Archive for July, 2010

Community Connection: It's All About the Kids

Even though school is not in session, we work with many children through tours and outreach programs during the summer months.  We partner with YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas and Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas in a weeklong program that includes two interactive Museum tours along with three art-making visits to the branches.  Town North YMCA and Oak Cliff Boys & Girls Club have participated in this partnerhip for several years, and their staff (Katherine from Town North YMCA and Cherri from Oak Cliff Boys & Girls Club) participated in planning sessions for this summer’s program.


Katherine Ansley, Child Care Director of Town North YMCA

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Katherine:  The best thing about it is working with the kids.  When everything on the administrative side is crazy, I know I can go and play a game of Battleship and relax for a bit.  Spending time with the kids reminds me that everything is not as bad as I think it is.  It helps you forget about yourself for a second, which is really great.

Cherri:  The kids. I get paid to be around kids every day.

You have been a strong supporter of the DMA partnership program.  What motivates you to make sure your students have this experience?

Katherine:  I think it’s valuable. I always remember a field trip to a museum in elementary school.  I saw a piece of art and I just wanted to sit there and look at it.  I was fortunate to have a teacher who let me do that, and I want to make sure other kids can have that moment.

Cherri:  I want the kids to be exposed to everything.  I don’t want them to be limited. We live in an urban area, and I want to expose them to as much as possible.  Art is for everyone, and that is my belief.  Plus, I love art.


Cherri Rowe, Program Coordinator at Oak Cliff Boys & Girls Club

The YMCAs and Boys & Girls Clubs are very busy places during the summer.  How do you unwind after a full day or week of work?

Katherine:  When it’s been a real stressful day, my best friend usually takes me for sushi.  That is the best way for me to chill out.  Sushi is fun because you can try new things.

Cherri:  I love to read and I love to bowl – I’m crazy about bowling.  I go to the movies.  I sleep.  I’ll go outside and sit on my porch and write. Sometimes I have to get out of the house and relax, and sometimes I want to stay in. I love to hang out with my sisters or my mom.

One of our summer tours is called Summer Vacation, and we ask the students where they would most like to travel during the summer.  If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Katherine:  I would love to go to Rome, because I want to see the ruins and architecture there.  It’s fascinating to see how they did all that stuff without modern technology.

 Cherri:  Italy. I would take two months off work and tour the entire country.  I would stay two or three days in each city.  Italy seems so beautiful and has so much history.

Melissa Nelson
Manager of Teaching in the Community

DFS + DMA = Summer Film Fun

Mark Menza teaches sound design for film at the DMA.

The second annual offering of Film Workshops for youth are in full swing this summer at the DMA.  Dallas Film Society is a key partner for these workshops, recruiting film industry professionals from the area to lead workshops at the Museum.  Workshop topics include cinematography, sound design, costuming and set design, animation, acting, and screen writing.

Nicole Stutzman
Director of Teaching Programs and Partnerships

Zombie make-up for these young stars!

Stop-motion animation set

What's Not to Love About Being a Teen Docent?!?

Did you know that we have a group of twenty-seven Teen Docents who lead tours at the DMA each summer?  We are lucky to be the fearless leaders of the Teen Docent program, and we both love working with this talented and enthusiastic group of students.  The Teen Docent program was started because the Museum believes that teens have a unique ability to capture the interest of our youngest visitors and help them to see how works of art relate to their lives.  

Amy and Shannon with some of the Teen Docents


Teen Docents are wonderful at sparking imagination in the children they tour, and their enthusiasm in the galleries is contagious.  Some of the teens are new to the program this summer, and some have been with us for three or more years.  The Teen Docents come from a variety of backgrounds, but one thing that they all have in common is their excitement for sharing works of art with children.  

Amy and Shannon with even more Teen Docents


We asked some of the teens to reflect on their role at the Museum, and here are their responses: 

  • “If I were able to better someone’s experience at the DMA, and not only mine, it would make being a Teen Docent at the DMA worth every minute of my time.”
  • “I enjoy assisting others in creative ways.  It is wonderful to be around warm smiles and beautiful pieces of art.”
  • “I just want to be able to contribute to the greatness of the museum and in the process learn more about it.  I want to show people how much fun museums are and that it’s not nerdy to love museums.”
  • “I like touring children that have an excitement for the art.  I want to hear their perspectives about certain pieces and try to pass on interesting information they might not know.”
  • “My whole life, I have had an interest in art and I want to continue to feed that interest.  I enjoy learning about different styles of art and artists and what better way than at the museum.  Last year, I enjoyed my time as a Teen Docent enormously and I look forward to making new friends, memories, and continuing my study of art.” 


It’s not too late to schedule a visit to the DMA for your group this summer.  Teen Docents will be touring through mid-August, and we would love to welcome your students for a Color My World or A Looking Journey tour.  Email to schedule your visit! 

Amy Copeland and Shannon Karol
Coordinators of Go van Gogh and Museum Visits

Teens and Technology

Every summer, we partner with the South Dallas Cultural Center during their five-week Summer Arts at the Center.  The students, ages six to fourteen, learn about African history through a broad array of classes such as creative writing, digital photography, printmaking, sculpture, mural-painting, and dance.  Programs with the DMA have included artmaking workshops and tours of the Museum’s African galleries and special exhibitions.  Last summer, the teens created an interactive presentation on the summer’s topic, the Middle Passage.  This summer, a different group of teens is developing a new interactive presentation on their topic, African gateway communities in the Americas, with an emphasis on Haiti.

The teens meet twice a week with DMA staff for two hours, both at the Center and at the DMA.  Their presentation is shaped by what they have learned in their classes, and they determine as a group the content and layout.  With one week left in the program, they have gathered all of their research, selected artworks from the DMA’s collection, and chosen the layout.  Next week will be spent building their presentation.  Check our Web site next month to view their completed project!

Dominique and Sasha research Haitian traditions.

Takaziah reads about the Haitian Revolution. Her partner, Renicia, is traveling this week.

Eric writes Fun Facts about Haiti while Craig searches for images to include in the presentation.

Melissa Nelson
Manager of Teaching in the Community

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