Posts Tagged 'families'

Friday Photos: Family for All

We know there’s no one definition of family.

There’s family we’re given and family we choose,
Family we luck into, family we couldn’t bear to lose,
Family that’s near and family we miss every day,
Family for hugs and reminding, “It’ll all be okay!”
From parents to grandparents, sister to brothers
(All those whom we couldn’t replace with any others),
Aunts, uncles, and cousins – the list never ends,
Coworkers and communities, good friends and best friends,
And let’s not forget pets! Dogs and cats, too,
For a friendly tail wag or nuzzle when we’re blue.
Let us wish for your holidays (should you celebrate any –
I won’t name them all for I know there are many):
Enjoy some time with your family, be it minutes or hours,
And please know we’re so grateful to count you in ours.

With love,

Jennifer Sheppard (and everyone else at the DMA!)
Teaching Specialist

Let’s Get BooksmART!

 

Our literary and performing arts series Arts & Letters Live just announced the 2017 lineup of award-winning authors and performers, and we are just overflowing with excitement! Arts & Letters is the only literary series that is part of an art museum (that we know of!), and we love celebrating the connections between reading, writing, and art! Every year we host some wonderful children’s authors, and this year is no different. Get cozy with these books while the weather is still chilly, then come see us at the DMA to make some artful literary connections with the whole family!


the-inquisitors-tale-coverAdam Gidwitz
Sunday, February 26, 3:00 p.m.

Adam Gidwitz is the New York Times bestselling author of the Grimm trilogy. He spent six years researching his latest book, The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog, in which the adventures of three children take them through medieval France to escape prejudice and persecution. They save sacred texts from being burned, get taken captive by knights, face a farting dragon, and face a final showdown at Mont Saint-Michel. Learn more.

Before the talk, your family can embark on a scavenger hunt exploring works of art in Art and Nature in the Middle Ages.


thumb-erin_philipsteadErin and Philip C. Stead
Tuesday, April 4, 11:30 a.m.

Erin and Philip Stead live and work side by side creating heartwarming stories such as A Sick Day for Amos McGee, winner of the 2011 Caldecott Medal. Erin’s forthcoming book Tony returns to themes of friendship and loyalty with the late poet Ed Galing’s tale of a boy and his horse. Philip’s latest, Samson in the Snow, highlights the power of simple acts of kindness to bring hope and light to even the coldest world. Learn more.

Following their talk at 3:30 p.m., join us for an illustration workshop (ages 6 and older) led by Erin and Philip Stead. Advance reservations strongly recommended as space is limited.


playbookKwame Alexander
Saturday, June 10, 2:00 p.m.

New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander kicks off summer reading with his latest book, The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life. A strategy guide written with middle grade readers in mind but motivational for all ages, The Playbook “rules” contain wisdom from inspiring role models such as Nelson Mandela, Michelle Obama, Lebron James, and more. The author of 21 books, Alexander received the 2015 Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor for his book The Crossover. Learn more.


See the entire lineup for the January-June season to see if your favorite author will be coming to town this year. Hope to see you there!

Madeleine Fitzgerald
Audience Relations Coordinator

How to Own Your Face

This year is the 25th anniversary of the DMA’s literary and performing arts series Arts & Letters Live! We celebrated this great achievement with a fantastic lineup of award-winning authors and performers earlier this spring, and then decided to extend the celebrating this fall. We’ve scheduled six programs that strongly connect to the DMA’s collection, and one of them is a wonderful book about celebrating our differences.

Robert Hoge

The Australian author Robert Hoge was born with a tumor the size of a tennis ball in the middle of his face and short, twisted legs. The surgeons were able to remove the tumor and built a new nose using one of his toes! He survived, but his face would never be the same.

This didn’t stop Robert, though. He played pranks, got into trouble, had adventures with his big family, and finally found a sport that was perfect for him to play. Then he had to come face to face with the biggest decision of his life: undergo a dangerous surgical procedure that might make him look less different but potentially make him blind, or live with his “ugly” face forever.

His memoir Ugly, designed for middle grade readers and older, offers a powerful message about being yourself, shaking off bullying, and accepting your appearance–themes we can all embrace!

“We all have scars only we can own.” —Robert Hoge

Hoge

Robert Hoge: Own Your Face

Sunday, September 11, 3:00 p.m.
Promotional Partner: TEDxSMU

Buy Tickets

 
 
 
At 2:00 p.m.: Join us for a pre-event tour of art that explores self-image and ideas of beauty, including Frida Kahlo’s Self-Portrait Very Ugly. Tour sign-up will begin 30 minutes prior to the start time. Tour space is limited and is first-come, first-served.

Madeleine Fitzgerald
Audience Relations Coordinator

Fun for Readers of All Ages

 

This year is the 25th anniversary of the DMA’s literary and performing arts series Arts & Letters Live! We’re celebrating this great achievement with a fantastic lineup of award-winning authors and performers, but some of the speakers I am most excited about are the children’s authors. Check out who will be included in our 2016 BooksmART series below!


Chris Grabenstein_Book JacketChris Grabenstein is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Island of Dr. Libris and Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library. At this event he’ll share the highly anticipated sequel, Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics. Something suspicious is going on…books are missing from Mr. Lemoncello’s library. Kids will have to band together to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Chris Grabenstein
Sunday, January 31, 3:00 p.m.


Drew Daywalt_Book Jacket

Join Drew Daywalt to hear about The Day the Crayons Came Home, the hysterically colorful companion to the bestselling picture book, The Day the Crayons Quit! From Maroon, who was lost beneath the sofa cushions and then broken in two after Dad sat on him, to poor Turquoise, who is stuck to one of Duncan’s stinky socks after they both ended up in the dryer together, each and every crayon has a woeful tale to tell and a plea to be brought home to the crayon box.

Drew Daywalt
Sunday, May 22, 3:00 p.m.


Sherman Alexie_ThunderBoyJrKick off your family summer reading with National Book Award-winning author Sherman Alexie, who will talk about his first picture book, Thunder Boy Jr., which celebrates the special relationship between father and son. Thunder Boy Jr. is named after his dad, but just because people call his dad Big Thunder doesn’t mean he wants to be Little Thunder. But just when Thunder Boy Jr. thinks all hope is lost, he and his dad pick the perfect name, a name that is sure to light up the sky.

Sherman Alexie
Saturday, June 4, 11:30 a.m.

Following the event at 2:30 p.m., join us for a teen writing workshop (ages 12-18) led by Sherman Alexie using works of art as inspiration. Advance reservations strongly recommended as space is limited.


Get cozy with these books while the weather is chilly, then come see us at the DMA to make some artful literary connections with the whole family!

Madeleine Fitzgerald
Audience Relations Coordinator

 

Danielle’s Superlatives

Today we are saying goodbye to a dear colleague and friend. Danielle Schulz joined the Education department three years ago and has charmed us all with her wit, dedication to excellent teaching, and bubbly personality. She is moving on to a new position at the Denver Art Museum, so we want to send her off with happy memories of all that she has accomplished here. And since she has spent the majority of her time in one classroom or another, we thought it only fitting to say goodbye with the best kind of school farewell we know–the yearbook Most Likely Awards.

Danielle’s Superlatives

MM Care Facility

Most Likely to Put the Able in Abilities

From using pool noodles with participants in wheelchairs to mimic movements in paintings, to cross-stitching astrological signs with visitors with Alzheimer’s disease, Danielle always went above and beyond to find an extraordinary way to connect to those with special needs. Danielle has a gift for listening and relating to visitors of all abilities and uses her talent to figure out how best to teach about artworks.

D and the van

Most Likely to Outsmart Little Rascals

While teaching an outreach lesson at a local school for the Go van Gogh program, Danielle led a discussion with elementary students about the different materials artists use to create art. With a little boy sense of humor, one student offered up “poop” as a suggestion, to which Danielle deftly replied, “Some artists do use refuse to create art” without missing a beat!

Amazon shopping cart

Most Unusual Amazon Shopping Cart

As the lead staff for coordinating the daily come-and-go for our busy summer art camps, Danielle supervised summer interns, set up studios for teachers, emailed parents, made parking arrangements, and all kinds of less-than-glamorous tasks that make summer camps smooth sailing. And oh the supplies–no matter what crazy material a teacher throws at her, Danielle can find it. Hundreds of plastic bags? Check. Toy motors? No problem. Lamp shades? Done. If you judge her by her Amazon shopping cart, you’ll know that this is one crazy, creative, out-of-the-box-thinking girl.

Art Babies

Most Likely to Go the Extra Mile

Danielle is a phenomenal teacher, whether she’s performing for a group of babies, leading a group of high school students through the galleries, or having a conversation with a senior group from a care facility. She always goes the extra mile, searching for ways to really connect with visitors, considering their needs, and adding in her trademark sense of humor. I’ve seen her perform the role of “Dragon King” for Art Babies class, wear a taco costume for a Late Night superhero tour, and bring in a treasured quilt from home for an access program–all in the name of helping visitors enjoy their experiences with art.

D Acting

Most Likely to Make an Award-Worthy Cameo in a Whimsical Grant Video

Did we mention she acts? Several years ago, Go van Gogh went for a BIG opportunity that required us to make a short video selling our wonderful outreach program. Knowing that we needed to reeeally stand out to compete, we worked the whimsical angle, and Danielle spent an afternoon excitedly jumping out from behind artworks on camera. I don’t know how many times she jumped out from behind Nandi the Bull in our South East Asian galleries, but I do know by the time we were ready to submit our video, we had a fantastic (and definitely whimsical) representation of our program. The video went on to earn us $10,000. Without Danielle’s acting skills, teaching prowess, and overall great ideas and energy, we wouldn’t have had a shot. Someone get this woman an agent!

D and chagall edited

Most Likely to Soar as High as the Stars

Danielle’s passion for teaching with works of art and her love of people will propel her as high as her dreams will fly, and we wish her the best of luck at the Denver Art Museum.

We are going to miss Danielle more than we can say, but are so excited for the new adventure that awaits her in the Colorado mountains.

Leah Hanson
Manager of Early Learning Programs

Thrills and Chills at the DMA

On September 13, we have a super exciting Arts & Letters Live BooksmART event, our series that brings children’s authors to the DMA!

LittleShopofMonsters_Cover

R. L. Stine and Marc Brown will be at the Museum discussing their new picture book, The Little Shop of Monsters. The two renowned children’s book icons have crafted a tale that is bound to make you quake and shake… in fits of fear and laughter! With a narrative voice reminiscent of The Monster at the End of this Book, but with Stine’s signature spooky charm and Brown’s wildly imaginative illustrations, this is sure to be a new Halloween favorite.

The presentation begins at 4:00 p.m., but you’ll want to get here early to enjoy a family-friendly tour of the creepy creatures in the DMA’s collection at 3:00 p.m.

Purchase your tickets online and start celebrating the Halloween season early with us next week!

Madeleine Fitzgerald
Audience Relations Coordinator for Programming

All in the Family: A Community Partnership with the South Dallas Cultural Center

Families from the South Dallas Cultural Center are regulars here at the DMA. For six months out of the year, a small group come to the Museum every second Sunday of the month to explore and make artworks together. Below are images of our Museum adventures from this past group:

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In July, we capped off another wonderful year of our Second Sunday partnership with an exhibition of our creations at the South Dallas Cultural Center.

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Also on display at the Center was a street art project created in collaboration with a group of teens at the Center’s summer program.

Thank you, South Dallas families, for another wonderful partnership! We look forward to the creativity our next group will bring!

Amy Copeland
Manager of Go van Gogh and Community Teaching Programs

Friday Photos: Fun in the Sun!

Dallas had a *very* short break from stormy weather this week, just in time for our Homeschool Class for Families. After exploring landscape paintings by Frederic Church and Thomas Cole in the galleries, the class went outside to create their own scenic drawings en plein air (in the open air), using the Dallas Arts District as their backdrop!

What type of landscape masterpiece can you create using your own backyard as inspiration?

Danielle Schulz
Teaching Specialist

So What? One Question Evaluations at the DMA

tour

Almost all museums have programs for the public, in one form or another. These programs may fall under the fields of education, visitor engagement or interpretation, and may take the forms of drop-in workshops, ticketed lectures, in-gallery interactives or scheduled tours. Even within a single museum, these programs are diverse in their scope, varied in the spaces they take place, and wide-ranging in their scale. Furthermore, they differ in their intended outcomes, but more on that later.

Importance has been placed on growing different types programs for the public, as these can garner more attention from the community, increase overall attendance, and develop audiences. Oftentimes, this growth is approached by expanding programmatic offerings: increasing lecture topics, presenting more classes and workshops, or providing additional interactives in galleries. In these instances, growth is measured by quantity: “Well yes we serve our community, look how many programs we offer!” But I question whether this type of growth is positive for museums. Is expansion without reflection a good idea? I am inevitably reminded of the adage, “Less is more,” and wonder how this concept can be manifested in museum education programs.

The process of reflection and evaluation is an often overlooked step in program creation. Activities are designed, implemented, and either repeated (perhaps next week, or next month) or they are archived (if they’re lucky) for posterity. But rarely does someone stop and ask, “So what?” This question, seemingly harsh and unforgiving to some, or unimportant to others, is an invaluable asset to evaluation in my mind. It is a question that harks back to my time as a graduate student at The University of Texas at Austin in the Art Education department. My thesis advisor and Assistant Chair to the department Dr. Paul E. Bolin situated this question as an integral part of all academic research. Students would approach him with research proposals and he would answer, “Well yes, that does sound like an interesting study of this-and-that at the so-and-so institution, but so what?” This simple question produced its fair share of frustration, but also some very fruitful discussion about the field of art education. It caused us to reflect on how our intended research would impact or advance the discipline. It wasn’t enough for the topic to simply garner interest, it had to have purpose and intention; it needed to be able to stand on its own and answer, “This is why I exist.” Now, I am not proposing that every public program initiated by a museum or art institution should be held to the bar of furthering the field of art education (this would be rather difficult), but I do feel that every program should be accountable in providing a significant answer to this critical question.

As a department, the DMA’s Education team has spent many hours creating a mission statement that encapsulates our departmental practice, inevitably answering the So What question for ourselves. And during this process we have hit upon some key concepts that fuel our programs, the chief one being engagement. As educators, we aim to broaden and deepen engagement, and recognize that the DMA can influence the depth of one’s engagement, not by pitching more programs at our community, but by facilitating meaningful experiences in our current educational endeavors. But how can we know that these experiences are meaningful, unless we ask?

Our Education team is undertaking the evaluation process by implementing a series of one question studies that aim to pinpoint specific queries we as educators have about our public programs. The restricted format of this evaluation exercise is key, because evaluation can be a daunting task if approached too broadly. The one question design ensures that we concentrate on a single point—one program or interactive, one outcome, one bit of information that is important for us to determine. Just as the questions vary, so too do the methods of collecting data from visitors, ranging from written surveys, a post-it note response wall, and even a voting system using colorful pony beads. Below are preliminary looks into two different one question case studies we’ve begun.

CASE STUDY #1: YOUNG LEARNERS GALLERY (contributed by Jessica Fuentes)

Young Learners Gallery

The Young Learners Gallery, within the Center for Creative Connections (C3), is a space designed for children ages 5-8 and their caregivers. Over the past three years while much of C3 has changed—with the introduction of new artworks, art-making materials and gallery interactives—the Young Learners Gallery has gone untouched, because making changes to that space requires a complete redesign. Before undertaking such a task, the C3 staff want to learn more about families’ anticipated and actual experiences at the Museum.

We started with the prompt, “I bring my child(ren) to the Dallas Museum of Art Prompt signbecause…” posted on a wall in the Young Learners Gallery near a small table equipped with post-it notes and pencils. Unlike a survey, this method allows for open-ended responses that can later be categorized and analyzed while retaining the individual visitor’s voice. This analog system has been brought into the 21st Century through the development of the Post-It Plus App. With this app, instead of sifting through responses and later transcribing them in digital form, we can simply photograph the post-it notes and organize the digitized notes on a virtual board. The board can then be exported in a variety of formats including PowerPoint, Excel, and PDF.

We posted our question for a month and received 107 responses. The responses ranged from children’s drawings to eloquent statements expressing a desire to expose children to a broader world view. Because the purpose of this question was to gauge the caregiver’s motivations, we set aside the 26 children’s responses and the 4 irrelevant responses; however, we plan to use future questions to gather children’s input as well. The top three categories for why caregivers bring their child(ren) to the DMA is to get inspiration or foster creativity, to provide exposure to different cultures or broaden their world view, and because it’s fun.

As we plan the new Young Learners Gallery, we are keeping these findings in mind. For example, we have decided to include works of art in the space which currently is an activity area. The works of art selected will have a strong emphasis on culture and creativity. We also plan to create hands-on activities that address the developmental milestones of children aged 5-8 and provide opportunities for children and their caregivers to play, draw, and talk together about the works of art in front of them.

Now that we understand why caregivers bring their children to the DMA, we are in the process of posing more questions to learn what families actually do in the Young Learners Gallery. Understanding both expectations and experiences will help us develop a space that will meet a wider spectrum of caregivers’ and children’s needs.

totes45CASE STUDY #2: ART TO GO FAMILY TOTE BAGS

The DMA first offered activity-filled tote bags to families around this time last year, premiering during our January 2013 Late Night event. Each tote bag contains a variety of activities that encourage families to write, talk, play, or make while exploring the galleries together, the idea being to have fun with the art as a family. Since their public introduction last year, our Art To Go Family tote bags have grown to include many different themes: Senses, to help explore art through the five senses; Color, to explore art while thinking about colors; Family Fun, with activities designed by a family who frequently visits the Museum; and Arturo’s Library totes, designed for children under five years of age, which focus on a single work of art with an accompanying book and hands-on activity. These tote bags are available for check-out at our Family Fun Cart, located at the main entrance to the Museum, and are free to use by families anytime the Museum is open.

Initially, the Family & Access programs staff sought feedback on tote bags through individual paper surveys, presented to families once they returned tote bags to the Family Fun Cart. We found that very few of these surveys were returned, or even taken in the first place. During busy times at the Museum, those who coordinated checking bags in and out to visitors rarely had time to focus on handing out this extra survey to families, who for their part, were usually rushing to leave the Museum, and therefore rarely could spend extra time answering a two-page questionnaire. In this case, the one question evaluation was ideal not only because of its simplicity and accessibility, but also because of its straightforwardness. Unlike the above-mentioned project with the Young Learners Gallery, for the tote bags we were not looking for open-ended answers, at least not yet. While it is absolutely valuable to know whether or not visitors feel that the tote bags encourage a playful attitude towards looking at art, or if they are able to increase visitor confidence in looking at art with children, this is information that is best obtained in a second stage of evaluation, when we look at the specific effects of each activity and deem whether things should be modified or not. At this still early stage in the life of the tote bags, our team is really interested in the simple question of whether families are indeed using the tote bags during their visit, and where in the Museum they are being used. (This is our So What question.)

We designed our one question evaluation as a multiple choice prompt, which was added to the tote bag check-out sheet. We asked, “On Which Floor Did You Use the Tote Bag?” and invited visitors to check the box next to each area in which they used the bags—Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, Level 4—or, if they didn’t in fact use the activities in the bag, to check Did Not Use. Our hope was that including our one question evaluation on the check-out sheet, something that families were already using and thus familiar with, would increase the amount of feedback we received.

The updated check-out sheet has been in rotation for two months, and we have collected data for November and December 2014. On average, 52% of people who checked-out tote bags during that time responded to our evaluation, and of that total only 6% did not use the tote bag activities at all. While in the Museum, the respondents said they preferred to use the tote bags most on Level 1 (28%) and least on Level 4 (16%). Now, is this choice based on physical access (Level 1 is the same level on which the tote bags are offered, while Level 4 is farthest away) or related to the works of art available on each level (Level 1 is Contemporary art, Level 4 is American)? Now that we are beginning to better understand how much the tote bags are being utilized by visitors, and where in the Museum galleries they are being taken, we can start to pose these types of ancillary questions, that tap into deeper inquiries about visitor engagement.

Tour

The insight provided by these two studies hopefully demonstrates the importance of evaluation to both growing and expanding program development. These are just preliminary looks into initial studies, and we hope to have more one question studies, as well as data, on the horizon. In order to increase the effectiveness of our programs and spaces, museum educators need the input of our audience to better understand their level and scope of engagement. Reflection and evaluation, in the style of these one question studies or other formats, can facilitate this exchange of ideas in a positive and productive manner, providing a strong foundation for educators to answer the So What question for themselves, their institution, as well as their community.

Danielle Schulz
Teaching Specialist

Calling All Gumshoes!

Kids need to use problem solving skills on a daily basis, both at home and in the classroom. What better way to harness these skills than with some sleuthing in the Dallas Museum of Art galleries? Creative problem solving can be fun for both you and your child. Just think of what you can discover alongside your junior detective!

Develop into a problem-solving duo with the Modern Mysteries family guide, available in the Center for Creative Connections. Your little gumshoe will discover works of art in the galleries using careful observation, problem solving, and analysis of their findings–the same tools and techniques that real detectives use!

For example, the elements of design are the building blocks used to create a work of art. Some of the elements are LINE, COLOR, and SHAPE. Let’s investigate these elements at work in The Divers by Fernand Leger.

  • Find a squiggly, curvy, straight, rigid, and wavy LINE.
  • How many COLORS are in this painting?
  • What SHAPES can you identify?
  • Now that you’ve discovered these details, what do you think is happening in this painting?

juniordetective

 

There are many other mysteries to uncover in the European galleries with the Modern Mysteries family guide. And families who are part of DMA Friends can earn their Junior Detective Badge once their sleuthing is complete. So throw on your detective cap and polish your magnifying glass to embark on an art adventure here at the Dallas Museum of Art!

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Emily Wiskera
Graduate Education Intern


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