Museums and Communities News
Summer 2014
Student artist Anthony Madorsky, age 10, at the opening of Museums: pARTners in Learning at the U.S. Department of Education on July 23. Madorsky's work on view in the show was created as part of a partnership between his school and the Harn Museum of Art.

In his remarks during the opening cermony, Madorsky said that practicing art teaches patience and persistence. When creating art, he said "I let the failure motivate me until I am satisfied with the result." 
Image via US Department of Education Flickr.


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.


Museums: pARTners in Learning

Museums: pARTners in Learning, an exhibition of student art and creative writing resulting from AAMD member museums' innovative educational programs offered in partnership with their local schools, is currently on view at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C. The exhibition features programs organized by 16 college- and university-based art museums, which underscore the breadth and range of art museum education today.


On view through August 29, Museums: pARTners in Learning celebrates the remarkable diligence and creativity of thousands of k-12 students across the country, and highlights the diverse ways in which direct engagement with the arts enriches students' learning experiences, personal development, and critical thinking.


The participating museums are:

On July 23 a group of AAMD museum directors and staff, as well as student artists with their teachers and families, attended the opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C. Exhibition organizer and Harn Museum of Art director Rebecca Nagy noted in her ceremony remarks "all museums are committed to education. It's in our mission and vision's what we do." 


View pictures and live-tweets from the opening on our Storify page. More about the exhibition is available on the Department of Education Blog and Flickr page, in the New Brunswick Patch, and the Gainesville Sun



Stories of the Land and Its People at the Farnsworth Art Museum

An exhibition of student art created in Farnsworth Art Museum partnership with local schools is on view at the museum through the end of August. Stories of the Land and Its People: An Arts-Integrated School Initiative for Midcoast Maine features the work of 260 elementary and middle school students from six local schools. The program was organized so that students could learn from their teachers (specialty and classroom), museum professionals, and mentor artists about how to use the arts-especially digital photography-in their studies of English Language Arts, History and Social Sciences and other disciplines. This arts-integration approach supports the core curriculum requirements mandated by the state of Maine. More information is available at the Farnsworth Art Museum website.



Met Museum's Accessibility Collaboration Workshop

From the Met's Digital Underground blog: The Metropolitan Museum of Art partnered with the Parsons School of Design on a semester-long Museum Accessibility Collaboration Workshop to examine how museums can use new technologies to serve visitors with disabilities. Parsons students worked with museum staff in Digital Media and Access and Community Programs, as well as access-industry professionals and museum enthusiasts with disabilities. The class divided into four teams, each of whom created a prototype addressing a museum-specific accessibility issue. The final prototypes were presented in a Met + Parsons Access expo at the museum. The prototypes will be shared on the Digital Underground blog in the coming weeks. More information on the Met/Parsons partnership is available on the Museum Accessibility website.



A still from "Smith College Museum of Art: A Teaching Museum," detailing Smith College students' experiences working with museum staff to create the exhibition "Transformations in African Art."

Smith College Museum of Art: A Teaching Museum

This past spring, Smith College Museum of Art students had a chance to curate an exhibition for the museum. Students in Professor Amanda Gilbin's introductory African Art class worked with SCMA staff to select objects from the Museum's African collection and write wall labels for the exhibition, "Transformations in African Art." A video describing the exhibition and the students' experience is on the Smith College Museum of Art website.


Aside from working closely with objects and learning experientially, students have the opportunity to work behind-the-scenes at the museum and understand "the power that the institution has in shaping the interpretation around an object or culture," says SCMA Associate Director of Academic Programming and Public Education Maggie Lind. "It's great for students to get a better sense of how museums function...regardless of if they are going to work in a museum. It's about being a really informed museumgoer." 



Glass Games at the Corning Museum of Glass

From Corning's Behind the Glass blog: Students from Syracuse University's Graduate Program in Museum Studies recently worked with Corning Museum of Glass staff to create a game as part of their Public Learning in Museums course. Students worked with Warren Bunn, collections and exhibitions manager, and Mieke Fay, youth and family programs educator, and traveled to Corning to tour the Museum. At the culmination of the project, students hosted a reception in Syracuse, where they invited guests, including Museum staff, to play the games they created.


Telepresence Robots at the de Young Museum expand Access

From Slate: Telepresence robots are allowing people whose disabilities do not allow them outside their homes to visit museums. Henry Evans, a museum-lover who is also quadripeligic and unable to speak due to a debilitating stroke, approached several museums about using telepresence robots to allow him to visit. He tested the technology with several museums, including the de Young Museum, who are now considering more programs using the robots. According to Victor Pineda, an international disabilities rights advocate and adjunct professor at the University of California-Berkeley, museums provide an environment that can "get us beyond the binary of able/disabled, and get us beyond the binary of accessible and inaccessible."