Posts Tagged 'Go van Gogh'



Hitting the Highlight Reel: 2013-2014 School Year in Review

As our tours wind down and we make our final school trip in the Go van Gogh van, it’s time to look back at all we’ve done this school year (and be pretty proud of ourselves). If we could have looked into the future last September, we would have seen a year of change waiting for us. 2013-2014 has been action-packed, full of happy surprises and new initiatives and programs. Instead of looking at this school year by the numbers, we’re going to hit the highlight reel and showcase just a few of many great moments.

2013-14 New Docent Class

From left to right: Felix Landau, Flo Lockett-Miles, Debi Waltz, Annette Culwell, Charlie Kuzmic, Stephanie Avery, Sandi Edgar, Art Weinberg, Evan Simmons, and David Caldwell.

New Docent Class of 2013-2014

We are excited to introduce our New Docent Class of 2013-2014! In order to “graduate” from the program, our new docents attend over thirty weeks of training, give ten (or more) tours, and read almost all of Marilyn Stokstad’s Art History. These new docents have put in countless hours prepping for tours and learning different touring strategies and activity ideas. We are excited to welcome such an enthusiastic, creative, and dedicated group to our DMA Docent Program. Look for them on your DMA tours this fall!

Booker T. Washington Learning Lab Partnership

This was another fantastic year for the Learning Lab partnership with the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Students met artists Jim Hodges and Stephen Lapthisophon, learning first-hand about their respective special exhibitions and their process as artists. Students then put their own creative talent on display, re-imagining a DMA artwork using Instagram as their artistic medium. They went on behind-the-scenes tours of the Museum’s art storage areas and object conservation space, and got some career advice from a variety of Museum staff during a DMA career panel.  Most exciting of all, we will soon see the first class from the Learning Lab partnership graduate—congratulations class of 2014!

Go van Gogh Color My World Program for Special Education Classrooms

We were excited to unveil a new Go van Gogh experience this year. Designed to fill a growing need for Special Education outreach, the Color My World program incorporates multi-sensory activities in a color-filled classroom adventure inspired by paintings in the Museum’s collection. With the support of our enthusiastic Go van Gogh volunteers, we’ve been able to lead many Color My World programs this spring. And with the help of two very smart colleagues (thank you, Danielle and Hayley!), we’ve spent those sessions learning how the program works best, experimenting and modifying our way to what is now an inclusive experience for children with a range of abilities.

South Dallas Cultural Center Second Sundays

Sometimes the best learning experiences happen when the school day ends and we’re with our friends and family.  This year also brought the beginning of what we hope is a long-term partnership with families from the South Dallas Cultural Center. One Sunday a month, we have South Dallas “Second Sundays,” where a group of families spends two hours together at the Museum exploring and making art. Families have sketched and painted like Edward Hopper, designed chairs like Frank Gehry, and have spent many a Sunday using the Museum as both a resource and a source of artistic inspiration. While we haven’t wrapped up this program just yet (families, if you’re reading this, our June Sunday is not-to-miss!), this out-of-school, school year partnership is one that has defined 2013-14 for me, in a wonderful way.

To all the docents, Go van Gogh volunteers, hard-working Education colleagues (past and present), and our amazing McDermott Intern who have all helped make this school year so successful and fun-filled–thank you!  We hope you have a great summer, and we can’t wait to see you right back here in the fall!

Amy Copeland
Manager of Go van Gogh and Community Teaching Programs

Bringing Artworks into Focus in the Most Delightful Way

I like to think of our Go van Gogh volunteers as the Mary Poppinses of Dallas elementary schools. They’re the special guest bearing a big bag full of magical things (art supplies! stories of Museum treasures!) that promise fun, adventure, and, when you least expect it, a lesson or two. Our volunteers also happen to have cheery dispositions, so the comparison works well on several levels. In a perfectly Poppins world, we could reach into our magical outreach bags during programs and pull out real DMA artworks, large and small, bringing the Museum right into the classroom. Until we figure out how to work that final bit of enchantment, we travel to classrooms with the next best thing—reproductions of artworks and the masterful storytelling needed to bring these artworks to life.

Over the years, our bags have been filled with reproductions of all kinds. First there were large posters of artworks to roll up and carry, then we traveled with the heavy hum and whir of slide projectors, and more recently we slipped sets of bright, colorful overhead transparencies into our bags. These reproductions came in all shapes and sizes, but each allowed us to show with clarity and accuracy, the beauty of our Museum’s treasures to students who had never seen them before.

Our latest method of magic involves paper images of artworks that we project using document cameras available in classrooms. When the quirks and glitches of this classroom technology left us projecting artworks in the least delightful way, we decided it was time to fill our bags with newer things—iPads and projectors. With the great ideas and lots of hard work, DMA colleagues Danielle, Amanda, Nicole, Ted, and our friends, Emily, Shannon, Bernardo, and I spent last summer writing a proposal for the Sprint Local Grant Program and pouring our best ideas into a video to convince The Sprint Foundation that all we needed was some wind in our kite (and the help of a generous Mr. Banks) to leap into the 21st century and get back our classroom magic.

The storyboard for our video submission

The storyboard for our video submission

Late last year, Sprint gave us the happy ending we were hoping for (we’re your biggest fans, Sprint!), and we are in the process of purchasing iPads for our outreach programs. This means that the next time we teach our Arts of Mexico curriculum, we can point to a well-projected, sharply-focused image of the Mask of Tlaloc and explore precious, tiny pieces of turquoise that form a delicate mosaic. We can zoom in and in and in again on the sixty foot mural, Genesis, The Gift of Life, discussing fine details usually reserved for Museum visits and having much richer discussions for it.

We’ll finally have the tools to unpack the best quality artwork images from our magical outreach bags—images that will spark great conversation and moments of wonder, like museum experiences with real artworks do. We’ll be as close to the real Mary Poppins as we can get (I draw the line at flying into classrooms!!), and that’s pretty exciting.

Amy Copeland
Manager of Go van Gogh and Community Teaching Programs

Friday Photos: Go van Goulash and Other Recipes for Great Outreach

Just this morning, Go van Gogh staff wrapped up the last of our Welcome Back training sessions for volunteers—school outreach is officially in full swing!  To get everyone back in a Go van Gogh mindset, we asked our returning volunteers to reflect on classroom teaching experiences by writing a “recipe” for what they think makes a great Go van Gogh program.

We asked to volunteers to:

  • think about the ingredients they’d need for a program to go smoothly,
  • consider the techniques they’d use to combine these ingredients,
  • and articulate what they hoped their efforts would yield.

Fifteen minutes and several cleverly-titled recipes later, we had a great mix of creative, thoughtful, and inspiring methods for teaching to send us off into the classrooms this fall.  See the photos below for tips on how we create the perfect Go van Gyro/Goulash/Stew!

Amy Copeland
Manager of Go van Gogh and Community Teaching Programs

Friday Photos: Insta Interns

This week marks the completion of the first month of the McDermott Internship Program–and quite an exciting month it has been! For most of us, this month has involved moving, exploring a new city, meeting new friends and, most importantly, starting a new job. With the first month drawing to a close, I thought it was only appropriate to look back at this amazing, whirlwind month and share some of our fun “behind-the-scenes” photos. So, let’s begin the Insta Intern Tour: Our First 30 days as McDermott Interns as seen via Instagram.

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Our first day at the DMA was September 3, which primarily served as an orientation day. We enjoyed coffee and bagels as we filled out our employment paperwork, took photographs for our employee badges and learned the basics of navigating our way around the building. The highlight of the day, however, was the trip to the so-called Intern Pit. Most of the interns have a desk in this office area and we were excited to discover that our official plaques had already found their home!

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Later that week, we took the DMA’s Artist Personality Quiz to discover our DMA Art Doppelganger. The quiz provided a fun introduction to the DMA’s collection and we all found that it was extremely accurate in it’s suggestions! Personally, I was very happy to identify myself as a Claude Monet 🙂

 Nature or Abundance

As McDermott Interns, we have had the privilege of touring the collections with our wonderful curators. These tours have helped us learn more about the different collection areas, the history of collecting at the DMA, and the curator’s considerations when they are designing the layouts for the galleries. Nature or Abundance by Leon Frederic immediately caught my eye during our tour of the European Galleries on Level 2.

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On September 10th, we took our first off-site intern tour to the Sixth Floor Museum. The collection was very informative and engaging and helped to provide contextual information for Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy. As many of us are from out-of-state, it was interesting to learn about this piece of Dallas’ history and the continuing impact of President John F. Kennedy’s legacy today.

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One of our favorite lunch spots is the DMA’s Sculpture Garden. Its light shade, beautiful sculptures and soothing waterfalls provide the perfect break from the office.

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A few weeks in, my desk was finally beginning to look lived-in! It is now decorated with exhibition catalogues, postcards from my travels, an homage to my alma mater, plenty of coffee mugs, and a welcome poster from the FAST Education Team.

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Recently, we received a behind-the-scenes tour of the DMA’s enormous art storage. Registrar Anne Lenhart guided us through the various spaces and pulled out a few of our favorite pieces so we could take a closer look! Here we are viewing Arkadia’s Last Resort by Jess.

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Many of the interns have been very active in the DMA Friends program, earning credit for attending Gallery Talks, Lectures, Late Nights, and other events around the Museum. We recently traded-in our Friends points for DMA catalogues!

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As the McDermott Intern for Gallery and Community teaching, I am responsible for driving the swanky Go Van Gogh van to participant elementary schools throughout Northwest Texas. The Go Van Gogh program brings the DMA collections out into the community and allows children to learn about and create their own art! See you on the road!

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The three photographs above document our off-site field trip to The Warehouse. This amazing gallery space houses a stunning collection of contemporary art, approximately 1/3 of which is co-owned by the DMA! The current exhibition is titled Parallel View: Italian and Japanese Art from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s.

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And this is what happens when interns receive baked treats. Thank you to all DMA employees for making us feel welcome!

Artworks Shown:

  • Léon Frédéric, Nature or Abundance (detail), 1897, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O’Hara Fund
  • Jess, Arkadia’s Last Resort; or, Fête Champêtre Up Mnemosyne Creek (detail), 1976, Dallas Museum of Art, General Acquisitions Fund

Hayley Prihoda
McDermott Intern for Gallery and Community Teaching

Go van Gogh-ing on a Colorful Classroom Adventure

The newest Go van Gogh program involves two things that are deeply exciting in my book: expanding outreach to a new audience and getting messy with paint!

Color My World is a one-hour outreach experience for elementary students in Special Education classrooms. The program was developed by Head of Family, Access, and School Experiences Amanda Blake, and it takes the best of what we do in Museum Access programs—creating multi-sensory activities for a range of abilities—and brings it out to schools.

Color My World is a colorful adventure in a variety of media. Students listen to a story, watch color-mixing experiments, discuss the color wheel, and paint two artworks using a variety of ordinary (and extraordinary!) painting tools. We explore and take inspiration for our color-mixing and painting techniques from artworks in the Museum’s collection.

Color My World is offered to mixed-age Special Education classes within Dallas city limits. Programs take place on selected Monday afternoons and may begin at or after 1:00 p.m. If you are interested in requesting a program for your Special Education classroom, please email me.

And then grab a smock, ready your palette, and let’s get to painting!

Amy Copeland
Manager of Go van Gogh and Community Teaching Programs

Go van Gogh, Past to Present

Go van Gogh, the DMA’s elementary school outreach program, is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year. Before we pack up the Go van Gogh van and head out to schools across the city, we thought it would be fun to take a look through all thirty-five years of the program.

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1992 Go van Gogh program led by DMA educator Phil Collins

Below are a few fun facts about Go van Gogh through the years.

The first Go van Gogh van was actually a bus!

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First Go van Gogh vehicle, 1978

When the program began at the then Dallas Museum of Fine Arts in Fair Park in 1978, school outreach presentations could be given in classrooms or on the Museum Outreach bus itself.

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DMFA teaching staff member Roberta Mathew conducting an outreach program in the Go van Gogh bus in fall 1979

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DMFA education staffers Susan Geyer and Roberta Mathews conducting an outreach program aboard the Go van Gogh bus in fall 1979

Go van Gogh vans (and buses) have always been easy to spot on the freeway.

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Go van Gogh van in 1981

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Go van Gogh van, c. 1988

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Go van Gogh program, c. 1988

Bright and colorful, Go van Gogh vans often feature artworks from the Museum’s collection in painted or vinyl designs. The Go van Gogh van from the late 1990s included a design from Henri Matisse’s Ivy in Flower.

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Go van Gogh van in the 1990s

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Today’s Go van Gogh van

Go van Gogh programs have always included a visual presentation of artworks from the Museum.

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Go van Gogh program using a slide projector, 1980s or 1990s

Through the years, we’ve made many updates in the technology we use to bring these artworks to life. What began with projectors and large printed posters led to overhead transparencies and laminated images.

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Go van Gogh program with 4th graders at Reilly Elementary School

Later this school year, Go van Gogh will go digital: using iPads and projectors to bring images of artworks to life in the classroom.

Looking ahead to fall, we are excited to unveil a new facet of Go van Gogh outreach–a program designed for Special Education classrooms called Color My World. To learn more about the program, visit our website.

Amy Copeland is the Manager of Go van Gogh and Community Teaching Programs at the DMA.

Imaginary Worlds for Imaginary Animals

Imaginary Worlds, one of this summer’s Go van Gogh outreach programs for younger audiences, is all about the imaginary and the make-believe, or as one student told me today,”the ideas that come from my brain that maybe NOBODY has seen before.” The program, inspired by a fantastical painting by Laura Owens, asks students to dream up creatures and worlds for them to inhabit. Go van Gogh staff has enjoyed having our imaginations expand as we’ve encountered super-creative artists make things like butterfly-ant-lion-bugs, uni-chick-a-sauruses, and grumpy horned snorkaks (snorkling yaks, maybe?). Below are the steps to our project, the DMA artworks that inspired us, and some really great creations.

One Big Imaginary Animal!: We start the program with a quick collaborative drawing to spark imagination and get everyone thinking about animals. Volunteers stick a large Post-It on the wall, draw an oval “body” shape for an animal, and invite students to each add just one different part to the animal. Sometimes we stop to think about our favorite animals and the parts they might have—like beaks, wings, antennae, tusks, trunks, fins, curly tails, fluffy manes, and slimy bodies. We encourage students to be silly together and dream up something they’ve never seen before, and we’re always impressed by how well they take that direction!

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Exploring Different Worlds: After making an animal together, students make one of their own. It’s then time to think about places for the animal to live. To get inspiration, we explore landscapes from the Museum’s collection, discussing features of each landscape, the weather and vegetation we see, and what kinds of animals might be best suited to live in each place.

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Creating Imaginary Worlds: Armed with lots of great ideas, students bring to life a world for their animal. Using watercolor pencils to draw their worlds, students add imaginary vegetation, imaginary weather, imaginary food, and most importantly, imaginary friends for their animals. In the final step of the project, we use wet sponges to add water to our watercolor worlds, blending colors to make artworks look fantastical.

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Getting Imaginations Ready: Before our summer fun started, Go van Gogh volunteers spent time doing these same activities during a training session at the Museum. As part of a warm-up activity, volunteers drew their own imaginary animals and explored paintings in our European galleries, to find a world their imaginary animal might inhabit. Below are a few of the photos volunteers took of their animals in DMA artwork habitats.

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To join Go van Gogh for some imaginary fun at your local library, visit the schedule on our website.

Amy Copeland
Manager of Go van Gogh and Community Teaching Programs

Artworks Shown:

  • Ernest Blumenschein, Mountains Near Taos, 1926-1934, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Helen Blumenschein
  • Wassily Kandinsky, Murnau, Burggrabenstrasse 1, 1908, 1908, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase
  • Frederic Edwin Church, The Icebergs, 1861, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Norma and Lamar Hunt
  • Claude Monet, The Seine at Lavacourt, 1880, Dallas Museum of Art, Munger Fund
  • Henri Fantin-Latour, Still Life with Vase of Hawthorn, Bowl of Cherries, Japanese Bowl, and Cup and Saucer, 1872, Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, Mrs. John B. O’Hara Fund and gift of Mrs. Bruno Graf by exchange
  • Narcisse–Virgile Diaz de la Peña, Forest of Fontainebleau, 1868, Dallas Museum of Art, Munger Fund

Over and Out

Today is the last day at the Dallas Museum of Art for the 2012-2013 McDermott Interns. Pilar and I have had a great time working together for the Family, Access, and School Experiences team and writing for Canvas. We will miss the DMA and wanted to reflect on our time here.

Pilar celebrates her birthday at the DMA!

Pilar celebrates her birthday at the DMA!

3 things I learned at the DMA:

  1. I have learned that elementary school girls are obsessed with One Direction! In spending lots of time teaching our Go van Gogh outreach programs, I’ve gained quite an insight as to what’s cool these days (hint, it’s not me).
  2. While I am a McDermott education intern, there are also four McDermott curatorial interns with whom we share office space. I have learned so much about the curatorial side of the museum field through daily interactions with these awesome future curators!
  3. I have had the amazing opportunity to learn how to teach in a formal classroom setting through Go van Gogh. This experience has allowed me to understand the differences in practice between formal and informal instruction styles.

Favorite part of the internship:

I was able to develop a new Go van Gogh curriculum that is based on American History as told by DMA artworks. I not only learned a ton about the editing and review process that takes place at a large institution, but I also had a great refresher course on American history!

Post-internship plans:

I will be doing lots of travelling this summer: Colorado, New Mexico, Amsterdam, the south of France, and Spain! After which, I’ll end up in Vancouver where I will be starting in the Master of Museum Education program at the University of British Columbia.

Pilar Wong
McDermott Intern for Community Teaching

Alex bids farewell from Emery Reves' study

Alex bids farewell from Emery Reves’ study

3 things I learned at the DMA:

  1. I’ve really enjoyed working with our docent corps of about 100 volunteers. They are an enthusiastic, intelligent, generous bunch. I’ve learned a great deal from the DMA docents, and I will miss working with them.
  2. As the Gallery Teaching Intern, I toured mainly with elementary school students. That age group consistently offered refreshing interpretations of works of art, and their enthusiasm and frankness is something to which more adults, myself included, should aspire.
  3. I’ve definitely learned the importance of flexibility and openness. Some of the best experiences I’ve had have resulted from spontaneous changes – whether filling in last-minute for a docent or allowing visitors to choose what they want to see and discuss.

Favorite part of the internship:

I loved writing docent guides. These guides help introduce the docents to special exhibitions and the DMA’s permanent collection. They offer art historical and contextual information, as well as ways to interpret these shows for a variety of audiences. It combines my interest in research and art history with my passion for education.

Post-internship plans:

I’ll be sticking around Dallas for June and July. Then I will embark on my version of The Great American Roadtrip as I head back to the east coast. In the fall I will begin the Arts in Education master’s program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Alex Vargo
McDermott Intern for Gallery Teaching

Thank you to everyone who has helped make this experience so fulfilling. Have a great summer!

Sincerely,
2012-2013 McDermott Interns

Wanted: A Few Good Volunteers

If you would like to become more deeply involved with the DMA, consider these exciting volunteer opportunities.  We are currently recruiting applicants to fill three different volunteer positions!

Starting in Summer 2013: C3 Volunteer Program
Pairs well with: An interest in interacting with people of all ages, leading fun activities in the galleries, and spending time with works of art

The Center for Creative Connections (C3) is an experimental, dynamic learning environment that provides interactive encounters with works of art and artists. C3 volunteers act as hosts and welcome visitors, answer their questions, and personalize their Museum experience by providing information on the Museum’s collections, programs and activities. In addition, volunteers manage the C3 space by organizing and maintaining the C3 area, enforcing good Museum behavior, observing visitor flow, and prepping program and activity supplies. Volunteers also lead activities in the galleries and assist with special events such as Late Nights.

Volunteers attend mandatory trainings at the Museum beginning in June. The first training is on June 15 from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Three-hour volunteer shifts are available Tuesday-Sunday from 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Thursdays 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m., and select Fridays 6:00 p.m.-12:00 p.m.

We are especially in need of volunteers who are available Tuesday-Friday from 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., but folks who are available on evenings and weekends are equally welcome to apply. To request an application, email Rhiannon Martin. The application deadline is Friday, May 31.

Georgia, a C3 Volunteer, greets visitors as they enter the Center for Creative Connections.

Georgia, a C3 Volunteer, greets visitors as they enter the Center for Creative Connections.

Starting in Fall 2013: Docent Program
Pairs well with: A passion for teaching and learning, leading conversations and gallery experiences, and spending time with works of art

The desire to communicate the power of art to others is the main requirement to become a docent, and we are currently recruiting new docents for the 2013-2014 training year. New docents complete a yearlong training program consisting of lectures, gallery talks, and workshops led by Museum staff and outside experts. These training sessions, held each Monday from September through May, prepare new docents for tours by introducing them to the DMA’s collection and immersing them in our teaching philosophy. After completing training, docents conduct weekly tours for groups of visitors ranging from elementary school students to adult visitors.

If you (or someone you know) would like to learn more about the DMA docent program or to request an application for the 2013-2014 training year, email Shannon Karol. The application deadline is Friday, May 24.

Marilyn, a DMA Docent, talks with students about Edward Hopper's Lighthouse Hill.

Marilyn, a DMA Docent, talks with students about Edward Hopper’s Lighthouse Hill.

Starting in Fall 2013: Go van Gogh Program
Pairs well with: Enthusiasm for teaching 1st-6th grade students, leading conversations and art-making activities at Dallas-area schools, and spending time with works of art

Check back in July for information about volunteering with the Go van Gogh® program during the 2013-2014 school year.

Karen, a Go van Gogh volunteer, helps students with an art project

Karen, a Go van Gogh volunteer, works with first grade students on an art activity

We hope you’ll consider volunteering with us!

Shannon Karol
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs

Summer Outreach Volunteers Needed

Each summer, the Go van Gogh program visits libraries across the city of Dallas—bringing free, hour-long arts programs to children ages 5-12 and their families.  Our Go van Gogh volunteers lead these programs, helping children to explore, talk about, and make works of art at the libraries.

This year we are excited to be recruiting a new corps of volunteers, Go van Gogh summer outreach volunteers, to help us bring these summer art experiences to the community.  If you love working with children, have a passion for art, and want to give back to the community–we need YOU!

Interested volunteers must attend three training sessions on Friday mornings in late May and early June. Volunteers must be 18 years of age and are asked to commit to presenting two outreach programs a month during June, July, and August.

To request a volunteer application, email Rhiannon Martin or call 214-922-1331. Applications are due Friday, May 10. If you have questions about the Go van Gogh program, email Amy Copeland or call 214-922-1231.

Amy Copeland
Manager of Go van Gogh and Community Teaching Programs


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