Kansas Arts Commission awards SMA Arts Leadership Program grant
Lawrence, KS – The Kansas Arts Commission recently awarded the Spencer an $16,000 Kansas Arts Leadership Program grant, recognizing the Museum as a statewide pacesetter in comprehensive arts-learning programs united by a cohesive educational approach. Objectives of the competitive grant program include: supporting innovative, exemplary arts education programs; supporting arts education partnerships among nonprofit organizations, schools, and other educational agencies; supporting artists as teachers in educational and community settings; and supporting arts education programs that serve the needs of children and their communities.
The Spencer will use the money to support its broad-based K-12 education programming. These programs include:
- It Starts with Art!: Year-round art appreciation classes for children ages 5–14 combine the study of art with hands-on activities in the museum. The creative outcomes of these classes are exhibited each year in May at a professionally installed exhibition in a dedicated museum gallery space.
- Children/youth workshops: The Spencer regularly offers 1–4 day workshops for children ages 7–16. In 2009, the Spencer offered Sonic Stories: Music into Art, a four-day storytelling and musical workshop for children ages 7–12 with professional percussionist, composer and storyteller Cory Hills; and Act Out! Art In!, a day-long theater workshop for children ages 11–16 with the Lawrence Youth Ensemble.
- Museum/Schools Program: The Museum/Schools Program is a collaboration between the Spencer docent program and USD 497 elementary school art teachers and classroom teachers. The program for each grade level includes a slide talk prepared by the Spencer Museum of Art and given by the art teacher in the art classroom, followed by a docent-led tour of the art museum.
- Southwest Junior High “Bulldog” podcasts: In 2008 the Spencer began a collaborative project with Lawrence Southwest Junior High School to create student-generated podcasts about works in the collection. These recordings are available on the SMA website, as well as on MP3 players that can be checked out by visitors to the museum; they have also been incorporated into our cell phone tour project called An Ear for Art.
- Classroom Collection: The Spencer’s Classroom Collection contains 29 original works of art in various media, including photography, painting, sculpture, jewelry, printmaking and ceramics, with accompanying resource notebooks. The objects in the collection are available to all area teachers to check out for use in their classrooms, and the collection features local and internationally known artists.
- Exhibition spaces: The Spencer’s Teaching Gallery is a flexible, interactive, multipurpose teaching and study space and is available for educators and students to view specific works of art. The lobby and hallways are available to educators to display student work created in conjunction with an exhibition or the permanent collection.
- Exhibition and kids’ guides: The Spencer’s education staff regularly produces kids’ gallery guides, self-guided gallery activities for elementary school age children and families. At present, there are five different guides based on themes designed to stimulate looking and discussion about works of art. The education staff also produces family guides for specific exhibitions that focus on three to four works of art and are designed to encourage looking and talking about themes in the exhibition.
- Community events: Twice-yearly Family Days focusing on specific exhibitions are fun, stimulating events that include hands-on activities for visitors of all ages and provide a colorful, self-directed gallery guide for families to work on together. Now in its third year, the Spring Arts & Culture Festival offers an opportunity for artists to exhibit, demonstrate and sell their work, and for visitors to participate in hands-on art making activities, tour the special exhibitions, and watch (or sometimes participate in) performances.