SAINT LOUIS, MO.- The Saint Louis Art Museum
is pleased to announce that The Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Inc. will support the Museum's Youth smART program with a $25,000 grant.
Since March 2000, the Museum's Youth smART program has provided community organizations, schools and summer programs with the opportunity to explore the Museum's collection and participate in a hands-on art experience at no cost. Last year, more than 2,000 students between the ages of 7 and 12 took part in the year-round program.
"The Saint Louis Art Museum is extraordinarily fortunate to have Bank of America's support for its Youth smART program. It is because of their generosity that the Museum is able to expand its annual effort in connecting children of all ages to the power of the arts," said Bill Appleton, assistant director for public programs and education for the Museum. "It allows the Museum to play a significant role in education as well as offer unrestricted access to the sheer joy of art."
Youth smART participants enjoy a 90-minute session at the Museum that includes a guided tour, group discussion and an art project. All participants receive their own sketchbooks for making drawings and recording observations in the galleries. Markers, pencils and other supplies are used with the sketchbooks as well as in the creation of works of art to take home.
"Bank of America has long held the belief that art education helps build strong foundations in our communities, ultimately shaping our future," said Patricia Mercurio, president of Bank of America Missouri. "We are delighted to provide support to the Saint Louis Art Museum for the Youth smART program and we look forward to the impact we know it will have on the thousands of young people it will reach."
The Museum will hire eight Teen Assistants to help facilitate the 2009 summer Youth smART program. These high school students undergo preparatory training to familiarize them with the Museum's collection and the program's focus exhibition, Plains Indian Artwork from the Donald Danforth Jr. Collection.
The 2009 summer Youth smART will introduce students to works of art created by early Americans. Teen Assistants will lead tours for their younger peers of the Plains Indian Artwork exhibition, which features late 19th-century utilitarian and ceremonial objects, including colorful and intricately beaded moccasins, cradleboards, clothing and pipe bags. In addition, Youth smART participants will view selected works from the Museum's permanent collection of American art. Participants will then create their own utilitarian art object for 21st-century life.