Oct 12, 2018

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks To Gwen Tulin and Victoria Golden of Brain Arts Production (Chicago, IL)

Brain Arts Production is the brainchild—pun intended—of Gwen Tulin and Victoria Golden, who have a passion for using the dramatic arts to educate young people about money. This Chicago-based nonprofit has a mission to help students build financial literacy skills through the creative method of learning by doing. The organization teaches students money skills through projects such as pitching a business in a Shark Tank scenarios or staying on budget while producing a short film. Gwen and Victoria also share how teachers can infuse drama into their personal finance course. Hear where their passion for financial education stems from as well as where they envision Brain Arts going next. Enjoy!


  • 0:00–1:02 Introduction
  • 1:03–4:18 Early money lessons on saving, spending, and giving
  • 4:19–8:51 Synthesizing financial literacy curriculum & the creative arts
  • 8:52–10:12 How Brain Arts came to be
  • 10:13–13:54 What first kindled Gwen’s passion for financial literacy
  • 13:55–17:28 Various programs the organization offers to students
  • 17:29–17:55 A word from NGPF
  • 17:56–20:55 “That’s not in the budget”: students learn money skills by creating a movie
  • 20:56–23:38 No such thing as surface-level interactions… it’s the real deal
  • 23:39–28:41 How tailor-made programs work better than off-the-shelf solutions
  • 28:42–30:21 Best student product: Netflix for puzzles
  • 30:22–33:42 Tips for teachers & what’s next for Brain Arts
  • 33:43–40:24 Going right to the source: the “aha” moments for these entrepreneurs
  • 40:25–42:57 Parting words for educators
  • 42:58–44:17 Conclusion

Resources mentioned:


  • “Endowing kids with… responsibilities engages [them] at a more impactful level.”
  • “One of the things we’re really good at is modifying our workshops to any duration that they need to be. We’ve also made a commercial in an afternoon!”

About the Authors

Danielle Bautista

Danielle is a native of Southern California and a recent graduate from the University of Maine, where she braved the frigid winters—a feat in and of itself—and earned her Bachelor's degree in International Affairs. She has a passion for working with non-profit organizations and serving populations in underprivileged communities. When Danielle isn't writing NGPF blog posts, spearheading various outreach projects, or managing contests and flash surveys, you can find her doing some sort of outdoor activity, learning a new hobby, or cracking what she thinks are witty puns!

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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