts and technology in schools. The I.D.E.A Works! lesson plans and PD workshops include stimulating J2L online resources, making the technology connection more vibrant and accessible. These resources include high-quality e-presentation videos that bring world-class artists and works of art into the classroom and computer lab. The videos provide students with the opportunity to enter the world of these artists to learn about their work and their arts disciplines firsthand while closing the gap between technology and the arts.

VAPA Standards

The California Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) Content Standards are aligned with the J2L resources and The I.D.E.A Works! lesson plans. VAPA Standards are reinforced in the PD workshops.