The National Endowment for the Arts Art Works category supports the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing work, lifelong learning in the arts, and public engagement with the arts through 13 arts disciplines or fields. The HMA Peer Docent Program is in its fifteenth year of successfully introducing Bridgeport students to art and architecture in their communities and throughout the region.
“We are thankful to receive this award as we continue to expand students’ understanding of the art that surrounds them,” said Robbin Zella, Executive Director of HMA. “For the past three years, the program’s focus has been local architecture with field trips to architectural marvels in New Canaan, CT and New York City. For this coming year, we’ve partnered with the Westport Library, where its award-winning Maker Space will allow students to participate in classes, sketching their own architectural designs and making them come to life with 3-D printing.”
“The arts are all around us, enhancing our lives in ways both subtle and obvious, expected and unexpected,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Supporting projects like the one from the Housatonic Museum of Art offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day.”
The HMA Peer Docent Program is a nine-week arts enrichment program providing Bridgeport middle school students with an opportunity to use object-based inquiry to practice observing, questioning, discussing, and learning about art and ideas. The program consists of six school-site training sessions, two field trips to the HMA where Museum Educators model docent training, and eventually where peer docents lead their classmates on tours, as well as a third field trip to another historically significant architectural site. The HMA utilizes its permanent collection to enhance the Program, which is modeled upon Harvard University’s Project Zero’s Guided-Inquiry Method and sub-program Project MUSE (Museums Uniting with Schools in Education), and the Aldrich Museum’s Peer Docent Program.
To join the Twitter conversation about this announcement, please use #NEASpring16. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, go to arts.gov
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