Our Why

The future of our community (and world) depends on creativity.

Creative thinking drives innovation, leads to social and economic growth, and improves quality of life. Put simply, creativity moves us forward and is a core component of the human experience.

Our Vision & MISSION

We envision a community brimming with creative capacity; full of people who actively engage in creative thinking and innovation. To achieve this vision, Creative Adventure Lab helps people of all ages discover, strengthen, and apply creative thinking and innovation skills.

What is an innovation campus?

Right now there is a new innovation movement forming. Progressive communities around the country are building innovation campuses - facilities that co-locate a range of programs and services to help the entire community become more innovative. In the process, these communities are branding themselves as innovation hubs and attracting even more talented people and businesses. 

This new model for community innovation doesn’t just focus on a single audience. It fosters innovation across the entire spectrum - youth, adults, schools, startups, nonprofits, and businesses. An innovation campus amplifies impact by cultivating meaningful connections between innovators and embracing the intersections between education, entrepreneurship, and social/economic development.

Successful communities understand that innovation efforts need to be comprehensive and they recognize the campus model is an effective approach.  Innovation campuses produce better results because they offer a diversity of services, foster innovation between sectors, and create more inclusive innovation networks. They unite a range of efforts around innovation and, when done well, produce extraordinary results.

Creative Adventure lab is Dubuque's very own innovation campus. We've spent the last 10 years helping youth and families discover and strengthen their creative thinking skills, through programs like the Adventure Lab and Traveling Lab. We've helped people connect with their artistic side in our Studio Art Lab.  Now we’re launching new programs, like the Innovation Lab, to help build the capacity for innovation among entrepreneurs, educators, nonprofits, and businesses. 



Jordan DeGree
Executive Director

Amanda Steines
Brand Experience Director

Eric Dregne
Innovation Lab Director

Allie Grainger
Adventure Lab Director

Rachel Deutmeyer
Studio Art Lab Director


Kristin Dietzel
Board President
VP of Workforce Development
Greater Dubuque Development Corporation

Bob Woodward
Board Vice President
VP of Strategic Planning
Woodward Communications, Inc.

Andrew Mozena
Board Treasurer
SVP of Retail Banking
Premier Bank

Emily McCready 
Board Secretary
563 Design

Wendy Knight
Board Past President
VP of Institutional Effectiveness & Advancement
Northeast Iowa Community College

Michael Budde
Founder & CEO (retired)
Advanced Data-Com

Cori Burbach
Assistant City Manager
City of Dubuque

Susan Chapman
Marketing Director (retired) 
Unitypoint Health Finley

Julie Florez
Branch Manager
Dubuque Bank & Trust

Eric Lucy
Independent Consultant

Christina Rader
Re-think Marketing

Beth Rowe
Marketing Director
Dubuque Bank & Trust

Stella Runde
Tax Staff
Honkamp Krueger & Co