The appreciation of art can be a powerful point of human connection. People come to MoMA from all over the world, each with rich, diverse personal experiences. A moment in front of an artwork at MoMA could be the spark for two seemingly different people to share a connection, conversation, and inspiration. Access to these fundamentally enriching experiences is imperative. MoMA’s commitment to access for all is embedded in the history of the institution itself, beginning with one of the Museum’s earliest innovations in art education
Posts tagged ‘Access Programs’
Belonging, Equality, and Movement: Tracing Accessible and Inclusive Practices in San Francisco Museums
After a long and cold winter in New York, I found myself waiting outside the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco on a warm and sunny day. As I was waiting for my appointment with the museum’s Education and Access Manager, I was already comparing San Francisco with New York, and my hometown of Istanbul, in terms of accessibility and whether museums in these cities are relevant to people with disabilities.
LAND (League Artists Natural Design) is a unique studio and gallery program of the League Education & Treatment Center in DUMBO, Brooklyn. At LAND, adult artists living with disabilities develop their skills in a nurturing environment, while their work is marketed to the community in a vibrant and inclusive manner.
How do you say “accessibility” in French? As the Community and Access Programs Twelve-Month Intern at MoMA, I had the opportunity to venture to Paris and see how museums there provide access for people with disabilities.
I’m not an artist. If someone set a blank canvas and some paint down in front of me with the instructions to “go at it,” I’d have a hard time. It’s intimidating!
As today is Veterans Day, I’d like to share a little history about MoMA’s commitment to veterans, as well as some news about what we’re doing now. The Museum has a long history of serving veterans—dating back to the creation of the War Veterans’ Art Center
The Department of Education has a long history of working with an array of audiences in its mission to make the collection accessible to people of all abilities, backgrounds, and ages. Over the years we’ve come to recognize what a major part of the Museum audience senior citizens are—which makes sense since, according to statistics from the American Association of Retired Persons, individuals age 65 and over constitute one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. population.
For The MoMA Alzheimer’s Project, my colleagues and I work to expand upon MoMA’s programs for individuals with dementia and their caregivers, which currently include gallery conversations and art-making programs at MoMA as well as off-site visits to assisted-living facilities.
In September, one of the participants of Create Ability, MoMA’s monthly program for individuals with learning or developmental disabilities and their families, asked me, “Why don’t we have our own exhibition?” We were returning to the classroom to create our own art after a gallery tour wherein we’d discussed The Moroccans by Henri Matisse, Harlequin by Pablo Picasso, and the neon-colored sculptures by Franz West outside in the Sculpture Garden. I immediately began gathering artwork created each subsequent month, and on Thursday, March 4, the opening reception for the first exhibition of work produced by Create Ability participants was held.
When approached by Francesca Rosenberg to design the Meet Me publication for MoMA’s Access Programs, we were given three criteria:
2. Don’t make it look like a guidebook (even though, in its essence, it is a guidebook).
3. Make the content accessible to three diverse audiences: museum professionals, care organizations, and individual families.
The unusual color request was just one sign of how MoMA’s Access Program educators were contributing to an ideological shift in the way both institutions and individuals think about Alzheimer’s disease. This was not going to be just another black-and-gray manual. The intention was to create a book that was uplifting in both function and form, focusing on the fact that life can still be meaningful and joyful for these families, a book that embodies the mission and focus of the Meet Me at MoMA program. This was going to be a book about inspiring meaningful interactive experiences, making connections between people and art, and making art accessible. It would be anything but a guidebook.
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