The Castle aims to foster a learning community embedded within the public school system and based on the premise of reciprocal gifts. We believe that learning is an organic, messy, and fundamentally collaborative process. We also believe that everyone in our community is stronger when we invest in our public schools. By bringing together talented individuals and curious students in a space of mutual respect and high expectations, we celebrate the capacity for shared discovery, self-expression and creative thinking. In the midst of increasing assessment pressures, increasing class sizes, reduced funding in the arts and diminished resources overall, The Castle aims to inject a sense of play and joy back into the classroom for teachers and their students. Our long-term vision is embedded in a community economic development model that identifies education as a key factor in building and sustaining thriving communities. We aim to create a prototype of a 21st century learning community of primary, secondary and college students and educators that can be adapted for towns like those in Putnam County—small towns, with a high percentage of the population living at or below the poverty level, that house a college or university with tremendous resources. The vision, ultimately, is to serve every student in Putnam County, and to transform the culture of public schools in such a way that students come to recognize post-graduation opportunities and pathways that they hadn’t previously pursued.


The Castle is an independent non-profit organization with a 501 (c) 3 status incorporated as The Putnam County Coalition for Education and the Creative Arts, Inc. The Castle is the name we go by, as it best captures the all-inclusive nature of who we aim to be.


The Castle provides workshops that offer opportunities for participants to develop 21st Century Skills. The 2011 report published by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, “Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America’s Future through Creative Schools,” describes these skills as collaboration, creative and critical thinking, problem solving, dealing with ambiguity and complexity, integration of multiple skill sets, and the ability to perform work across disciplines. The report suggests that these skills are necessary for the global workforce and that they can be effectively developed and sustained through arts education, integration, and project-based learning. Our programming is intentionally standards-based, and we work constructively and consistently with teachers in our partner schools to create workshops that serve their curricular goals at the same time that they provide opportunities for students to practice 21st century skills in high-energy, high-impact ways.


The Castle aims to create a culture of energetic, relevant, student-generated learning in Putnam County, IN public schools. Drawing on its vast network of collaborative partnerships, teaching artists and community organizations, The Castle offers professional development opportunities to teachers and supports learning experiences in partner schools that maximize creative problem-solving, enhance the curriculum, nurture self-expression, honor varied learning styles, and encourage essential 21st Century skills.