Posts Tagged 'A Looking Journey'

Celebrating Five Years of 4th Grade Visits

Today marks the first day of student tours for the 2011-2012 school year.  And with the new school year comes a new year of partnerships with schools and school districts from across the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.  I am especially excited because it also marks the fifth year of our partnership with the Dallas Independent School District.  As a result of this relationship, every 4th grade student in Dallas ISD visits the museum for a docent-guided A Looking Journey tour.

DISD students wait to enter the DMA

It’s always gratifying to receive notes from teachers about their visits to the Museum.  Below are just a couple of quotes from DISD art teachers who visited the DMA last year with their students.

  • Please pass my appreciation on to your entire team and let them know that we are ever thankful for what you do so our students can experience art. I just really can’t fully express how grateful I am.  Going to the DMA is one of the biggest highlights of my students’ year!
  • I want to thank you for a very successful, enjoyable, and educational visit to the DMA for our 4th grade yearly visit this year.  It was the best visit and one in which all of the docents were well-informed, very well-prepared, and there for the groups.  My students couldn’t stop talking about the trip, and they want to return to the DMA.

Students explore the Lokapala in the Museum's Asian galleries

Since September 2007, we have welcomed over 45,000 DISD 4th graders to the Museum for docent-guided tours.  It’s crazy to think that the 4th graders who visited us in 2007 are in 8th grade this year!  I often wonder what sort of impact their DMA visit has had on them.  Have they visited the Museum again?  Do they still think about their favorite work of art from the DMA?

Docent Kelly Breazeale with students from Stonewall Jackson Elementary

All of us at the Dallas Museum of Art value our partnership with Dallas ISD, but it’s really the docents who benefit most from this relationship.  They’re the ones who get to spend each day in the galleries, experiencing works of art with these students.  And in a time when budget cuts and questions about the importance of the arts in education are in the headlines, all of the docents are thrilled that Dallas ISD values our partnership enough to ensure that these visits continue to happen.

Shannon Karol
Manager of Docent Programs and Gallery Teaching

The Fourth Graders are Coming!

Three years ago, we embarked on a partnership with the Dallas Independent School District  and Dallas ArtsPartners to provide every 4th grader in the district with a docent-guided visit to the Dallas Museum of Art.  Over the past two years, we have welcomed over 22,000 DISD 4th graders to the DMA for “A Looking Journey” tours.  This week marks the start of these visits for the 2009-2010 school year.

I had the chance to tour with a group of fifteen 4th graders from John Reagan Elementary on Tuesday.  They were bright, observant, and enthusiastic—and I think every person in my group participated in our dialogue in the galleries.  I always set up the idea of taking a journey at the beginning of my tour, and these students really got into it.  As we moved from one work of art to the next, they imagined we were on an airplane flying from New York to Africa and Egypt and then on to Europe.  At one point, I even heard train noises coming from behind me!    


4th Grade Students in the Galleries

I have been looking forward to the start of these visits since July (when I first scheduled these tours), and I was downstairs on Tuesday when the first DISD students arrived at the Museum.  It was such fun to hear their wonder and amazement as they walked through the doors and saw our Barrel Vault for the first time.  Some of my favorite gallery experiences have happened with DISD 4th graders, and I can’t wait to see what adventures the next year holds.

Shannon Karol
Tour Coordinator

Welcome Back, Students!

This past Tuesday, September 22nd, was our first day of school tours for the 2009-2010 school year.  I always look forward to the first day of tours—it’s my version of the first day of school.  Our first visitors were 4th graders from McKinney ISD, and they braved the rain and cooler temperatures to visit the DMA for an A Looking Journey tour.

Students waiting to enter the DMA

Students waiting to enter the DMA

 Our A Looking Journey tour allows students to travel the world without ever leaving the Dallas Museum of Art.  The teacher who scheduled this tour requested that all students see Frederic Edwin Church’s The Icebergs and Vincent van Gogh’s Sheaves of Wheat, two stars of our American and European collections respectively.  I also overheard one student asking her docent if they would have a chance to see the mummy.  She was excited to be at the Museum, and the mummy was at the top of her list of things to see while she was here.* 

It’s also great to have our docents back at the Museum, ready to tour.  I was talking with one of our docents on Tuesday who was giving her first tour after having been away last year.  She really missed being with students in the galleries, and couldn’t wait to take those 4th graders on their Looking Journey.  I’m giving an A Looking Journey tour myself today, and I am looking forward to hearing what insights my 4th graders will bring to our tour.  I always learn something new from students in the galleries, and that is why I love my job so much!  And yes, I will be including the mummy on my tour…

 Shannon Karol                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Tour Coordinator

*The mummy is on loan and currently on view in Crossroads: Where Cultures Connect.  Lent by Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas.


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