Mu­seum’s sum­mer art kits pop­u­lar with kids

Oc­to­ber Day of the Dead kits planned

Cecil Whig - - OURCECIL -

EAS­TON — The Academy Art Mu­seum’s “Sum­mer Camp in a Tube” for chil­dren of es­sen­tial work­ers in Tal­bot County was well-re­ceived, or­ga­niz­ers said.

The kits were packed into empty ten­nis ball sleeves and dis­trib­uted to the YMCA, Uni­ver­sity of Mary­land Shore Re­gional Health, the Eas­ton Po­lice Depart­ment, Eas­ton Pub­lic Works, Eas­ton Util­i­ties and the Tal­bot County Depart­ment of Emer­gency Ser­vices.

The mu­seum pro­vided 211 free sum­mer camp kits that in­cluded ma­te­ri­als and in­struc­tions for five dif­fer­ent ac­tiv­i­ties typ­i­cal of what one might find at an in-per­son sum­mer camp.

Ken Kozel, pres­i­dent and CEO of the Uni­ver­sity of Mary­land Shore Re­gional Health, sent a let­ter of ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the kits.

“I want to ex­press grat­i­tude for your or­ga­ni­za­tion’s gen­er­ous in-kind do­na­tion of 100 art kits to be given to chil­dren of our hos­pi­tal work­ers,” Kozel wrote. “I am sure they will pro­vide many hours of en­ter­tain­ment dur­ing this try­ing time.”

In ad­di­tion to the sum­mer camp kits, Art at Home weekly emails fea­tur­ing chil­dren’s art projects have been shared with area fam­i­lies ev­ery week since March.

Ac­cord­ing to Con­stance Del Nero, direc­tor of chil­dren’s ed­u­ca­tion and com­mu­nity pro­grams, 22 dif­fer­ent themes have been shared through Art at Home, in­clud­ing cre­at­ing se­cret codes, de­sign­ing fam­ily flags, learn­ing about aerial per­spec­tive, ex­plor­ing sur­re­al­ism, cre­at­ing crea­tures out of scraps and mak­ing ab­stract glue/pas­tel paint­ings.

Del Nero said the mu­seum is com­mit­ted to re­main­ing en­gaged with area chil­dren and non-prof­its through­out the pan­demic. She quoted Quanice G. Floyd, direc­tor of arts ed­u­ca­tion in Mary­land Schools (AEMS), who said, “In times of de­spair, we need the arts now more than ever. Over the past few months, we’ve had to ‘stay at home’ to pro­tect one another and to re­ex­am­ine who we each are and our place in hu­man­ity ... As we move into the re­main­der of 2020, please take mo­ments to love, to rest, to breathe, to laugh, to dance, to sing, to lis­ten, to act, to draw, to cre­ate to ques­tion, to change, and to cher­ish hu­man­ity. The arts can teach us how.”

This fall, the mu­seum will in­tro­duce a new pro­gram called Mu­seum In­side Out! Be­cause it is doubt­ful that schools will be able to send chil­dren on field trips, the mu­seum will of­fer stu­dents unique and im­por­tant ways to learn through the arts.

For ex­am­ple, the mu­seum will be shar­ing spe­cial video con­tent with teach­ers that fo­cuses on its cur­rent ex­hi­bi­tions and/or works in its per­ma­nent col­lec­tion and will also sup­ply teach­ers with ma­te­ri­als and in­struc­tions to work on a project re­lated to the fea­tured art­work. As with all ArtReach pro­grams, there is no cost to par­tic­i­pate in Mu­seum In­side Out!

The mu­seum is of­fer­ing another tweak to its usual fall pro­gram­ming with the op­por­tu­nity for schools to par­tic­i­pate in its sig­na­ture pro­gram, Mu­se­ums in the Mu­seum! (MiM), from home or as part of an in­de­pen­dent study.

In 2012, the Mu­seum launched MiM as a spe­cial cur­ricu­lum project to in­tro­duce fifth graders to the con­cept of mu­seum think­ing. The pro­gram teaches chil­dren how a mu­seum func­tions, asks them to con­sider what their ideal mu­seum would look like, and helps them cre­ate their own minia­ture “mu­se­ums” in dio­rama boxes. The pro­gram has typ­i­cally cul­mi­nated in an ex­hi­bi­tion of stu­dent mu­se­ums at the Academy Art Mu­seum, hence the name Mu­se­ums in the Mu­seum!

In 2020–21, the Mu­seum in­vites chil­dren to imag­ine their own per­sonal mu­se­ums and work on “mu­seum-cre­at­ing” re­motely. In­ter­ested teach­ers will be sent a Pow­erPoint that out­lines the pro­gram and sup­plied with dio­rama boxes and se­lect art ma­te­ri­als for their stu­dents. If it is safe to do so, fin­ished stu­dent “mu­se­ums” can be trans­ported to the mu­seum in the spring for an im­promptu ex­hi­bi­tion and a re­cep­tion. If it is not safe, the mu­seum will design an on­line ex­hi­bi­tion of stu­dent mu­se­ums and fur­nish chil­dren with a cer­tifi­cate of participat­ion.

Fi­nally, due to the COVID–19 pan­demic, the Academy Art Mu­seum will not be able to of­fer in-per­son Fam­ily Art Days in the fall, but in­stead will ini­ti­ate themed “Grabn-Go” art kits that par­ents can pick up at the Mu­seum and work on at home with their chil­dren.

The first ses­sion will fo­cus on learn­ing about Mex­ico’s Day of the Dead (Día de los Muer­tos). The Day of the Dead hol­i­day in­volves fam­ily and friends gath­er­ing to pay tribute to friends and fam­ily mem­bers who have died and help sup­port their spir­i­tual jour­ney. Pick up dates for Grab-n-Go Day of the Dead Art Kits are Friday, Oct. 30, through Saturday, Oct. 31, at the Mu­seum. There is no cost to par­tic­i­pate, but pre-regis­tra­tion is re­quired.

To find out more about th­ese pro­grams, please visit acade­m­yart­mu­ or email Direc­tor of Chil­dren’s Ed­u­ca­tion and Com­mu­nity Pro­grams Con­stance Del Nero at cdel­nero@acade­m­yart­mu­seum. org.

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