by Adam Lord
The Alexandria Museum of Art (AMoA) has been awarded a $10,000 American Rescue Plan grant by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to develop an Educator’s Portal, a free digital resource hub for educators.
In one location, educators, parents of homeschooled children, and other appropriate parties will be able to access art lessons and activities, an educational video series relating to the museum’s collection, interviews with artists, and prepared lesson plans with educational, historical, and practical information about featured works of art, helping teachers re-engage with students returning to in-person learning.
AMoA’s Manager of Virtual Engagement and Education, Cindy Blair, said, “Research has consistently shown that an increase in arts education has a positive effect on all other subject areas. When art classes began to be offered again in the Rapides Parish school system, teachers saw a positive effect almost instantly in their students. Art classes increase confidence and improve critical thinking skills that are vital to other core subjects.”
During the beginning stages of the project, the museum will host a focus group with local educators to better gauge what content they find most helpful and what resources they would ideally like to see from the museum. The group will include teachers from elementary, middle school, and high schools as well as college professors. If you are an educator interested in participating, contact Cindy Blair at email@example.com.
The Educator’s Vault will provide a convenient place for educators to find and use digital educational resources created by the museum free of charge. Each video or lesson plan will include a comment section for educators to give feedback or provide additional ideas or notes, allowing for collaboration and expansion of projects and ideas.
A statement by the IMLS notes, “The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grant-making, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities.” To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow IMLS on Facebook and Twitter.