A $150,000 grant from The Hearst Foundations will benefit local K-12 schools with teaching artists and UC Irvine student art educators. Photo: Steve Zylius/UCI.

Langson IMCA Awarded Grant to Expand Education Program

UCI Jack and Shanaz Langson Institute and Museum of California Art has been awarded a two-year grant from The Hearst Foundations, Inc. to expand its distinctive art education program within the UC Irvine and greater Orange County communities. The $150,000 grant supports Langson IMCA’s robust outreach to students, primarily in grades 3 through 8, in over 50 public schools in the region. The support enables class visits (in-person and online) to Langson IMCA exhibitions, production and distribution of free exhibition-inspired teacher resource guides, and the hiring and training of UC Irvine student art educators to work alongside and be mentored by professional teaching artists as part of campuswide career-readiness efforts.

Classroom teachers and student art educators will also benefit from professional development activities and opportunities to collaborate with professional artists and museum staff. They will practice inquiry-based teaching methodologies that facilitate discussion with youth groups, whether at the museum, in the classroom or via online engagement.

Langson IMCA Museum Director Kim Kanatani said, “We are deeply grateful to The Hearst Foundations – stalwart supporters of arts and education – for this generous grant. We have already begun expanding our current educational offerings to engage more local schoolchildren and UC Irvine students. Integrating California art into the learning experience exemplifies Langson IMCA’s core mission: to serve as a dynamic crossroads to investigate and promote the Golden State’s pioneering influence and innovation through art and culture.”

Since the program launched in 2020, Langson IMCA’s School Visits program has served 4,800 students in grades 3 through 8. The grant focuses attention on deepening partnerships with school districts in communities surrounding UC Irvine, namely Irvine Unified, Newport-Mesa, and Santa Ana Unified. A primary goal is to reach students and teachers with the greatest need and encourage repeat classroom participation during the academic calendar. Open houses and professional development workshops for teachers will also be offered.

Thanks to the grant, Langson IMCA will pilot a new three-pronged version of the program during the upcoming 2023–24 academic year. Select classes will enjoy three sequential learning sessions facilitated by the teaching artists in partnership with the classroom teachers: a virtual introduction to current Langson IMCA exhibitions; an in-school artmaking project inspired by works on view from the permanent collection; and a culminating museum visit to experience California art in person and discuss related topics highlighted in the teacher resource guides.

Langson IMCA’s School Visits program has served 4,800 students in grades 3 through 8. Photo: Sebastián Vizcaíno Cortés/UCI

Sofia Gutierrez, Langson IMCA associate director of education and community engagement, said, “Art education is more important than ever given current realities in the educational sector post-pandemic. Being able to bring students, teachers and artists together creates rewarding and enduring experiences for everyone. We are grateful to The Hearst Foundations for helping us to expand the critical, far-reaching impact of the art of California.”

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