Sun Foundation Program History

Art & Science in the Woods (1974 – present) – A week long day camp giving over 450 students ages 6-18 the opportunity to learn hands-on with professional artists, engineers, designers, scientists, and educators in nature’s classroom. Classes are taught on a rural 800-acre property consisting of a fresh water marsh, oak hickory forest, prairies, ponds, wetlands, streams, and fossil beds.

 

Clean Water Celebration (1993 – present) – A free 2-day event attended by 3,000 middle & high school students each year along with the general public. Participants learn how to conserve, protect, and restore our precious water resource through interactive exhibits, classrooms, keynote presentations, and performances. The Water Week program made way for the current Clean Water Celebration environmental classroom.

 

            Highlight of Keynote Speakers:

Dr. Silvia Earle, marine biologist & national geographic explorer

Chad Pregracke, Founder of Living Lands & Waters, 2013 CNN hero

Dr. Jacqueline Quinn, NASA environmental engineer

Dr. Michael Wiant, archeologist & anthropologist

Stiv Wilson, 5 Gyres Institute

Roger Klocek, senior biologist at the Shedd Aquarium

Rainy Shorey, wildlife ecologist & biologist

Terra Brockman, author & founder of The Land Connection

Heart of the Beast, puppet & mask theater

Hugh O’Brien, Environmentalist & actor

Corinne Wood, lieutenant governor & chair of IL river coord. Council

Brettny Hardy, dolphin research center

Dietrich Schaaf, international crane foundation

David Zalaznik, photographer

 

Water Week (1989 – 1990) – Science curriculum in schools including exhibits and keynote speaker Jean Michel Cousteau. The program included student exhibits and citywide activities focusing on water. The city of Peoria proclaimed a citywide “Water Week.” This program was the predecessor of the Clean Water Celebration environmental classroom.

 

Community Arts Access regranting program (1990 – present) – Through a matching grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, along with community contributions, funds are regranted to area schools, libraries, artists, and art organizations for community & public art programs. Since 1990, $423,000 in grants have been awarded to area artists, libraries, schools and arts organizations. The Community Arts Access program was created by adapting the Artist in Residency program.

 

Artists in Residency (1979 – 1993) – Residencies ranged from 1 week to 1 year in area schools & community centers. The Artist in Residency program transformed into the Community Arts Access program in 1993.

152 residencies in multiple disciplines including writing, theater, playwriting, painting, sculpting, ceramics, pottery, dance, visual arts, music, folk arts.

 

Environmental Field Trips (1980 – present) – Trips for school and community organizations offering interdisciplinary curriculum for all grade levels. This program emphasizes nature study as an activity that draws from and enhances other disciplines such as the arts, social studies, and sciences. Students learn about topics such as fossils & rocks, Native American studies, field science, primitive skills, or arts.

 

Field Science Programs (1974 – present) – Field Science expeditions for families and the general public. Fossils & Rocks expedition led by Bradley University Geologist Dr. Merrill Foster (PhD, Harvard University). Reptiles & Amphibians expedition led by Peoria Zoo Herpetologist Doug Holmes.

Fossils & Rocks (74 – present) – geologist Dr. Merrill Foster

Reptiles & Amphibians (07 – present) – herpetologist Doug Holmes

 

Winter Warming (2006 – present) – Wine-tasting benefit to support Sun Foundation children’s programs. An evening of delicious wine, brew, and food tasting. Guests socialize while enjoying a vast silent auction, guest artist exhibit & sales, and other fun activities.

 

Aboriginal Skills Programs (2001, 03, 05-06, 09-13) – Survival skills workshops and classes taught by naturalist and primitive skills specialist Brett Root Ericksen & other aboriginal skill specialists. A wide range of programs and workshops are offered to students, providing outdoor survival skills, which leads to self-empowerment, independence, and increased learning capabilities.

Self Bow Workshop (2001)

Primitive Hide Tanning Workshop (2001)

Coyote Games (2001)

ASAP Program (not including ASIW) (2001, 03, 05)

Flint Knapping, Bow Making, Fire Workshop (2006)

Osage Self Bow Class (2009 – 2013)

 

Beekeeping Program (2011 – 2013) – Workshops taught by beekeeper, educator, and 5th generation farmer Dan Fitzpatrick. Participants learn about the basics of bee keeping including the bee life cycle, swarming behavior, traps, hive maintenance, equipment considerations, and bee introduction.

 

Sustainability Programs (1976-77, 92, 94-96, 98, 2011-13) –

Solar Energy Today Workshop for 4H students (76) – Yahya Safdari & Mark Cordes

Bio-Humic Soil Building Organic Farm Workshops (77, 92, 94, 95, 96, 98, 2011-13) – Organic Farming workshops offer consultations and presentations for farmers, agriculture students and teachers, schools, as well as government and community organizations. Gary McDonald introduces organic farming methods that increase farm income, improve soil quality, reduce soil erosion, eliminate use of hazardous chemicals, and support soil stewardship for future generations.

1-Day Wind Power Project (77) – Bill Becker

 

Suzuki School of Music (1979 – 2012) – Students are taught the Suzuki method of music instruction by certified Suzuki teachers. This method helps students develop in many ways such as enhancing listening and motor skills, promoting the use of both side of the brain, increasing self-esteem, prose, and the love of music. Lessons are offered in violin, piano, cello, and guitar through individual and group repertory lessons. Students participate in community concerts, institute workshops, and teacher training.

 

Blacksmithing Program (1978 – 2010) – Blacksmithing programs coordinated & lead by master blacksmith Gary Jameson. Using the tools of 9 generations of blacksmiths, participants learn and further their skills, instructed by master blacksmiths from the Illinois Valley Blacksmith Association.

Blacksmith Workshops & Demos (78-90)

Blacksmithing Apprentice Program (1990 – 2010)

 

Earth’s Table Dinner (2009) – Benefit dinner to support Sun Foundation children’s programs. This feast features organic sustainable ingredients and served in the beautiful outdoor landscapes of the Sun Foundation.

 

Music Programs (not including Suzuki itself) (1979, 81-89, 91, 95, 2003-04)

Suzuki Children’s Symphony of Japan concert & workshops (1979)

Leonard Rose Dress Rehearsal program (1979)

Music Presentations (81, 87, 89, 91)

Violin Workshop (82)

Benefit Luncheon & Fashion Show (83)

Master Music Classes for high school students with members of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra (1984 – 88)

Choosing & Learning an Instrument Workshop (86)

Suzuki Workshops (86, 03, 04)

Guitar Workshops & Concerts (87)

Sun Foundation Program Benefit Concert (87, 88, 95) – Art Thieme, Dan Keding, Tandy Lacy, Greg Steil, Jim Kanas, Bill Close

 

Teacher Training Programs (1974, 75, 80-89, 91-95, 99)

Comprehensive Fine Arts Education Curriculum Development Program (K-6)

Special Ed Training

Teacher In-Services about various art & science topics

Various Art Workshops

Teaching Reading & Writing through the Arts

Field Science Teacher training

Olympics of the Mind state seminar & conference (82): educational conference for teachers & general public

Project Wild Workshops – interdisciplinary environmental education workshops (84, 85) Dr. Lambertus Princen

Science Literacy Program (91-93, 95) – ECHOS: Ecosystems, Critical Habitats & On-going Education Solutions

 

Theater Programs & Performances (1978 – 1998)

Theater Workshops (78, 80, 81, 83-87)

WIU Theater Performances for elementary and secondary schools (1979 – 98)

Prairie Voices performance for Lacon Old Settlers Days (81)

Portable Puppets performances at Lakeview (81-82)

Theater Productions & Performances (81, 84-86)

Little Red Riding Hood Puppet Show (82)

National Shakespeare Company of NY Performances for area high schools (82, 87-90)

Free Shakespeare Company of Chicago Performances for area high schools (84, 85, 87)

Chicago Shakespeare Company Performances for area high schools (86, 87)

 

Dinosaur Day Program (1981 – 1995) – Dinosaur Day was held at Bradley University geology department, hosted by head geologist & instructor Dr. Merrill Foster, Bradley University. Participants learned through interactive exhibits and workshops by geologists and artists. Keynote speakers were national known paleontologists.

 

Health Programs (1984, 85, 88, 89, 91, 93)

Illness & Healing Workshops (1984, 85, 88, 89, 93) – Dr. Bernard Siegel

Catastrophic Illness Workshop

Psychology of Illness & Art of Healing Workshop

Lecture Program with Methodist

Out of My Mind Lecture

Laugh Your Way to Health (1991) – Dr. Annette Goodheart, psychotherapist

Cancer Support Network Workshop (1991) – Dr. Carl Simonton, psychologist

 

 

Photography Programs (1977, 79-81, 87, 91-93)

Photography Workshops (1977, 79, 80, 81)

Through the Looking Glass Optics Program (1980)

Coming Era of Photo Electronics lecture (87) – photography workshop

View Camera Workshop (1991, 92, 93)

 

Child Development Programs (1979, 84-85, 91) – Workshops and conferences offered for teachers, parents, and general public to learn about child development, learning, and abuse prevention.

The Potential of the Child Conference (1979)

Growth & Understanding Conference (1979)

The Whole Child Symposium (1984, 85)

Parenting Workshops (1984, 85)

Child Abuse Conference (1984, 85)  & Sexual Abuse Performance (85)

ACTION Conference (1985)

How Can We Prepare our Children for the Future Workshop (1991)

 

Native American Programs (1974-81, 85-87, 91)

Workshops & Programs (74, 80, 81, 85, 86, 87, 91)

“Sun Gave Man the Power” Film Documentary & Lectures (1975, 76, 77) – aired on PBS and shown in museums and for the National Park Service – written & produced by Bob & Joan Ericksen, narrated by Studs Terkel

“Hands & Spirit” Blackfeet Crafts slide program: an oral history handed down from elders – shown at Glacier National Park & area schools (75)

Blackfeet Slide Program (78)

Native American Festival (87) – Blackfeet slide program

 

Nutrition Programs (1978-81, 84, 90-91) – Conferences, workshops, and lectures given by nationally & regionally known nutritionists to encourage healthy eating and nutrition practices.

Nutrition Conferences (1978, 79, 84)

Tasting Dinner: Lecture, Film, Q&A (80)

Benefit Lecture (80) – Dr. Lendon Smith

Nutrition Workshops (1980, 81)

Food Borne Illness Lecture (1990)

Broccoli Squad Task Force (1991)

Fat Substitutes Lectures (1991)

 

Community Building Program (1985 – 1988) – Conferences, lectures, and workshops led by nationally known author & army psychiatrist Dr. M. Scott Peck

Futures Forum: Building the Bridge to Tomorrow conference – Community Building Workshop (85)

True Meaning of Community Lecture (86)

Community Program (87)

Workshop Meeting (88)

 

Robotics Program (1983-85, 87) – Alfred Slote, author

Robotics Program (83, 84)

Robot show, tour of the Museum of Science & Industry (85)

Robot Day, ICC (87) with Alfred Slote & local engineers for students

 

Exhibits & festivals

ASIW student exhibits all years (74 – present)

“Hands & Spirit” Blackfeet Crafts slide program (75)

Children’s 2 day art film festival at peoria public library (81)

Prairie Day Celebration : Prairies of IL photography exhibit (82, 83) – Bob Ericksen

Photography Exhibits (82, 84, 85, 87, 88)

Arts week exhibit, student art (83, 89)

Marshall county art exhibit (87)

“The Wooden Bird” exhibits at Lakeview Museum & IL State Museum : IL bird carvers 1880 – 1990 (89, 90) – Tandy Lacy

A tribute to small things: slide & music program capturing beauty of the country & its people (81)

Open house, reading, exhibit by Nancy Rawles (87)

Native American Festival (87) – Blackfeet slide program

“Living Traditions” exhibit in area public libraries: traditional artists of Marshall county (88) – Tandy Lacy

Prairie Conference: Prairies of IL photography exhibit (88) – Bob Ericksen

Drawing exhibit (89)

Voice for Youth: Professional 2-person art show (91)

CWC organization, group, and students interactive exhibits (93 – present)

Barns of Marshall County photography exhibit at Marshall County Historical Society – Bob Ericksen

 

Celebrations

Summer Solstice (86)

Equinox Celebration (86, 87)

Annual holiday celebration (87)

Star party (87)

Fire sculpture & fall membership gathering – firing of the kiln (94)

Fall light, fall celebration of the arts (99)

20th Anniversary Dinner (1993) – dinner celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Sun Foundation

30th Anniversary Dinner (2003) – dinner celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Sun Foundation

40th Anniversary Dinner (2013) – dinner celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Sun Foundation

 

Miscellaneous Science Programs

Design in Nature Slide Program (74)

Discovery Dome, donation of marine specimen collection (77)

The Illinois, River of change educational tour (78)

Environmental Science Programs (79, 81)

Family nature hikes (80 – 82, 87, 89, 92, 95)

Indian Summer Nature Night (81)

Trees – historic & present uses (81)

Animal signs – identifying tracks & noticing signs (81)

Living Fossils Program (1981) – Bob Cooper

Cross country skiing – exploring backwater of IL river (81, 83)

Cabbage patch kids: nature identification, trail sampler, Indian pow-wow (86)

Getting in Touch with Nature in Central IL Class (86)

Rocket building & launching (86)

Astronomy class (86)

Summer ponds – water studies (86)

River road days program, picnic & hike, creativity with natural materials (87)

Science Bookfair at Peoria Public Library Speakers (88)

Outdoor environmental program (89)

Lessons from the ancient forest program (92)

Backyard wilderness class (94)

Environmental Research & Education – Living Upstream: Seminar on Food Issues (1999) – Dr. Sandra Steingraber

 (Bird Related Programs)

Migration of water fowl & other birds program (80)

Blue Bird Day (84)

It’s for the Birds celebration of Audobon (86)

John James Audobon day (88)

 

Miscellaneous Arts Programs

(General)

Environmental Arts Slide Programs, Workshops, Lectures (1974)

Art Workshops & Lectures (75, 76, 79)

Art: a child’s survival kit (78)

Art Demonstrations, classes, and workshops for District 150 (1980)

Lakeview tours & art activities (82, 83)

Art in the Park Workshops/classes (83, 84)

Smile in French class (86)

Poetry reading (87)

Video presentation lecture (87) – Barbara Skyes Dietze & Jim Morrissette

Artists Symposium (1989, 90)

(School Programs Specifically)

Special Arts Program – classes/workshops for hearing/visually impaired/handicapped (79-81)

Picture lady program (82)

Artists in Education Pilot Project (85)

Writing Programs in Schools (85)

Storytelling in schools (86)

After school art classes (93, 94) – drawing & watercolor, art in motion

After school classes (95) – paper making

Pee Wee arts program for preschool/kindergarten students (99)

(General Art Classes & Lectures)

3 week painting class series (76)

Batik fabric design lecture (78)

Raku, ceramics lecture (78)

Shibori/Japanese resist fabric dying program (80)

Crafts Apprentice program (80, 81) – ceramics, ironsmith, painting

Studio workshops & tours (81)

Studio art classes (83)

Creative writing classes (86)

Woodcarving & woodworking (86)

Classes – Art Surprises, Drawing, Clay, Vincent Van Gogh, Illustrations, Illuminations (86, 87)

Pastel class (90)

Tools & techniques for bird carving & painting lecture & demo (92)

Luncheon, lecture, & workshop (92) – Dorothy Cannell, author

Sandra Cook commemorate plate ceramics workshop (92)

Drawing classes (94)

Jewelry class (94)

 

Integrative Science & Arts Programs

Cross Cultural Education & Design Science Program Presentation (74)

Art & Science Slide Presentation for school & civic groups (76)

5 Senses Program to discover Nature, and 5 senses nature & craft program (80, 81, 82)

Historical: history of Marshall county (81, 83, 85, 87)

Art & science experience & picnic (84)

Campfire talks (87)

Presentations (87, 88, 90, 91)

One sensational weekend (88)

School programs (89-90)

Star hunters & storytelling class (90)

 

Publications    

Sun Book – book of poetry written & illustrated by Art & Science in the Woods students (79-85)

Sun Journal (82 – present), Havana Printing

“Living Traditions” publication: traditional artists of Marshall county (88) – Tandy Lacy, M & D Printing

“The Wooden Bird” publication: IL bird carvers from 1880 – 1990 (89, 90) – Tandy Lacy, Heinz publishing

Sun Foundation Trail Guide 2012-13 (Laurel Ellis, Claire Jones, & Brandon Klein), Varsity Publications

 

Film & Video Productions

Native American film & lecture (74) – Bob & Joan Ericksen

“Sun Gave Man the Power” Film Documentary & Lectures (1975, 76, 77) – 27 minute film broadcast on PBS and shown in museums and for the National Park Service – written & produced by Bob & Joan Ericksen, narrated by Studs Terkel

“Hands & Spirit” Blackfeet Crafts slide program: an oral history handed down from elders – shown at Glacier National Park & area schools (75)

“Man & His Environment” film preview & lecture (76) – Bob & Joan Ericksen

Fine Arts Curriculum Development videos – teacher training for grades K-12 (78)

“Together We Shine” Documentary (2011) – Art & Science in the Woods Documentary produced by Eve Studnicka & Will Crotz

Various Workshops (1974 – 90, 92, 94, 98 – 2000)

Creative Writing, Painting, Computer Graphics, Ceramics, Massage, History of Marshall County, Stress Management, Chisanbop Finger Calculation (80-85), Dance, Weaving, Jewelry, Glass Blowing, print making, workshop for clergy of all faiths, managing arts as a business, “Operation Spaceship Earth”, etc…

 

Special Subject Lectures

“Man and his Environment” film preview and lecture at Lakeview Museum (76), Bob Ericksen, artist

Shroud of Turin lecture held at Bradley University (83) – Shroud Professional Imagist

“Mythology & Human Nature” lecture at Bradley (86) – Dr. M. Scott Peck

Marine Environment and Global Conservation Challenges (89) – John Michel Cousteau, world explorer

“Rediscovery of the World” (89) – John Michel Cousteau, world explorer

Global Change Lecture “Down to Earth Information Programs” (92), Dr. James MacMahon, scientist

Frida Kahlo lecture & fiesta dinner for Latin American Month at Sun Foundation Center (2004)

Historic Jamestown lecture (09) – Kelsey Noack, archaeologist

“Make No Little Plans: Daniel Burnham and the American City” lecture (09) – Jim Morrissette, videographer

 

Sun Foundation Awards – Outstanding individuals are recognized for their work to better the community and planet Earth.

Clean Water Celebration Making Waves Award (1993 – present) – Awards representing individuals, schools, governments, and businesses who have gone above and beyond to protect and conserve water resources locally and globally.

Sun Foundation Service Awards (1994, 2004, 2014) – Awarded to exceptional volunteers and supporters during Sun Foundation anniversary dinners.

 

Please see the awards that the Sun Foundation has received here

 

 

The Sun Foundation was founded 1972, incorporated in 1973, and gained 501(c)3 status in 1974.