The Da Vinci Initiative (DVI), is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit art education foundation. DVI’s mission is to enhance visual literacy in our contemporary world. With a focus on K-12 art education, DVI works to provide skill-based learning in art classrooms in order to deepen the understanding and applications of the visual language that surrounds us.
DVI believes that art can be taught, and that teaching skills enhances student creativity. Teaching atelier skills in K-12 classrooms not only aligns with current educational research that other subjects currently embrace, but it also enhances the number of choices students can make when creating their own work.
Like teaching rhythm, tempo, and scales in music class so that a student has many tools to express themselves through music, so too is there a need for a skill-based education in the visual arts. By learning solid draftsmanship, color theory, paint handling skills, perspective, etc. students can expand their own toolbox for visual expression.
The Da Vinci Initiative’s aim is to enhance visual literacy for both teachers and students with the following programs:
The Da Vinci Initiative continuously develops free K-12 lesson plans. These lesson plans intend to both train teachers who may be unfamiliar with certain technical art skills and provide a direct atelier learning experience for K-12 students in art classrooms.
DVI also creates online classes that teach atelier skills and can be used in the classroom as teaching aides.
The Da Vinci Initiative sends ambassadors who are knowledgeable in atelier training to teacher conferences across the country. At these conferences, ambassadors share atelier training methods with teachers and expose them to lesson plans that will challenge their students in new ways.
DVI hosts in-person district-wide workshops throughout the country to provide meaningful professional development experiences for K-12 art teachers.
The Da Vinci Initiative also produces online courses that teach atelier skills. These courses are eligible for clock hours and undergraduate and graduate level college credit through a partnership with Antioch University in Seattle, Washington. To view lessons from our first DVI online course, click here. For more information about our online course, click here.
Additionally, DVI provides scholarship funds for teachers to attend courses that will teach them the advanced technical art skills they may not have had an opportunity to learn during their teacher training.
Click here to learn more.