The Innocent Wisdom Project is a compilation of inquiry-based, kid-driven arts projects. We hope this blog will connect arts teachers, kids and families alike through the power of the messages kids have to offer us through their arts.

Mary Tapia and Gary Wendt, lead teachers and “gatherers” for this compilation, have more than 50 years of teaching in arts education between them.  Currently, Mary teaches visual art at Lyon School in Glenview, IL and Gary teaches music at Hubbard Woods School in Winnetka, IL.  Award winning teachers individually, they have taught as a team in various settings for more than 15 years and have collaborated with organizations such as the Metropolitan Opera, Northwestern, DePaul and Indiana Universities, as well as with many professional artists and musicians from around the country.  They share a common belief that kids contain innocent wisdom and are capable of creating valuable compositions worthy of an authentic audience.  What we learn from children is as important as what they learn from us.


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  1. I have had the honor of working with Gary for the past two years. He is an incredibly inspirational educator! So honored to have him not only as a colleague, but a friend. Keep up the amazing work!

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