MEDIA CONTACT: Polly Burks
FAU Grant Brings Arts Education to Youth in South Florida
BOCA RATON, FL (October 5, 2007) – On the occasion of National Arts and Humanities Month, Florida Atlantic University’s University Galleries in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters is pleased to announce that they have received a grant in the amount of $27,500 from the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties for the “Arts Educators in Training Program.” The grant supports an expanded visual arts outreach program for underserved youth. FAU students will work with middle and high school students at FAU’s University Galleries and at other community museums and organizations that are also striving to bring arts education to area youth.
“Economic pressures and the pressures of standardized testing have made arts education less of a priority in America’s educational system,” said Rod Faulds, director of FAU’s University Galleries. “This Community Foundation grant will allow us to partner with leading cultural organizations to further our work in arts education for underserved children.”
The FAU students will spend half their 20-hour per week internships at FAU’s University Galleries and the other half at one of four institutions. The students will receive training at three local museums: the S. D. Spady Museum of Delray Beach, the Boca Raton Museum of Art and the Norton Museum of Art’s Pace Program. They will lead arts education programs at FAU’s Galleries and at the Wayne Barton Study Center in Boca Raton, and other after-school programs. These programs will build on current Galleries outreach programs which bring children from the Barton Center and the Spady Museum’s Children Cultures Club. FAU’s University Galleries will also present the results of studio artwork done by the children from the partnering organizations through periodic exhibitions of work in the Schmidt Center Gallery Public Space.
During the past five years, the University Galleries has developed its museum education program. Developed by Faulds, the program trains FAU students to present the content of the University Galleries exhibitions through interactive tours to children in area public schools and after school programs. The program goes further by providing a “Teacher’s Field Trip Guide” for each exhibition to aid teachers in preparing students for their visit, and to suggest curricular activities or classroom activities after a visit. The guides, developed collaboratively by FAU students with FAU College of Education Assistant Professor Susannah Brown, are also used in the after-school programs with which the Galleries work.
FAU’s University Galleries are part of the Cultural Educators Committee, a group representing educators from over 30 cultural organizations in Palm Beach County that is supported by the Palm Beach County Cultural Council. The committee has been meeting for more than two years and aims to foster greater involvement of cultural organizations in public education as well as encouraging collaborative arts education projects like "FAU's Arts Educators in Training."
“This grant gives FAU’s School of the Arts a greater opportunity to enhance the education of our university students,” said George Sparks, director of FAU’s School of the Arts. “It also will help to enrich the lives of children in the community.”
For more information about FAU’s University Galleries, call 561-297-2966.
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