Press Releases & Statements

AAMD Showcases Creative Museum-School Partnerships in Exhibition at US Department of Education

April 17, 2012

Museums: pARTners in Learning Showcases the Work of K-12 Students from Across the Country Created in Innovative Education Programs


New York, NY, April 17, 2012 - The Association of Art Museum Directors will present Museums: pARTners in Learning at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington D.C. The exhibition examines the remarkable results of creative and innovative programs that museums offer in partnership with their local schools. On view from May 11 – June 22, 2012, the exhibition is the result of an unprecedented collaboration between 15 AAMD member museums that have engaged thousands of students across the country. 


For the exhibition, each participating museum features one of its museum-school programs—from art-making workshops to cross-curricular programs that explore connections between the arts and sciences.  These programs use direct engagement with original works of art to enrich teaching and learning across the breadth of standards-based school curricula—from art education and literacy to math and science, social studies, and language arts. Many programs also focus on students’ personal development of confidence and leadership skills.  


“Art is a powerful tool for education, and museums provide invaluable access to arts education for students in this country. More than just field trips, these museum-school partnerships result in more innovative programs than ever before, with a focus on long-term community engagement with students and teachers alike,” said Chris Anagnos, Executive Director of AAMD.  “We are proud to partner with the Department of Education to showcase the many ways AAMD member museums are engaging students and impacting the quality of K-12 education across disciplines.”


Museums: pARTners in Learning will feature over 40 artworks created by K-12 students using a variety of media including video, photography, collage, watercolor, charcoal, and found materials. The works in the exhibition highlight the range of artistic techniques and subject matter explored in museum education programs. The exhibition includes descriptions of the programs in which the works were created. It also includes a cell phone guided tour that will enable visitors to hear students talking about their museum experience and the works on view.  The exhibition is available online at


Examples of the museum-school partnerships highlighted in the exhibition include:


  • The Delaware Art Museum’s “Project ART SCOPE” uses the visual arts to help students make creative connections with other areas of study, such as reading, writing, and history. Over 250 elementary school students learned about art forms like self-portrait collages and still-life paintings that encourage close examination of subject matter. After participating in the program, 53% of students wrote more descriptively.


  • Pittsburgh Public Schools Summer Dreamers Academy partnered with the Frick Art & Historical Center for an intensive five-week summer program called artSLAM, which blended educational and creative experiences with literacy-building activities and personal enrichment.  The National Summer Learning Institute’s extensive evaluation of the program demonstrated that attendees made progress in reducing summer learning loss and that the program increased children’s confidence and motivation to persevere in the face of academic challenges.


  • The Montclair Museum offered photography lessons and an off-site photography shoot to elementary school students as part of a program that uses photography to increase observational skills, particularly in the study of biodiversity to the natural world.


  • The Phillips Collection’s “Art Links to Learning: Museum-in-Residence” program brought 500 Washington D.C. public school students and 30 teachers to the museum to weave together visual art education with language arts, math, social studies, and science. A participating school reported nearly doubled reading and math proficiency on the D.C. standardized tests in 2011.


The institutions participating in Museums: pARTners in Learning represent a diverse range of art museums in America—from museums with encyclopedic collections to museums that focus on the work of an individual artist, from university museums to civic art museums, from those serving large urban areas to museum in regional communities. Participants include:


Dallas Museum of Art (TX)

Delaware Art Museum (DE)

Flint Institute of Arts (MI)

Fred Jones Jr. Art Museum (OK)

Frick Art and Historical Center (PA)

Georgia O'Keeffe Museum (NM)

Montclair Museum (NJ)

Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts (AL)

Norman Rockwell Museum (MA)

Parrish Art Museum (NY)

The Phillips Collection (DC)

Princeton University Art Museum (NJ)

San Jose Museum of Art (CA)

Tacoma Art Museum (WA)

Taft Art Museum (OH)


AAMD’s 200 members alone serve more than 40,000 public, private, charter, and home schools a year, with programs ranging from single-visit tours to intensive, long-term partnerships that include shared teaching, curriculum design, assessment, and professional development.  Museums often pay for student transportation, especially those in high-need schools.  They also offer professional development for teachers, programs for students with special needs, and college preparedness for high school students.  All AAMD museums place education at the core of their mission.


Members of the public who want to visit Museums: pARTners in Learning at the Department of Education contact Nicole Carinci (, 202-453-5585) or Jackye Zimmermann (; 202-401-0762) to set up an appointment.


Museums: pARTners in Learning was organized in collaboration with The Phillips Collection, the Delaware Art Museum, and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.


Christine Anagnos / Alison Wade
Association of Art Museum Directors

Sascha Freudenheim / Elizabeth Chapman
Resnicow Schroeder Associates
212-671-5172 / 212-671-5159