Museums and Communities News
December 2013 
Sowing Creativity students create a fruit quilt inspired by the artist collaborative Fallen Fruit. More information about the San Jose Museum of Art's Sowing Creativity program is below. Image courtesy of San Jose 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.



Nasher Museum Partners with Teachers to Tackle Common Core

The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University worked with kindergarten through second-grade teachers in Durham Public Schools to co-develop a free website, Words & Pictures, to help bring more art into the classroom. The website is filled with lesson plans and an interactive image gallery for teaching language arts, visual art and literacy. The project, made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts, addresses the challenges of using Common Core standards in English Language Arts but also helps teachers infuse the school day with more art education and visual literacy.  "Words & Pictures integrates into our classroom curriculum," said Lauren Tiffany, a teacher at Southwest Elementary School in Durham. "Showing how it connects-math, literacy, compare-and-contrast." In its second year, the program has reached hundreds of students in Durham, N.C., and beyond.  For more information, visit


Sowing Creativity at the San Jose Museum of Art 

The San Jose Museum of Art's Sowing Creativity program integrates art and science in a multi-disciplinary curriculum that teaches students about personal health and livable communities. SJMA's museum educators and teaching artists collaborated with public school teachers and garden educators from four schools to develop the curriculum based on Around the Table: food, community and creativity. Read more on Sowing Creativity at AAMD's website. 



MFA Boston Joins Christmas in the City to Serve Homeless Families

For the second year, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston is participating in Christmas in the City, a non-denominational annual holiday party which serves over 5,000 homeless children and parents. The MFA collected toys from staff for homeless children and will staff an art-making activity at the event on December 22. Last year the activity was enjoyed by over 500 guests at Christmas in the City. More information on this event is available here.
The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University worked with kindergarten through second-grade teachers in Durham Public Schools to co-develop a free website, Words & Pictures, to help bring more art into the classroom. More information is above. Photo by J Caldwell.

Seattle Art Museum Creates a Temporary Park Downtown as Part of International "PARK(ing) Day"

From KOMO news and The Seattle Times: This fall, Seattle Art Museum (SAM) partnered with the Trust for Public Land to temporarily add green space to the urban core of Seattle. The museum took over parking spaces along Seattle's downtown corridor next to the museum and transformed them into public creative spaces to draw attention to issues of urban design and public space. Developed in 2005 by San Francisco design firm Rebar, PARK(ing) Day is a one-day global event in which artists, activists and citizens collaborate to transform parking spots into temporary public parks. SAM's PARK(ing) Day event was presented as part of the 2013 Seattle Design Festival and featured live painting and instruction from local artists, hands-on art making, games, and interactive activities. 



To Expand Arts Access, MOLAA Purchases a Bus

In 2012, the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) launched a grassroots fundraising effort to purchase a bus. Stuart A. Ashman, MOLAA's President and CEO, stated, "Over the past year, many teachers indicated that the cost of bus transportation was what prevented them from bringing their classes to the Museum. It seemed to me, that if we could raise the money to purchase our own bus, we could provide our educational school tours and art workshop program to many more students. Read the full story at AAMD's website. 



MAQ Attack! at the Frist Center for Visual Arts 

In November, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts launched MAQ Attack!, a new free program that invites teens to participate in creative arts activities and open studio programs led by Nashville artists. Students also have the opportunity to explore contemporary art in the Frist Center's galleries including the Martin ArtQuest, an educational space featuring thirty hands-on art-making stations. The first MAQ Attack featured performances by Southern Word, a 501(c)(3) organization that seeks to build literary and presentation skills through spoken word performances by teen poets, and a collaborative poetry writing lab with renowned poet Stephanie Pruitt. More information on MAQ Attack is available at the Frist's website. 



An ARTLAB participant captures a work from the exhibition Simply Beautiful: Photographs from National Geographic at the Vero Beach Museum of Art. More about the ARTLAB's program, including their collaboration with the Indian River Land Trust, is below. Image courtesy of the Vero Beach Museum of Art.

Teen ARTLAB at the Vero Beach Museum of Art Combines Art and Conservation 

This fall, the Vero Beach Museum of Art's weekly after-school teen program ARTLAB collaborated with the Indian River Land Trust to further raise awareness of the environmental state of the Indian River Lagoon.  Participants viewed the exhibition Simply Beautiful: Photographs from National Geographic at the museum and received information and resources from the Land Trust about conserving and protecting valuable natural environments, such as the Indian River Lagoon. The ARTLAB-ers then photographed local natural environments, including some protected as part of the Indian River Land Trust. These photographs are now on view in the museum in a display curated and created by the ARTLAB students. More information on this program is available at AAMD's website.



Touch Tours for the Visually Impaired at the Penn Museum
From AP via"When I touch things, it's my version of a sighted person's eyes. It tells me way more than a person describing it would ever," said Angel Ayala, a visually impaired sixteen-year-old who recently participated in one of the Penn Museum's touch tours for the blind. The tours were developed in collaboration with docent Austin Seraphin, who is also blind. The tours take place on Mondays, when the museum is otherwise closed, and served nearly 250 blind or visually impaired people this fall alone. 



Museum Babies at Gilcrease Museum
From Tulsa World: Museum Babies is an art education program at Gilcrease Museum for infants, toddlers, and their parents or caregivers The program includes time in the galleries followed by a playgroup experience related to the same theme as the museum discussion, which is coordinated by students from Tulsa Community College's child development program. More information on Museum Babies is available at Gilcrease Museum's website