Museums and Communities News
September 2013 
On August 11 over 3,000 San Antonians celebrated the end of Ramadan at the Eid al-Fitr festival at the San Antonio Museum of Art. Above, Eid festival organizers with Julián Castro, Mayor of San Antonio and Katie Luber, Director of the San Antonio Museum of Art.

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.


Map of the Month  

Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art  

Eugene, OR


AAMD's mapping project provides a vivid illustration of museums' reach across their communities.  Participation is free and available to all AAMD members, including museums in Mexico and Canada. If you are interested in having your museum services mapped please contact Andy Finch.



Eid al-Fitr Festival at the San Antonio Museum of Art 

From On August 11, over 3,000 San Antonians celebrated the end of Ramadan at the San Antonio Museum of Art's Eid al-Fitr Festival. Muslim traditions such as henna body art, Sufi music, and Arabic calligraphy were all part of the festivities, and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro provided a keynote speech. Attendees could also visit The Jameel Prize exhibition at the museum, which highlights dialogue between Islamic artistic traditions and contemporary practice and informs a broader debate about Islamic culture. (The Jameel Prize is a £25,000 international art prize inaugurated by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 2009.)


Naturalization Ceremonies At The Ringling & Norman Rockwell Museums 

Two AAMD member museums recently welcomed new American citizens at naturalization ceremonies. On August 19 in Sarasota, FL, 74 citizenship candidates from 35 different countries took the Oath of Allegiance in The Ringling Museum of Art's Historic Oslo Theater. More on that ceremony is available at AAMD's website.  


On September 8, the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA hosted its second annual naturalization ceremony. 26 candidates from 19 countries became American citizens in front of Norman Rockwell's iconic "Four Freedoms" paintings.  More on the ceremony at the Rockwell Museum is available at the Berkshire Eagle.  



Currier Museum Pairs Vietnam Photojournalism with Military Programming 

From The Hippo and The Boston Globe: The Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, NH is currently showing an exhibition of photojournalism from the Vietnam War. The museum collaborated with the State Veterans Advisory Committee of New Hampshire to make sure that the 35 iconic images on view in Visual Dispatches from the Vietnam War included important context and were presented truthfully and sensitively. Additionally, the Currier is inviting Vietnam veterans to share personal photographs of their combat experiences in a special installation at the end of the exhibition. There is also an area of the exhibition where visitors can write letters of support to current active duty military personnel in the Middle East.  


This rendition of Albrecht Dürer's woodcut The Rhinoceros, displayed in North Adams, MA was created by a group of teens at a week-long workshop at The Clark.
Image courtesy of The Clark.

Teens Create Large-Scale Public Art at The Clark   

This July, a group of teens learned about art in a big way through "Paint It BIG! Paint It PUBLIC," a week-long workshop offered by the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Under the tutelage of local artist Frank Gregory, the students created an 8 foot x 16 foot public mural based on an adapted rendition of Albrecht Dürer's famous sixteenth-century woodcut, The Rhinoceros. The mural was installed in nearby North Adams as part of the city's public art program. 

The students visited the Clark print room to see the original and learn about Dürer's fascinating career; learned how to "scale up" a complex image; learned about design, color, and message while experiencing working in a large-scale studio environment; and experienced the give-and-take involved in getting public art to the people.



Utah Museum of Fine Arts Hosts Participatory Drawing Lab

This past summer, the Utah Museum of Fine Arts  hosted a participatory drawing exhibition that invited museum visitors to express themselves through drawing at five interactive art-making stations. Participants could draw objects from the Museum's permanent collection, create tape-drawings, draw on blackboards, and more. The centerpiece of the exhibition was a  The centerpiece of the exhibition was a collaborative drawing by eight University of Utah art students, created during a three-day drawing marathon before the show's opening in May. A time-lapse video of the drawing marathon is available here:



School of Museum of Fine Arts Boston Sponsors Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Exhibition 

The School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston (SMFA) is one of three sponsors of an exhibition at the Department of Education in Washington, DC highlighting the incredible creative work of 7-12 grade students from Massachusetts who received the National Medals in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are the longest-running, largest, and most prestigious scholarship and recognition program for creative young people. SMFA is the Massachusetts affiliate of the Awards; as such, SMFA will work with teachers in public and private high schools and junior highs throughout Massachusetts encouraging students to participate in the program and offering new scholarship opportunities. Other Scholastic Arts & Writing Awards affiliates in AAMD include the Milwaukee Museum of Art, the Montclair Art Museum, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. 


Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Renews Partnership with Montgomery Public Schools 

From The Hearst Foundations awarded the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts  (MMFA) an $80,000 grant to offer  an artist residency program to the Montgomery Public Schools and Visual Thinking Strategies instruction to local educators, and to encourage expanded participation and growth of existing education programs in tandem with the Montgomery Public Schools.  "Within the next year, a lot of changes are going to be taking place in our educational programs," said MMFA Director Mark Johnson. "We're going to put actual practicing artists in the classroom once a week."