Arkansas Declaration of Learning

U.S. Department of State and Arkansas Announce Launch of Year Two
“Arkansas Declaration of Learning”
in Support of Secondary Education & Learning with Historical Objects & Art

Bentonville, rx AR – Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announces the launch of the second year of the “Arkansas Declaration of Learning” program, cost which works collaboratively with Arkansas teachers and school librarians teaching 7th-12th grade students in the fields of art, English language arts, and social studies to develop innovative curriculum that brings history to life and shares the importance of civic engagement with students.

Through this program, teachers have the opportunity to work with historic art, as well as objects from national and state partners, to develop innovative lessons for their classroom and school libraries that inspire student learning.  While Arkansas is the first state in the country to participate in this national program, all states are eligible to apply, and others are already in the pipeline.

Applications are now open and close at midnight on March 29, 2016. Stipends will be provided to selected participants.

This innovative public-private partnership, launched in 2015, is conducted by the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Reception Rooms in partnership with Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, and the Arkansas Department of Education. To date, more than 1,700 Arkansas students have benefited from this initiative.

In 2015, a group of 28 Arkansas teachers and school librarians were selected to create dynamic teaching tools using historic objects, works of art, and primary sources from the collections of the founding partners:  the U.S. Department of State, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies.

Objects selected for the program were used to tell national and state-based stories that vibrantly illustrate the many ways our nation valued civic engagement during our country’s formative years, and the importance of this continued focus today.

This program is part of a national Inter-Agency Educational Initiative that began when representatives from 13 national partnering organizations signed the “Declaration of Learning” in 2012.

This document pledged that the U.S. Department of State, the Diplomatic Reception Rooms, and 11 other national organizations would work with state and local partners to co-create learning tools for educators and students in middle and secondary education using historic art and objects from their respective collections and best practices in education.

The Diplomatic Reception Rooms are the site for many of our nation’s diplomatic meetings and events including summits, treaty negotiations, official State Luncheons, and important Presidential speeches.

Located on the top two floors of the U.S. Department of State, these 42 rooms are modeled after 18th century historic rooms and spaces in our country’s history.  The rooms house a historic museum-quality collection of more than 5,000 fine and decorative art objects valued at $150 million that tell the story of our country’s founding and formative years (1730-1840).

The rooms and their historic collections were created and are sustained through generous gifts from American donors, corporations, and foundations.

To apply to participate in the program, please visit: http://bit.ly/1M2Cubo

For more information about the application process, please contact Zev Slurzberg at zev.slurzberg@crystalbridges.org.

For more information about the “Declaration of Learning” or the “Arkansas Declaration of Learning,” please contact Anne Menotti at MenottiAD@state.gov or 202-647-1990.

Follow @StateDept using the hashtag #ShareHistoryAR.

 

About Crystal Bridges
The mission of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is to welcome all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature. We explore the unfolding story of America by actively collecting, exhibiting, interpreting, and preserving outstanding works that illuminate our heritage and artistic possibilities.

Opened to the public on 11-11-11, Crystal Bridges was founded in 2005 by the Walton Family Foundation as a nonprofit charitable organization for all to enjoy. Philanthropist and arts patron Alice Walton chairs the Museum’s board of directors. Since its opening, the Museum has welcomed more than two million visitors, and garnered 9,000+ membership households. Some 110,000 school children have participated in the Museum’s Willard and Pat Walker School Visit program, which provides educational experiences for school groups at no cost to the schools. More than 250,000 visitors a year utilize the Museum’s 3.5 miles of walking trails.

Crystal Bridges takes its name from a nearby natural spring and the bridge construction incorporated in the building, designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie. A series of pavilions nestled around two spring-fed ponds house galleries, meeting and classroom spaces, and a large, glass-enclosed gathering hall. Guest amenities include a restaurant on a glass-enclosed bridge overlooking the ponds, Museum Store designed by architect Marlon Blackwell, and a library featuring more than 50,000 volumes of art reference material. Sculpture and walking trails link the Museum’s 120-acre park to downtown Bentonville, Arkansas.

Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection spans five centuries of American masterworks ranging from the Colonial era to the current day. Included within the collection are iconic images such as Asher B. Durand’s Kindred Spirits, Norman Rockwell’s  Rosie the Riveter, and Andy Warhol’s Coca-Cola [3]— each reflecting a distinct moment in American artistic evolution—as well as major works by modern and contemporary American artists, including Georgia O’Keeffe, John Baldessari, and James Turrell. The permanent collection, which continues to grow through a strategic acquisition plan, is on view year-round and is enhanced by an array of temporary exhibitions.

Crystal Bridges provides year-round programming for all ages. including lectures, performances, classes, and continuing education for K-12 teachers. An award-winning app, available free for both Apple and Android devices, features audio tours of current and past exhibitions, and many of the Museum’s lectures and gallery talks are available in Crystal Bridges’ iTunes U site. A new initiative to develop high-quality distance-learning opportunities for students and teachers is underway.

Crystal Bridges also offers two research fellowship programs. The Tyson Scholars in American Art program supports full-time scholarship in the history of American art. The Reese Teacher Fellowship provides for research into the development of interdisciplinary connections between American art and core curriculum subjects of language arts, history, social studies, and the sciences. Additional information about Crystal Bridges is available online at CrystalBridges.org.

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