The Foundation partners with PICA on their Spark_Lab project to develop innovation capacities in young people and create a culture of creativity in schools.

Spark_Lab has brought students and teachers up close and personal with contemporary artists, dancers, theatre makers, musicians and other innovators across a wide range of disciplines through a dynamic program of exhibition tours, performances, practical workshops, professional learning and teaching resources for educators and long-term artist in residence projects.

The Fogarty Foundation has funded the implementation of the Spark_Lab schools learning program at PICA from 2014 to 2016 developed from the initial ‘Growing Future Innovators’ pilot in 2010.

The program includes:

1. Intensive 2 year partnership with Warnbro Community High School

Two Places, One Space is the name given to Warnbro Community High School’s partnership with PICA which involved multiple art forms and curriculum areas.  Over 700 students, 50 teachers and 48 artists participated in projects that included:

  • Moorditj Waankaniny (Deadly Talking), a 21st century story-telling program for young Indigenous people
  • Writing For Your Life, creative writing workshops for students using multi modal writing techniques
  • Bespoke Artist Workshops, innovative high-level learning experiences with leading arts professionals

2. Spark_Lab’s In-house School Program

  • Includes guided exhibition tours, performances, workshops and professional learning programs for teachers
  • Offers curriculum links and cross-curricula approaches to learning while fostering innovation skills in young people and their teachers
  • PICA engaged with over 1,400 students and 156 teachers from 53 schools with the assistance of 25 artist educators through 52 carefully devised tours and workshops

3. Quality arts learning and access programs for young people and their families

  • PICA offers quality arts learning and access programs for young people and their families year round, through fun interactive activities in PICA’s Reading Room, exploratory activity sheets and special holiday and weekend workshops that respond to PICA’s exhibitions and performances
  • PICA engaged with 2,500 participants through 16 workshops and 8 Reading Room Activities




We believe that that by exploring creative processes and encouraging the artistic intervention and the interaction of different disciplinary ways of seeing things, Spark_Lab is inspiring original ideas in our teachers and students.

We’ve supported PICA since the inception of the pilot program and in 2015 we supported PICA to work closely with Warnbro to develop strong contemporary art and PICA learning/innovation programs in the school.  

The next phase of Spark_Lab aims to embed highly adaptive cultures within partner schools and focus on empowering teachers so that they can teach in bespoke ways and ensure ongoing sustainability of the program within their schools. 

For further information on the PICA Spark lab program please visit here.

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