This exhibition celebrates the achievements of the Museum’s Education team led by Johanna Benson, in creating programs for diverse audiences, and demonstrating that art can be accessible for everyone, with benefits that range from quiet contemplation to genuinely transformative experiences.
Perhaps most people are aware of the free docent tours, and that these are offered in ten languages, including American Sign Language; programs exist for the visually impaired, and those affected by Alzheimer’s, demonstrating how art can be used to trigger memory. School teachers will know that they can book free visits for their classes, accompanied by art making activities in the Museum’s Art School. Beyond these initiatives, the Museum’s School in the Park program has been serving third through eighth grade students from City Heights for over twenty years, both in their classrooms and here in Balboa Park.
A pop-up Teen Art Café meanwhile provides an alternative art space. Youth under eighteen are always free, while Art After Hours frees up admission for college and university students every Friday night. Public Programs integrate films, concerts, lectures, symposia, and community festivals with exhibitions, bringing the museum alive with music, dance, and even Shakespearean performances in the galleries.
At the same time, an Artist in Residence program operates at schools in East County while Museum educators collaborate with Title 1 schools throughout San Diego County. Outreach is ongoing with the Kearny Mesa Juvenile Detention Center, as well as the Monarch School for youth impacted by homelessness, building confidence and respite through art.
– Anita Feldman
Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs and Education
The San Diego Museum of Art
Many thanks are due to Price Charities for their ongoing support of School in the Park; Patrons of the Prado for providing essential educational support as well as much needed school buses; the California Arts Council and the Dextra Baldwin McGonagle Foundation for supporting outreach for at-risk youth and the Arts Education Council for generously funding the Artist in Residence Program.
This exhibition is free and open to the public inside Gallery 14/15, located near the entrance to Panama 66.