Museum gets million dollar grant for education

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art has gotten a million dollar grant to help students experience original art and explore their own artistic abilities.

The funding comes from the David T. Beals III Charitable Trust. It will be used for education programs and to celebrate the accomplishments of Rosie Riordan, head of the museum’s School and Educator Services, for the grant’s 12-month period, according to the Nelson-Atkins.

“We are gratified to be able to continue our outstanding education programs with the generous assistance from the Beals Trust,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, CEO and director of the Nelson-Atkins, in a press release.

“In the absence of arts learning in so many schools, our education initiatives provide ways for students to experience original works of world art and to explore their own artistic abilities. Beyond the walls of the museum we work with schools and teachers, online and in person, to find ways in which the arts can enrich classroom curriculum learning and improve overall student performance.”

The museum says Riordan joined its staff in 2012 after teaching art for more than 20 years in Shawnee Mission. She initiated the Thinking Through Art program, currently in a pilot phase in two schools, in 2013. Student test scores have improved after the project and it is now being expanded. Riordan was named 2014 Educator of the Year by the Missouri Arts Education Association.

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