JUNE 2016
Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art
Auburn, AL

Rebecca Bresler, K-12 education assistant, speaks with Alexandra Combs about her painting during the overnight Teen Takeover at the museum. Learn more about the Teen Takeover, in which 18 teens created their own art exhibition in 12 hours, below.

Museums and Communities News is our roundup of stories demonstrating the myriad ways AAMD member museums serve their communities.  

AAMD Museums: We Want Your Stories! If you have a story you'd like us to consider for Museums & Communities News please contact Alison Wade.

Room To Rise: 
The Lasting Impact of Intensive Teen Programs in Art Museums
Participants in the Whitney's Youth Insights program. Photo by Filip Wolak
Four AAMD museums have released Room To Rise, the results of a multi-year study on the long-term impact of teen programs in art museums. 

The Whitney Museum of American Art, the Walker Art Center, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles conducted the multi-year study with support from a National Leadership Grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. Each of the participating museums is home to a nationally recognized teen program that has operated continuously since the 1990s. These programs bring highly diverse urban youth together to work collaboratively with museum staff and artists, developing vibrant activities and events to engage teen audiences, from tours and exhibitions to performances, and fashion shows. 

Program participants reported that their experiences as teens in museums were transformational, shaping their adult lives in significant ways - from forging lifelong relationships to museums and culture (including potential careers) to shaping personal identity and self-knowledge. 

"I have no idea what my life would be like if I hadn't done the Walker Art Center's Teen's turned me into the person I am today," said Calder Zwicky, Associate Educator for Teen and Community Programs at the Museum of Modern Art and a Walker Teen Council member from 1997-1998. You can hear more from Zwicky, museum educators, and other program participants in the Room To Rise video on the project homepage.

Learn more: Room To Rise

Williams College Museum of Art Awarded Digital Collections Integration Grant 
Collections storage at the Williams College Museum of Art. Image courtesy of Williams College Museum of Art
Williams College has received a major grant from the The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the expansion of the museum's online collection as a platform for experimentation, teaching, and research. 

With this grant the museum hopes to inspire new ideas and practices in how campus museums in particular leverage their digital collections.

Enhancing engagement through online access has been a long-standing goal for the museum, which has now digitized much of its collection and made all of it available online. The three-year grant will support the development of in-depth cataloguing and metadata about the collection and openly accessible tools for deep engagement with collection data. It allows for the creation of an online collection interface that invites both serendipitous browsing and focused research, including the ability to search objects by usage in college courses and disciplines.

"The project was inspired in many ways by asking what a liberal arts education for the 21st century might look like," said Christina Olsen, class of '56 Director. "The unfolding of science and the humanities in the next century will require the lowering of barriers to interdisciplinary thinking, a generalizing of one's "gaze" as a mathematician, scientist, or art historian. This project has the potential to help us imagine and practice that future, and engage students, faculty, and the public in the process.

Community Partners Map
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of American Art

Hartford, CT

Each dot on the above map represents one of the 494 community partners that the Wadsworth Atheneum serves throughout the state of Connecticut. Click through to view more detailed maps and lists of all community partners. 

Mapping is available free of charge to all AAMD member museums! If you are interested in having your museum mapped contact AAMD Director of Policy Andy Finch. 

Above photos of MLK Day 2016 at the Wadsworth Atheneum by Diana Guay Photography, Courtesy Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
MoMA Hosts National Forum Medical School and Art Museum Partnerships
Art Matters: The Frick Collection
Video: A Columbia Physicians & Surgeons faculty member and three Columbia medical students discuss Art Matters, an event at the Frick Collection for first-year medical students.
On June 8 and 9 135 art museum and medical practitioners came together at the Museum of Modern Art for The Art of Examination, a forum on art museum medical school partnerships. 

Organized by Bonnie Pitman, Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the Edith O'Donnell Institute of Art History at the University of Texas at Dallas, the forum was focused on how these partnerships can stregthen medical education, from diagnostic skills to patient care.

Participants shared knowledge and practice, networked, and discussed both the challenges and the opportunities facing this growing movement; they also took part in teaching exercises at MoMA, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Frick Collection.  More information, including a program and participant list, is available here
Block Museum Storytelling Event Connects Museum, Library, and Literary Communities
Block Museum's Shoes of Your Choice Storytelling Event. image courtesy of the Block Museum
A two night storytelling event, Shoes of Your Choice, hosted by Northwestern University's Block Museum of Art in May 2016 brought together library patrons, performers and passersby at the Evanston Public Library and the Northwestern University Library to share personal tales of significant footwear.

Presented in conjunction with the Evanston Literary Festival, the event was a recreation of Alison Knowles classic fluxus performance, 
Shoes of Your Choice (1963). In the performance score, Knowles asks the audience members to remove their shoes and share the unique history and qualities of the pair.

In the lobbies of both libraries students and community participants stood together in stockinged feet and shared stories of shoes bought, shoes lost, shoes coveted, shoes ruined, shoes that danced and shoes that carried them through difficult miles. The stories shared ranged from the prepared to the spontaneous, the hilarious to the poignant.

The dual locations of the storytelling event worked to further connect Northwestern University and the Block Museum with the surrounding Evanston community. "We are honored to be part of this rich partnership between the University Library and the Public Library. This participatory work proved to be one of the most inclusive and unifying programs of the season. Everyone present could relate, everyone had a story," said Lisa Corrin, Ellen Philips Katz Director of the Block Museum, who contributed a tale of her own.

This recreation of Shoes of Your Choice coincides with the Block Museum's current exhibition, A Feast of Astonishments: Charlotte Moorman and the Avant Garde: 1960s-1980s. Shoes of Your Choice was performed at Charlotte Moorman's 4th Annual Avant- Garde Festival held in Central Park in 1966. Misty De Berry, Northwestern University PhD Candidate in Performance Studies, served as the MC for the Block Museum's event on May 11th.  A poet and performer, De Betrry capped off the evening with an on-the-spot poem, inspired by the evening stories and storytellers.

Story reposted from Block Muse, the Block Museum blog
Teens Take Over Jule Collins Smith Museum
Time Lapse Video of Teen Takover
Time Lapse Video of Teen Takeover
On May 23 18 junior high and high school students spent the night at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art conceptualizing and creating their own exhibition over a period of twelve hours.

 "It is really up to the students to develop the concept, the layout and the artwork," said Andrew Henley, curator for K-12 education, who was on hand to assist the teens during the overnight project.

The works created during the overnight Teen Takeover were then exhibited at the museum May 26-27 and May 31-June 5.

"Teen Takeover provides students with an opportunity for an intense moment in their lives to focus on the creative act of art production, in this case, as a collaborative project for an exhibition in a professional museum," said Marilyn Laufer, museum director.

Video from WTVM: Teens showcase their art skills at art exhibition in Auburn

Read more in the Auburn Plainsman: Teens take over Auburn art museum

Read more in the Auburn University Newsroom: Area teens 'take over' Auburn art museum to create exhibition
Next Practices in Diversity and Inclusion
Youth from Achieving Maximum Potential at a Des Moines Art Center program, Summer 2015.
In May AAMD released Next Practices in Diversity and Inclusion, the third entry in our Next Practices series. This publication showcases 51 concrete examples of how AAMD members are working to make their museums more diverse and inclusive, including many education and community programs, such as:
  • Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines DMAC partners with many local organizations for underserved youth, including Orchard Place, a nationally recognized leader in children's mental health and juvenile justice services, and Achieving Maximum Potential, a youth-driven, statewide group that seeks to unleash the full potential among foster and adoptive children in Iowa
  • Museo Nacional de San Carlos, Mexico City Toca una Obra de Arte program offers sensory tours for visually impaired visitors, by visually impared volunteers, using descriptions and 3D-texturized reproductions of paintings
  • National Gallery of Art, Washington DC Art Around the Corner serves high-poverty elementary school students, parents, and teachers in Title I schools who live "around the corner" from the National Gallery of Art but do not regularly come to the museum


Download Next Practices here!

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