Feb. 4, 2021
Contact: Judith Cebula
317.916.7327 |

Lilly Endowment Honors 101 Indiana Educators

with Teacher Creativity Fellowships


Indianapolis – K-12 teachers, principals, media specialists and school counselors inspire their students each day to explore, inquire and grow. Through the Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Fellowships, 101 educators from across Indiana will receive grants so they can renew their own curiosity and deepen personal and professional development.

Created in 1987, the Endowment’s Teacher Creativity Fellowship Program gives Indiana’s K-12 educators working in public and private schools the encouragement and financial support to renew their commitment to the education profession. Learn about the 2021 fellows and their renewal plans here.

Each fellow will receive a grant of up to $12,000 to fund personally and professionally meaningful activities. These educators work in a variety of schools, including traditional public schools, charter schools and private schools (both religiously affiliated and independent). The schools are in cities and towns and in suburban and rural communities throughout the state.

During this year’s application cycle, many educators imagined renewal experiences that are close to home or involve no travel because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  There are fellows who will spend time exploring hobbies and interests such as cycling, music and wellness practices while staying home or with minimal travel.

Travel across North America, Latin America, Africa, Europe and Asia is part of the proposed renewal activities for many of the 2021 fellows. Some fellows are planning to pursue creative interests in the arts and humanities by taking art classes, exploring historic events and time periods, or participating in creative writing retreats in varied locations across the United States. Some will travel internationally to the homelands of their ancestors and of cultures that have meaning to them. And some educators will incorporate travel as they dive deeply into distinctive hobbies and interests through projects involving cooking, mindfulness practices such as yoga, or exploration of marine life, archeology and architecture.

“We are truly impressed by the remarkable projects these educators have designed that promise to restore them, both personally and professionally,” said Ted Maple, the Endowment’s vice president for education. “During an extraordinary year in which teachers, principals and other K-12 educators have faced immense pressures because of the pandemic, meaningful renewal experiences take on an added value as these men and women seek renewal and a rejuvenated, greater commitment to their students and to the education profession.”

Recognizing, the fluid nature of travel restrictions during the pandemic and to enable fellows the flexibility to travel safely, the Endowment is extending the timeframe that fellows have to complete their renewal experiences. They will have until May 2023 to conclude activities being funded with 2021 grants.

Including the 2021 class, more than 3,200 Indiana educators have received grants since the Teacher Creativity Fellowship Program began in 1987.  The Endowment selected the 2021 fellows from a competitive pool of applicants. The Teacher Creativity Fellowship Program is one of five programs through which the Endowment makes grants to fund renewal experiences for people working in human services and in the arts in the central Indiana and for clergy who pastor churches in Indiana and across the nation. Learn more about all of these efforts here.

About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly and his sons, Eli and J.K. Jr., through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with its founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education, and religion, and it maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.