Arts For Learning Indiana

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A Pocketful of Rocks (Grade levels 3-12)

During the last year of his life, J. G. Bruff was punished five times for arriving five minutes late to his twelve-hour per day job.   The year was 1889 and Bruff was 84-years-old.  So, why should you care?

Because in 1849, this same man successfully led a company of 66 to the gold fields of California with only one casualty.  He prepared.  He followed the suggested trails and lived by the rules stated in the guidebooks.  He returned home broke but paid all his debts and called the experience the greatest of his life.  Would you call him a failure?  Would you have had the courage to go?  The Mexican American War ended a month after gold was discovered.  Many interpreted this fact as proof God had saved this wealth for the USA.   President Polk promised the gold would last for generations as did emigrants who arrived in California in 1848.  Manifest Destiny had ugly consequences, but it began with a dream.  Please invite Captain Bruff to share it with you.

This program meets standards in Critical Thinking, Social Studies, and U.S. History & Culture.

Information to Know Before You Schedule a Program


30 students per workshop unless otherwise noted.
300 students per performance unless otherwise noted.


Double: Two performances, one right after the other.
Subsequent: Additional sessions on the same day in the same location.


45 minutes per workshops unless otherwise noted.
45 minutes per performances unless otherwise noted.


Arts for Learning is a not-for-profit organization. All of our artists are professional teaching artists who are paid for their time and talents.

The fees listed in this catalog represent approximately half of the actual cost of producing and delivering these programs to our community. These fees are subsidized through fundraising, grants, and donations and with support from many organizations, corporations and individuals.

Copyright 2019 Registered 501(c)(3). EIN: 35-1148812