Springfield Art Museum News Releases

Posted on: February 12, 2016

Art Museum's new programs teach collaboration and leadership, build creativity and confidence

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Springfield Art Museum is offering two new art education programs that are working to change the lives of Springfield children through early, regular exposure to inquiry-based, interactive arts instruction. These programs were created in response to community concerns raised during the May 2015 “Community Listen” meetings in the areas of civic engagement, jobs and economic development and wellness.

Boyd Elementary, in the historic Midtown neighborhood, is the site of the Art@Work program, a partnership between the art museum, Springfield Public Schools and the Missouri Job Center. During the school day, teaching artists introduce students to the soft skills necessary in today’s demanding job market – collaboration, leadership and communication – via artwork. Teachers interested in bringing Art@Work to their classroom should contact Museum Educator Kate Baird at 837-5700 or kbaird@springfieldmo.gov.

“Imagination is only part of what kids need to be successful,” Baird says. “We set up situations where students have to figure out how to work together, how to fail and begin again, and how to look at things from someone else's point of view. The results are often surprising."

The Fairbanks community center, 1126 N. Broadway in Springfield’s Grant Beach neighborhood, is serving as a pilot site for confidence- and creativity-building children’s art classes. While parents receive adult education and life skills training 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Thursday nights, children enjoy focused arts instruction. This program aims to expand to include whole families and the larger neighborhood. Funding for this program is made possible by a generous grant from the Southwest Missouri Museum Associates. For more information, call 417-720-1890 or stop by The Fairbanks.

“When I first arrived at the museum in 2012, we began a process of reaching in. Now we are reaching up and out to our community,” says Museum Director Nick Nelson. “These programs are a direct reflection of that mindset, and the fact that they were created in response to community concerns give them the potential to effect real, lasting change.”

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For more information, please contact Josh Best, Development and Marketing Coordinator, 417-837-5700 ext. 224 or jbest@springfieldmo.gov.

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