What a great way to spend the government shut down! The US Department of Education’s Annual Project Directors Conference was canceled yet again (Hurricane Sandy did it last year). That didn’t stop us from taking a short road trip from D.C. to Baltimore to present CAPE’s work to Young Audiences. They are in the early phases of figuring out how to conduct research on their programs, so YA was interested in hearing more about CAPE’s research practices; how we began researching programs over 10 years ago and how far we’ve come. CAPE has received funding for a number of US DOE AEMDD grants that have allowed us to dig deep into arts integration practices. I manage the Portfolio Design Project (www.portfoliodesignproject.org), a 4 year, research based program that students, teachers, and principals through developing portfolio systems for students and teachers while integrating music and language arts or visual arts and language arts. In some cases, arts integration has caught on so much so that integration is happening (for 1 project) between language arts, visual art, music, gym, technology, social studies, and library. Here’s the link for this project http://www.portfoliodesignproject.org/talcott-y3-g6-work-plan.We also visited the Visionary Museum for Outsider Art in Baltimore (www.avam.org). Lots of fascinating art and the best gift shop I’ve ever seen in a museum which turns out to be Chicago based Uncle Fun’s 2nd store (www.unclefunchicago.com). If you’re a fan of Uncle Fun on Belmont, this place is just as good if not better!