PULSE: A STOMP Odyssey (6-8)
  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Give examples of how individuals have helped others.
    2. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.6 Identify significant contributions to society that come from the civil society sector.
    3. Standard DP 05. Role of Foundations
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Name at least one grant-making foundation and generally describe its purpose.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Define the phrase <i>community/social capital</i> and discuss how it relates to all communities.

Nonprofit organizations contribute to the common good and social capital of the community by supporting the arts. Students role-play as members of the board of a philanthropic organization focused on the arts. They create a plan to bring the arts to the children of the community, enhancing the common good and building social capital.

PrintBefore Viewing – One 30 - 45 minute class period depending on the length of discussion time. After Viewing – One 50 minute class period.

The learner will:

  • learn about five nonprofit organizations that team up with other community groups or donate money for philanthropic use in the arts.
  • make a recommendation to bring fine arts to the community.
  • Student copies of Handout 1: Examples of Philanthropy in Supporting the Arts
  • Chart paper
  • Other research materials that have information about the organizations listed. The teacher will need to research these before giving them to the students to be sure that information is adequate.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Ask the students if they have ever heard of: Young Audiences; (this is the organization along with America Honda that provided the funds for the movie Pulse: A Stomp Odyssey), the Pew Charitable Trust; the MacArthur Foundation; the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, or the Getty Foundation? (These organizations are frequently mentioned on Public Broadcasting television and radio stations). Tell the students that people often feel that it is their civic responsibility to give back to the community. They put some of their money in a trust or foundation that is managed by a board of directors. The five that you mentioned use some or all of their money to support the arts. These are non-profit organizations.

  2. Tell the students that they are going to see a film, funded by a nonprofit organization, on the theme “rhythms of life.” Ask them to share their thoughts as to what might be meant by “rhythms of life.” Make a list of these ideas on a piece of chart paper for reference after viewing the movie.

  3. Distribute Handout One: Examples of Philanthropy in Supporting the Arts. Read and discuss the information with the students.

  4. Explain to the students that the arts can be a unifying factor in a community that entertain and help to build community or social capital. Social capital is the banked good will of the people that results from positive, common experiences and can be drawn on as a resource for community strength in time of stress or trauma. These organizations that contribute to the arts are helping to enhance the common good and build social or community capital through providing these shared experiences.

  5. After viewing the movie Pulse: A Stomp Odyssey.

  6. Tell the students that they are going to role–play using philanthropic funds. They will decide how they want to spend the money, but it must be spent on the arts to enhance the lives of children and to build community/social capital. Be sure students understand that the concept of “The Arts” includes visual arts, dance, theater/performance, and music.

  7. Move the class into groups of four or five students. Tell them that they have $500,000 to spend on the arts for the community. They will need to decide how they want to spend the money in their community. (Some examples: they could use the money to pay the local symphony to perform for the community and allow people to come to the concert free if accompanied by a child. They could bring in an artist - actor, musician, dancer, painter, or sculptor - to perform and /or mentor students at local schools.)

  8. While working in their groups, they should be able to answer these questions in preparation for their presentation to the chairperson of the board (the teacher/class).

    • What is the need for arts in the community?
    • What activity would your organization support with the money?
    • Why did you choose this activity for the community?
    • How will this enhance the lives of children in the community and the common good?
  9. Ask each group to present their funding plan to the class.

  10. After the presentations, challenge the students to brainstorm ways that the plans could actually be carried out even though they don’t having the funding. What could they do, or who could they go to, to make it happen?