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Yoko Ono to teach at School of Doodle, every girl’s dream high school

At School of Doodle, "exercising your imagination can quite possibly change your life.”


Audra Schroeder


Posted on Jul 29, 2014   Updated on May 30, 2021, 9:11 pm CDT

If you could create your ideal high school, what would it look like? If you’d asked me that when I was 15, I would have definitely said Kim Gordon, Yoko Ono, and Courtney Love should be my teachers. And now that dream is real.

Molly Logan and Elise Van Middelem are cofounders of School of Doodle, an online project that’s currently being funded via Kickstarter. School of Doodle is a place where young women can interact with each other and learn, but it doesn’t follow the traditional school format. Instead, it’s described as an “endless obstacle course for the imagination.” As an incentive, the project features original “doodles” by Jenny Holzer, Kim Gordon, Courtney Love, Teen Feminist blogger Jules Spector, Pussy Riot, and Sarah Silverman, to name just a few.

While Logan and Van Middelem are joined by an impressive team, they see their roles as being a bit more hands-off. It’s about the girls. 

“We look at it more as being chaperones or gardeners,” Logan told the Daily Dot. “Without the amazing talent working on this and the growing Doodle community, we would just have a great idea and a cool logo.”

With the arts being excised from many school curriculums, School of Doodle functions as an alternative—a “peer-to-peer, self-directed learning lab.” The school is “dedicated to activating girls’ imaginations through entertainment, education and community. With its free online curriculum, School of Doodle is a new kind of digital learning experience where artists, creators and students are the teachers and imagination and creativity are the lessons.”

“I deeply believe in the power of imagination to build critical life skills like self-confidence, curiosity, creativity, and self-expression, especially in teen girls,” Logan says. “Why? Because I was one, and through exposure to art, artists, and creative thinking, went from the girl who never spoke up to the one who never shut up. Happily and proudly.  

“Selfishly, I thought, What would my ideal high school look like and how can we build it? And that is School of Doodle. A safe environment where girls have access to some big creative brains, including their peers, and the support to express themselves without expectation or judgment.”

Natasha Lyonne, Susan Orlean, and Cat Power have joined in to help the cause. Teachers include Kim Gordon, Alice Waters, John Baldessari, Marina Abramovic, and JD Samson. There’s no college credit involved, but students will get “Doodle Dollars,” which can go towards field trips or one-on-one sessions with, say, Yoko Ono. Fifteen-year-old me is screaming. 

The project is steadily inching towards its $75,000 goal, and if funded, School of Doodle is set to open later this year. Logan stresses the importance of this project, not only for the present but for the future. 

“The evidence is irrefutable,” she says. “The arts has measurable impact on keeping teens in school and building non-cognitive skills which ultimately lead to future success, both personal and professional. That is the polite way of saying that exercising your imagination can quite possibly change your life.”

Screengrab via Kickstarter

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*First Published: Jul 29, 2014, 11:19 am CDT