Museums and Communities News
January 2013 
ICA Teen Arts Council Member Romario Accime and ICA Boston director Jill Medvedow receive their National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House, November 2012.
Image Credit: Steven E. Purcell, Photographer, LLC

Whether it's art therapy for Alzheimer's patients or veterans; specially tailored educational program for home schoolers; work with juveniles under court jurisdiction; or innovative public art that brings the art outside museum walls, 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 our monthly roundup of news stories demonstrating the myriad ways different community and outreach programs at AAMD member museums.

ICA Boston receives National Arts & Humanities Program Award 

In November, the ICA Boston's Teen Arts Council program, which employs local teens to act as museum ambassadors in their schools and communities, received a National Arts & Humanities Program Award from First Lady Michelle Obama herself. ICA Boston Director Jill Medvedow and Teen Council Member Romario Accime visited the White House to accept the award from the First Lady, which also includes a $10,000 grant.  A press release is available at the ICA Boston website.  



Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art now offers free admission

The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma now offers free admission thanks to funding from the OU Athletics Department. "We are excited to  

offer to the entire community this opportunity to view one of the world's most distinguished collections of art without having to go outside the state of Oklahoma," said OU President David L. Boren. A full press release is available at the OU website.



Middle school students examine race, prejudice, beauty at Saint Louis Art Museum

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: For the last fourteen years, the Saint Louis Art Museum and the A World of Difference institute (part of the Anti-Defamation League) have hosted over 900 middle schoolers for the Concepts of Beauty and Bias program. The program explores themes such as race, prejudice, and changing perceptions of beauty through the museum's collection. "One of the lessons we try to teach is how first impressions can often be wrong or biased based on what we think we see right off," said civil rights activist and World of Difference Institute facilitator Phillip Deitch.



Toledo Museum of Art launches student docent program 

From the Toledo Free Press: The Toledo Museum of Art launched a student guide program during its Monet exhibition. Four high school students from the Toledo School for the Arts underwent a yearlong training process leading up to the museum's Manet exhibition; their training incorporated both docent skills and art history. The student guides assist the TMA's docents on tours of the Manet exhibition; the docents also act as mentors for the students. Student guide Drew Fleniken described his experience in the program as "amazing...

I learned how to help people enjoy art and understand it."



Oklahoma Governor honors Philbrook Museum of Art for community service

On November 9, Oklahoma Governer Mary Fallin presented the Philbrook Museum of Art with a Governor's Arts Award for exceptional community service. The award recognizes outstanding individuals and organizations that increase access to the arts for underserved individuals and that work to increase public awareness of the arts. "This award represents wonderful affirmation of the Museum's commitment to access and inclusivity," said director Rand Suffolk. A press release is available at the Philbrook's website.