Carlsbad, CA Three-Part-Art Program

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Carlsbad, CA, US

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Type: Program

Status: Ongoing

Source File:


The William D. Cannon Art Gallery's Three-Part-Art program is an educational outreach program designed to introduce elementary school students from Carlsbad -- especially third- and fourth-graders -- to the experience of interacting with and learning from original works of art in a museum setting. The children begin to learn some of the basics of the art vocabulary, and most importantly, that museums can be welcoming places to learn in new and exciting ways.

Here's how the multi-pronged program works. Before each school year begins, the Gallery curator and educator work together to identify the upcoming exhibitions that might be particularly resonant, appropriate, or engaging for students in third and fourth grades. Once the exhibitions and timetables are identified:

Part One
The Gallery sends a letter out to all elementary school teachers serving Carlsbad residents (which includes four different school districts), informing them about the program. Interested teachers then call the Arts Education Coordinator to "sign up" to participate. After registering for the program, the teacher is sent a curriculum guide which includes background information about the exhibition's topic or theme as well as related hands-on activities for use in the classroom. This curriculum guide is not only related to the specific exhibition, it also ties into the California State Department of Education Visual and Performing Arts Standards and the current elementary school curriculum. Using the curriculum guide in class, the teacher prepares the students for their upcoming visit to the Gallery.

Part Two
The schoolchildren, with their teachers and a number of accompanying parents, come for a tour of the exhibition in the Gallery -- an important interaction with original works of art in a professional museum setting. During their tour, they are guided by a trained artist/educator who not only discusses various ideas with the students, but also involves them in some type of interactive gallery activity.

Part Three
The schoolchildren, led by a different artist/instructor, then move to the adjoining Community Room to do a hands-on art activity related to the ideas, themes, or art techniques that were just discussed in the Gallery tour. This gives the students the opportunity to experience various art-making materials and techniques, and reinforces the lessons they just learned about during their Gallery tour.

During fiscal year 2005/6, approximately 4,500 students and 1,050 adults took part in the program, with more than 300 curriculum guides distributed to area teachers.

This award-winning program, which is offered FREE to the schools, is generously supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; Mrs. Teresa M. Cannon; The Carlsbad Library and Arts Foundation; and the Carlsbad Friends of the Arts.