Here's how Creative Action Insistute is hitting the ground running in 2019!

How did you jump into the new year?

Our Executive Director, Clare Dowd, shares how Creative Action Institute is hitting the ground running in 2019.

I love returning from the holiday break in January. I welcome the time in our work cycle for reflection and planning. We celebrate our successes, learn from our mistakes and remind ourselves of our North Star – ensuring we remain close to our mission. We see what worked, identify areas for growth, and begin to dream into our work going forward. It’s a peaceful time. And then, in a flash, the work is upon us! We are already full throttle with two back-to-back trainings a week apart: one in Malawi and one in Peru.

Creating Gender-Responsive Classrooms

Creative Action Institute was contracted by UNESCO IICBA, UNICEF, and FAWE (Forum for African Women Educationalists) to revise the Gender Responsive Pedagogy Toolkit originally created by FAWE in 2005, which will serve as a guide for teachers across Africa in creating Gender-Responsive classrooms. I leave today to make my way to Malawi where our team will be training teacher-trainers from Teacher Training Colleges from 10 Africancountries. (Try saying that three times fast!) This pilot training will mark the first step in rolling out the toolkit, and Creative Action Institute will work closely with partners to design a comprehensive plan for rollout across the continent. Keep your eye out for stories, videos and photos of all of our work throughout the year including a new video documenting the East African Girls’ Leadership Summit and Mentor Program. And stay tuned for our soon to be released Annual Report documenting the results of our work in creative collaboration and hope for a rich and productive year!

Launching a New Cohort of Creative Environmental Leaders in Peru

I will return in early March, and then head directly to Peru where we will be launching a new series of Creative Leadership trainings with a cohort of environmental organizations who are grantees of our longtime partner and ally in this work, New England Biolabs Foundation. We are really excited about forging relationships with this dynamic group of organizations working throughout Peru to advance bio-cultural diversity. I will join our colleagues who will lead the facilitation, Luis Quino and Isabel Carrió. 

Supporting Creative Environmental Leaders in Guatemala, Belize and Ghana

We also have several workshops and clinics planned with our environmental partners in Guatemala, Belize and Ghana. Isa Carrió will be working with our partners to support their campaigns and advocacy efforts. One project in Belize will highlight the upcoming ban on single use plastics, which Belize will be implementing this June. Getting businesses on board, and broadening awareness and understanding is critical to effectively support this monumental change. We will be sharing lots of photos and stories throughout the year so be sure to keep your eye out!

Growth and Changes

We continue to grow our teams at the regional levels in East and West Africa. Nyambura Mundia will work with our Africa Regional Coordinator Veronica Thaimaini in the rollout of projects in East Africa. And Prosper Kwame will be working in a part-time role in Ghana as an Animator, supporting our partners in the integration of creative strategies. We will be sharing profiles of our team in subsequent blogs!Our Education and Training Director, Aryeh Shell, will be transitioning to a new role with us as a consultant to allow her more time to focus on social issues and movement building in her own community. She has poured her heart and soul into this work, imbuing her creative genius into our work in one form or another since 2006. Her legacy will live on through the dynamic curricula she has been instrumental in creating, and in the deep and important work she has done in training and equipping so many leaders throughout the world. While she will not be part of our daily lives, we are excited that we will still be collaborating frequently throughout the year. I am sharing her letter below announcing this transition and encourage you to take a minute to read it. Keep your eye out for stories, videos and photos of all of our work throughout the year including a new video documenting the East African Girls’ Leadership Summit and Mentor Program. And stay tuned for our soon to be released Annual Report documenting the results of our work in 2018! creative collaboration and hope for a rich and productive year!


A Message from Aryeh Shell

Dear partners, This year I am excited to step into a new role with Creative Action Institute. I will no longer serve as the Education and Training Director, but instead work with CAI as a consultant on a variety of projects which will allow me to dedicate more time to social issues and movement building in my own local community. It has been such a profound opportunity and honor to work with CAI in a variety of roles during different parts of the last 12 years. Since my start as an ArtCorps artist in 2006, I have witnessed the power of art to transform communities, empower local leadership and provide creative avenues for communities to engage in dialogue, advocacy and systems change. I have been deeply inspired by the resilience and fierce dedication of our partners to implement innovative solutions for issues such as climate change, conservation, health, gender equity and human rights. I firmly believe in our creative capacity to build a more just and sustainable world and will continue to support CAI's work as it evolves. If you would like to be in communication with me, please reach out by email.

My contact information is below:


With deep gratitude and solidarity,


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