Museums and Communities News
September 2012 
Walters Art Museum director Gary Vikan with Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake at the unveiling of Tulip Folly at Baltimore's City Hall. The painting is one of 25 reproductions from The Walters' collection on view around Baltimore for Off the Wall, a pop-up exhibition. More info on Off the Wall is below.

Whether it's art therapy for Alzheimer's patients or veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder; specially tailored educational program for home schoolers; work with juveniles under court jurisdiction; or innovative family programs, art museums everywhere are hard at work sharing their collections with their publics and engaging with their communities in new and diverse ways. 


Following is a roundup of news stories demonstrating the myriad ways different community and outreach programs at AAMD member museums. We'll have a new roundup with new stories at the end of every month. Enjoy!

Memorial Art Gallery reaches out to populations with disabilities  

From the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, a lovely and extensive profile of Memorial Art Gallery's outreach programs. MAG offers programs for dementia patients and their caregivers as well as touch tours for the visually impaired. Caregivers have high praise for these programs, saying the "failure free" environment breaks isolation and helps boost confidence.  



San Antonio Museum of Art mural project receives wide community support 

 From the San Antonio Express-News: The San Antonio Museum of Art collaborated with other city agencies and organizations to  produce a community mural on San Antonio's West Side. The mural, titled "Flavors of Life / Sabores de Vida," was conceived as an antidote to repeated reports of vandalism and burglary from an elderly couple who ran a neighborhood grocery. The mural pays tribute to the family-run grocery and to ancient foods that address healthy eating in a neighborhood plagued by high obesity rates. Head artist Eddie Chavez, an art educator at the museum, says the mural has received wide support from the community.  



Norman Rockwell Museum hosts naturalization ceremony

On September 8, the Norman Rockwell Museum hosted a naturalization ceremony for 23 new US citizens. MA Governor Deval Patrick and other Massachusetts dignitaries attended the ceremony, which took place in front of Rockwell's Four Freedoms paintings."The Norman Rockwell Museum has a huge place in my heart. It's hard to imagine a more appropriate place to receive the Oath of Allegiance, "said Judge Frederic Rutberg, who led the Oath at the ceremony.  Wide coverage and pictures from the ceremony are available at the Norman Rockwell Museum's website.  



Walters Art Museum and Delaware Art Museum host pop-up exhibitions in their communities 

Both the Walters Art Museum and the Delaware Art Museum have exhibitions on view outside their museum walls - literally. High-quality weatherproof reproductions of artwork in each museum's collection are on view at various locales around the city of Baltimore and the State of Delaware. Coverage of the Walters' Off the Wall installations (attended by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake) is available at the  Baltimore Business Journal and the Baltimore Sun.  Coverage of Art is Everywhere is available at the Brandywine Signature; you can also see Delaware director Danielle Rice with exhibition works around the state at the DAM's Facebook page.



MIA and MoMA outreach programs featured in PBS program

Two AAMD museums with unique outreach programs were featured in Art & the Mind, a PBS program about how the arts impact brain development. The program shows an art therapy tour for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; an art therapy program at Childrens' Hospital in which MIA is involved is also profiled. The Museum of Modern Art's "Meet Me at MoMA" program for dementia sufferers is also profiled in the show. You can view this entire program here (museums are in Episode Two). Or, check PBS listing to see when Art & the Mind will play on your local station.  



New Orleans Museum of Art Gains Young Fans through Friday Evening programs

From The Times-Picayune: A portrait of how the New Orleans Museum of Art's weekly Where Y'Art Friday programs successfully engage New Orleans residents of all ages. Since the events began in January 2011, 52,000 people have attended the Friday evening programs.  Director Susan Taylor describes the Where Y'Art as "a weekly, evening event where visitors [can] experience interesting cultural coincidences."