“As a result of the renewal, I was able to add new movement ideas to my children's programming inspired by my research and I also found myself inspired to create a new program.”
The goal of Victoria Griswold’s fellowship was to explore the relationship between movement and the learning process in children. To tackle this topic, she took unpaid leave from the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and began researching the works of experts, such as Anne G. Gilbert (Teaching the Three R’s Through Movement Experiences, 2002) and children’s musician Harlan "Hap" Palmer. Then, Griswold witnessed her first children’s program by an orchestra other than her own: the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s “Once Upon a Symphony.” Another source of inspiration became fellow Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship recipient Heidi Phillips’ live classroom movement programs.
When the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra asked her to turn one of her Teddy Bear programs into a children's book, the offer could not have come at a more perfect time. The fellowship gave her the time and space to attend writing conferences and join critique groups with other writers. “The opportunity to step away from my job energized my spirit by allowing me to explore the moving and writing elements of my Teddy Bear programs,” Griswold said. “It also connected me to new friends in my fields of interest outside of orchestra performance and left me with an exciting head start on works for the future.”
Topping off her jam-packed fellowship was an energizing yoga/spiritual retreat in Boone, North Carolina, where she participated in meditations, energy work, and other wellness activities. “It left me with many tools to keep my health at an optimal level.”