Capstone Challenge: Celebrating Arts and Community

By Glowforge


Using multiple areas of art and design, plan and promote a Community Art Celebration that includes an art installation to showcase student work and engage with the community.

Art allows everyone to express their thoughts and values in creative ways. This challenge allows you to engage with the community as you explore how art can be used to celebrate the community’s identity and create a greater appreciation of art and understanding of others.

This challenge is designed to be a capstone project that provides you and your classmates with an opportunity to apply and demonstrate your knowledge and skills from the Art and Design Career Cluster.

Facilitation Guide


Throughout history, communities have come together to share their joys, struggles, and traditions, often incorporating art in various forms like installations and performances. These gatherings bring people together to share their culture and values, express themselves creatively, and connect with others. Community art, regardless of its form, is intended to evoke a mood or feeling, communicate a vision or story, spark conversations, and inspire a greater sense of connectedness.

Art installations are large, often three-dimensional art pieces that can be permanent or temporary. They are generally site-specific, meaning they are designed to have a relationship or connection to the space in which they are installed. Made with a variety of materials and taking many forms, installations include works like sculptures, murals, and interactive displays.

They can be interactive in nature, like EPCOT’s paint-by-number mural, or include elements of performance arts, like “The Line of Connection between Souls” from Gabriel Art Studio. Performance arts are live performances that are created to be experienced by an audience that often use elements of audio or video. Performance arts may include music, theater, dance, and other forms of creative expression.

To host a successful community celebration, it is important to create awareness for the event and give easy entry points for participation. By promoting the celebration, the community will be better informed of the event’s message, leading to greater participation and engagement. Promotional efforts may include print or digital advertising, social media posts, swag, and radio or television announcements.

Glowforge is the ideal tool for creating elements for the installation or performance art, as well as promotional materials. Its ability to work with a range of materials and scale small components into larger art forms make it a great choice for artists collaborating to share a common message with unique art experiences.


Research and explore solutions to the community art celebration challenge. Take some time to immerse yourself in art installations and performance art, whether in person, through videos, or even print. Consider the following:

  • What art installations inspire you?
  • What are the key events, places, or people that have shaped your community?
  • What cultural aspects of the community should be highlighted in the celebration?
  • What community values should you focus on in the celebration?
  • What tools might you use to develop the installation?
  • What performance art and/or audience interaction might you include in the installation?
  • What can your Glowforge do that might help you with the installation?
  • What promotional efforts have been successful in the community in the past? What are newer efforts that you might try?

Explore Tip

Check out the Glowforge Community for inspiring ideas for your installation, performance, and promotional elements.

Reflect and Review

Take a moment to reflect on the research you did for the community celebration challenge.

  • What have you learned about art installations and performance art that you might want to use in your own community celebration?
  • What have you learned about your community that will inform your plans for the community celebration, including individual and collective plans for the installation, performance art, and promotional efforts?

As a class, you will determine what message you hope to convey to the community.

Consider if there are any other resources or community connections that would be helpful to explore before moving on to the Ideate stage where you will brainstorm designs for the community art celebration.


Brainstorm ideas for the community art celebration. You don’t need to worry about whether they’re good or bad ideas — just get creative! Consider:

  • What message would you like to communicate with the community?
  • How can you incorporate materials that are natural to the community, like wood, clay, or sand, or locally produced, like textiles, paints, or manufactured items, into your installation?
  • What interactive elements can you include to engage the community?
  • How might performance art be added to enhance the installation?
  • How can you promote the celebration in a way that will create excitement within the community?
  • After experimenting with design software like the Glowforge App, consider how scoring, engraving, or cutting could enhance the installation, performance props, or promotional materials.

Ideate Tip

Using natural and local materials is a great way to pay tribute to the community. If you want to use these materials with Glowforge, make sure that they are compatible. The Beyond the Manual category in the Glowforge Community has ideas for settings and testing of non-Proofgrade® materials to help you consider what can and cannot be used to achieve the best result. Check with an adult before using any non-Proofgrade materials with your Glowforge.

Reflect and Review

Take a moment to reflect on the ideas you brainstormed for the community art celebration.

  • How do your ideas celebrate the values and uniqueness of the community?
  • How do your ideas engage the community?
  • Are any of your ideas similar and can be grouped together? Are there any ideas you can disregard?

The goal of the capstone project is to create a comprehensive plan for the community art celebration, including the installation, performance art (if applicable), and promotional efforts. The plan will be developed with your class and will incorporate your fully developed idea(s).

Consider if there are any gaps in your brainstorming ideas that you want to consider before moving on to the Design stage where you will narrow your planning to one or two ideas to fully develop.


Review the ideas you brainstormed and select one or two that you would like to develop further by creating finalized plans, including sketches, digital mockups, and other elements necessary for the installation, performance art, or promotional efforts.

In this stage, your class will gather to develop a comprehensive plan. Consider the following:

  • How can you use the space where the installation will be displayed to create a cohesive and impactful display?
  • What kind of materials can you use that will complement and harmonize with the other pieces in the celebration?
  • How can you engage the community in a way that allows for interaction? How can you ensure that your designs and overall celebration plan is accessible and inclusive to all members of the community?
  • How can you collaborate with your classmates to ensure that your individual pieces work together to create a unified whole?

As an individual or small group, you will also create detailed designs for your individual contribution to the celebration, including sketches or digital mockups of the installation, promotional materials, or any performance art props or costumes (if applicable). Consider the following:

  • What size will your installation be? How will you scale your plans for the final product?
  • What tools and materials do you need to create your installation, props for your performance, or promotional materials?
  • What design software, such as the Glowforge App, Inkscape, Adobe Illustrator, or Photoshop, will you utilize to achieve your desired effect?
  • How might color, typography, and imagery be used throughout the celebration to convey your message?
  • How can you use your Glowforge to create unique, innovative, and interactive components that align to your community’s values and culture?

Design Tip

Want to add intricate etching designs into your installation, performance, or promotional components? You can import a hand drawn or digital design to be etched using the Glowforge’s trace feature. Designs uploaded using this feature can be combined with other elements in the Glowforge App to enhance your installation, props, or promotional materials.

For designs developed using third-party design software, files can be easily uploaded into the Glowforge app. Glowforge can engrave from a JPG or PNG image file and it can cut or engrave from SVG and PDF files.

Reflect and Review

Now that you have spent time developing your individual contribution and have a comprehensive celebration plan as a class, take a moment to reflect on the progress of your design.

  • How will your design fit within the space designated for the installation?
  • How does your design convey your message artistically?
  • How do all elements of the celebration, including the installation, performances (if applicable), and promotional materials, align with one another?

Consider if you would like to revisit your comprehensive celebration plan or individual designs further to change anything before moving onto the Prototype stage where you will create and test a finalized idea.


After finalizing your comprehensive celebration plan in the Design stage as a class, use your Glowforge to print a prototype of your individual design elements for your celebration contribution using appropriate materials. Then test the elements for the installation. At this time it’s a good idea to begin installing any required elements, start promoting the event, and begin rehearsing any performance art using props and costumes (if applicable). Consider the following:

  • How will you add structural components to your installation? If you are incorporating performance art, how will you add structure to props and costumes?
  • How will you test and refine your design prior to promoting the celebration, creating the installation, or performing at the celebration?
  • What are the pros and cons of using different materials and techniques in your designs? What materials will you use to enhance your message?
  • How long will each component of the celebration plan take to print, create, and set up?

Prototype Tip

Did you know that you can use Glowforge to build smaller versions of your finished installation? Use cardboard to cut and test 3D elements at a smaller scale to see how structural components will look and fit together. To save some time and focus on function, select Ignore in the Glowforge App tray to skip printing of any decorative elements in your design. Remember to add those elements back in when you are ready for a final print!

When considering different materials to create structural components, use the Glowforge User Manual to learn more about how to print safely.

Reflect and Review

Take a moment to reflect on the prototypes you created and techniques tested during this stage.

  • What do you notice about the elements within your installation, performance art, or promotional materials that communicate your message?
  • Which things might you want to revisit about your design or comprehensive celebration plan prior to the event?

Consider if there are any previous stages you might want to go back to in order to rethink any part of your designs before moving on to the Evaluation stage.


After creating and testing your prototype, determine how you will get feedback from others and then how you will use that feedback to adjust your design. Consider the following as ideas to help the community offer actionable feedback during and after the celebration:

  • What methods will we use to gather feedback?
  • How will you help others visualize your celebration design, including any performance art and promotional efforts?
  • How can you further improve and refine your contribution to the celebration?
  • How will you assess the success of your installation?
  • How will you assess the success of your performances?
  • How will you measure the impact of your promotional efforts?

Evaluate Tip

Collaborate with a wider audience using digital tools, like Miro or Google Jamboard, to receive feedback on specific design elements or overall plan. These tools can also be used to easily share and expand your feedback audience to include industry experts or select community members before the celebration. If you are using a learning management system to organize all celebration elements, digital tools can be linked within the platform for streamlined organization.

Reflect and Review

Take a moment to reflect on the feedback you received from others.

  • What are your measures of success for your installation?
  • What aspects of your celebration do you need to revisit or adjust?
  • Are there stages in the design process that you would like to return to in order to make these adjustments?

Once you have completed and finalized your individual celebration contribution as well as the class comprehensive plan, it’s time to celebrate with the community!

After the celebration, present your experience and communicate your findings based on your measures of success.

Share your students' creations on social media! Post your photos and use the hashtag #GlowforgeEDU and tag us @glowforge for the chance to be featured.