ABC Teacher Institute

Photo of 3-D book created during the 2012 ABC Institute
Landscape book created during the 2012 ABC Institute; Credit: Daniel Schwartz

Important Update

As a result of guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and DC Health regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus), and the high priority we place on the well-being of our visitors, volunteers, and staff, the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) is temporarily closed until further notice. Due to the developing nature of the situation, NMWA has canceled the 2020 ABC Teacher Institute. 

NMWA educators are considering ways the museum might virtually engage with and provide professional development for teachers in the near future. If you wish to be updated on opportunities, complete the teacher email list webform


NMWA educators, book artists, and art and literacy specialists present this intensive professional development opportunity.

Empower and inspire your students though art! From July 6–10, 2020, join NMWA educators, professional book artist Carol Barton, and curriculum and literacy specialists for a graduate-level course centered on NMWA’s Art, Books, and Creativity (ABC) curriculum. The curriculum was originally designed for 4th and 5th graders, though if you enjoy the challenge of adapting lessons for students of different ages and abilities, this institute is for you!  

This low-cost program ($30 materials fee collected upon registration) takes place for one week, Monday, July 6 through Friday, July 10, 2020, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, and includes daily homework assignments.

Optional: Participants can register to earn three graduate credits through Trinity Washington University in Washington, D.C. Trinity tuition fees will be announced in 2020. 

During the course of the week, participants:

  • Learn various book formats—accordion books, self-portrait books, pop-ups, and more—as well as writing exercises from the ABC curriculum.
  • Practice the Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) method for facilitating art discussions.
  • Brainstorm ideas for integrating visual arts with language arts, social studies, math, and science in their own classrooms.
  • Create arts-integration lesson concepts. 

No prior art experience is necessary. Classroom teachers are especially encouraged to apply.

Upon acceptance into the ABC Teacher Institute, educators will receive information about registering through Trinity Washington University for graduate credits. 

Email education@nmwa.org for more information. 


Previous Participants’ Comments

“The ideas taught are transferable to a realistic classroom setting and schedule…The instructors actually taught to different learning styles.”

“I really like how the first project incorporates art, social studies and science. By combining effective lesson planning with critical thinking, you have not only made the lesson really engaging, but you have created a space where students see where multi-disciplines are relevant and inner-connected.”

“I am very excited about all the possibilities for integrating art. The artists’ books are new for me and I LOVE them. I know my students will be excited to work hard with these lessons.”


The ABC curriculum and professional development content presented online and in the Summer Teacher Institute were developed by NMWA and its partners between 2003 and 2010 with two grants from the U.S. Department of Education.

National Museum of Women in the Arts