Vol 57 No. 17 : October, 2005
Vol 57 No. 17 | Oct. 3, 2005
University Art Museum Secures Three Grants
Ilee Kaplan, associate director of the University Art Museum, received three grants this summer to support the UAM’s educational programs.
“The high school students visit middle and elementary schools to make presentations. The high school students and the museum’s own docent council conduct tours when these middle and elementary schools visit the UAM,” said Kaplan. “We have seniors and we have university, high school, middle school and elementary school students so we cover the whole range with this program. One of our goals is to introduce high school students to a university campus. Another is to enhance student career goals, presenting the arts as a possible career path and introducing art to younger children so that they have some sense of who we are as a museum and encourage them to visit exhibitions. Everyone gets a little something.”
The second funded program, EnvisionArt, focuses on developing critical thinking skills among third-to-fifth graders by discussing art. It is a discussion process where students learn to look at a work of art, see what’s there and use that evidence to develop their own ideas. It develops widely applicable skilling including building on one another’s ideas and defending their own.
“The IMLS grant will help the UAM to reach five schools,” she said. “The methodology has been developed for teachers without a background in art to help their students better understand the world of art. The ultimate goal is to get as many teachers as possible to learn this and use it in their classrooms. We are training our docents, who are all volunteers, to do this. It is a wonderful program that trains both educators and docents and, possibly, art education students to do the classroom work with the teacher.”
The money from the California Community Foundation will go to update and enhance the UAM Web site so that it can include archives of past exhibitions and works from the collection so that students can do research online.
“We try, especially as a contemporary art museum, to show the latest in design,” she said. “The Web site is our window to a huge community. We decided it was an important thing to work on.”
Kaplan thinks one reason for the triple funding this summer is the UAM’s level of achievement. “We have good ideas and we do a good job,” she said. “When we received grants in the past, we have been told that the UAM had the highest-ranked projects, which says to me that our programs are interesting, exciting and unique.”
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