Who We Are
Founded in 1992, Creative Connections is a non-profit international cultural education organization that fosters global competency in children. We do this by creating and facilitating innovative arts-based exchanges between classrooms in the United States and their peers around the world.
Creative Connections has expanded from initially working annually with 300 students to over 10,000 students today. We currently have school partners on five continents in 23 countries. In the USA, we facilitate programs in 114 classrooms across eight states.
Creative Connections’ mission is to educate young people by encouraging their awareness, understanding, and appreciation of other cultures, as well as their own.
We deliver our mission through programs that employ the visual and performing arts, along with videoconferencing and social media technology.
Over the past 22 years, Creative Connections’ programs have engaged over 100,000 students in 60 countries. We have expanded from working with 300 students in 1992 to 10,000 students this school year.
1992 – Educator Alan Steckler founds Creative Connections.
1993 – We pilot our first 12 classroom exchanges.
1996 – Students in Wilton, Connecticut and Ryazan, Russia participate in first videoconference (using Lumaphones, which transmitted black and white still images.)
1999 – We produce the first International Young Performers’ Tour.
2004 – We launch Rainforest ArtLink program in collaboration with Rainforest Alliance.
2006 – We introduce live videoconferencing for students.
2015 – Connecticut Arts Education Association (CAEA) honors Creative Connections with the ‘Distinguished Art Advocate’ award.
We believe that cultural literacy is an essential element of every child’s education in an increasingly interconnected world. Our programs build bridges between students in the USA and their international peers through the exchange of art and ideas.
In a recent study by World Savvy, 80 percent of young adults, ages 18-24, said they believe jobs are becoming more global in nature; 60 percent said they would be better employees if they had a stronger understanding of different world cultures. Yet, only 12 percent said they had received instruction that helped them to understand the global issues affecting their lives today.
Creative Connections improves learning outcomes for students by partnering with schools around the world to deliver experiential education that builds global competency and 21st Century Learning Skills.
Ensure that students are prepared to learn, live and work in a 21st Century global economy.
- Increased civic and cultural engagement for students, teachers and schools.
- Improved student performance and understanding in core subjects, such as social studies, environmental science, world languages and language arts.
Short-Term Program Outcomes
- Understand that personal and cultural introspection is the first step towards global competency.
- Develop cross-cultural communication skills.
- Explore and describe similarities and differences in the ways cultures address similar human needs and concerns.
Creative Connections offers cultural education programs that foster well-rounded, culturally-literate students who grow up to be educated, globally-competent world citizens.
Our programs can address a variety of instructional needs, whether it’s a multi-month, interdisciplinary program in the classroom, a one-day interactive workshop, a cultural performance, or an in-service seminar for educators.
Professional Development Seminars for Educators
Creative Connections’ programs are aligned with U.S. National Education and Common Core Standards.