Anybody ever heard of the Lilly Endowment’s Teacher Creativity Fellowships? I found out about them on Facebook the other day– it’s a $10,000 grant given out to 100 teachers across the state of Indiana for the rather nebulous purpose of “creative projects that are personally renewing and intellectually revitalizing to individual Indiana teachers and education professionals.”
In other words, ten grand for writing a grant proposal about a creative way to fucking relax during the six weeks of the summer. And they even say that if your budget for your relaxing thing doesn’t add up to ten grand you can designate the rest as a stipend. Here’s some examples of some of the crazy nonsense that people got handed ten grand for this year. These are all direct quotes from the website:
- travel to Costa Rica to dive on a coral reef; study environmental conservation; learn to speak Spanish
- “Hooked on Becoming a Nova Scotia Hooker”—attend workshops in Nova Scotia to learn wool dyeing and rug hooking; visit textile-arts museums in Vermont, Massachusetts and Maine
- travel the country, taking lessons from master guitarists in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, Maine and Hawaii; write songs and post a blog; record new songs written during the journey
- create artwork from debris found while scuba diving and beachcombing; participate in workshops in Oregon and California that promote using trash to make artwork
- attend workshops in Montana and Oregon to learn landscape quilting; visit and photograph four national parks; prepare quilts of national park scenes
- visit historic sites in France, Greece and Italy; capture images of sites using high-dynamic range photography and video techniques
I swear I’m not cherry-picking the ridiculous ones, guys; the recipients are listed by alphabetical order by the city they’re from and I didn’t get through F. That last one boils down to go to Europe and take pictures of shit, gimme ten grand. And it got funded. That’s insane.
I am pretty damn sure that I can come up with a way to spend someone’s ten thousand dollars this summer. They apparently have way too much money if they’re giving it away for nonsense like this. Which means that some of this shit is gonna be mine.