Museums and Communities News
Summer 2013 
Left: Tek Rizal. Right: Self-Portrait by Tek Rizal (2012)
Mr. Rizal participated in the Tucson Museum of Art's Museum as Sanctuary Program for refugees resettled in Arizona.
(c) The Hopi Foundation's Owl & Panther Project

Following is our monthly roundup of stories demonstrating the myriad ways AAMD member museums serve their communities.  


AAMD museums - we want your stories! If you have a community program you would like to see featured in Museums and Communities news please contact Alison Wade.


Museum as Sanctuary at the Tucson Museum of Art  

Arizona is home to over 60,000 resettled refugees from all over the world, and that number continues to grow. The  Tucson Museum of Art is currently showing an exhibition of works created by some of these refugees as part of its innovative Museum as Sanctuary program. Now in its third year, MAS is a collaboration between TMA and The Hopi Foundation's Owl & Panther Project, which works with refugee families in the Tucson area who have been impacted by traumatic dislocation. This program allows participants to channel their experiences through art-making and in-gallery activities. More information on this innovative program and an exhibition of work created in Museum as Sanctuary is available on the AAMD website.


The Fralin Museum of Art's Writers Eye Links Art & Literature

Since 1986 The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia has hosted Writer's Eye, a literary competition inspired by works on display at The Fralin. Every year specific art works are selected as inspiration for contest entries; docents lead tours focusing on the chosen art works in order to introduce contestants to the works and provoke a dialogue to get the creative juices flowing. Over 3,000 individuals participated in Writer's Eye tours in 2012, and 1,300 entries, from Grade 3 through adult, were received; you can read the winning entries in the Writer's Eye 2012 Anthology. More information on the competition is available at The Fralin website.



Georgia Museum of Art's Adopt-a-Bus Expands Museum Access 

From Athens Patch: This spring the Georgia Museum of Art implemented a new program that will help fund K-12 field trips to the museum. "Nothing can replace seeing an original work of art. It's important for kids to come to the museum so they can remember the experience and realize it's a place for them," said Carissa DiCindio, the museum's curator of education. More information on Adopt-a-Bus is available at the GMOA website.   


Artist educators with their students from San Diego's O'Farrell Middle School. These students participated in an eight-week residency at the San Diego Museum of Art, which culminated in an exhibition at a local library. Image courtesy of the San Diego Museum of Art

SDMA Artist Residency for Middle Schoolers  

As part of an ongoing partnership, The San Diego Museum of Art and the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation conducted an artist residency for students from O'Farrell Middle School, located near the Jacobs Center.  The young artists visited the museum and participated in biweekly art making sessions led by three artists that also work and live in the neighborhoods surrounding the Center. The eight-week residency culminated with an exhibition at the Malcolm x Public Library that was curated, organized, documented, and promoted by the students. The program was supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.


This residency builds on a partnership between leaders of the museums in Balboa Park, the Jacobs Center, and the Legler Benbough Foundation to create a bridge between the cultural institutions in Balboa Park and the diverse communities in Southeast San Diego that are served by the Jacobs Center.



Baby Tours for Brain Development at the Toledo Museum of Art  

Each month, the  Toledo Museum of Art hosts special free tours designed for infants  (and, of course, their parents or caregivers). Looking at artwork is beneficial to both visual and brain development for babies, and featured works are chosen with their preferences in mind. Babies "are attracted to high contrast visuals, bold images, colorful objects, and faces," according to TMA Director of Education Dr. Kathy Danko-McGhee, who specializes in aesthetic preferences and early childhood development. More information on the baby tours, including a video of one tour from ABC-13 News, is available at the TMA website


Community Day at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art 

The Westmoreland Museum of American Art has relocated to a temporary facility to make way for the museum's renovation and expansion, coming in Spring 2015. Before the move, the Museum hosted a Community Day to celebrate The Future Westmoreland.  Attendees took part in art activities and were even able to draw on the walls of the museum! Pictures from the Community Day are available at The Westmoreland's Facebook page. 


Worcester Art Museum Partners with Juvenile Court

From the Worcester Telegram & Gazette: Arts Alternative is a partnership between the Worcester Art Museum and the Worcester County Juvenile Court that serves court-involved youth between the ages of 11-17. Participants visit the museum monthly to view the collection and create artworks of their own, some of which are now on view in WAM's education wing. Though participants are referred to the program as part of their court-required community service, some request to continue attending after their hours are fulfilled. "We're very excited about [Arts Alternative], because it's a program that's designed to focus on what strengths these kids have," says Judge Carole A. Erskine.