Putting Art in Education
Kidspace Inc. is a partnership of the Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute (the Clark), Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA), and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA). Under the umbrella of a shared theme, each of the three museums presents its program of exhibitions, artists’ residencies, performances, specialized tours, and/ or art-making activities. This provides multiple perspectives on the shared theme. The three museums also sponsor an annual week-long summer teacher institute to explore innovative ways of teaching with art across all disciplines, and develop curricula with teachers that are shared on our website. The Clark’s Director, Michael Conforti, says that the new Kidspace model will “serve as a national laboratory to integrate art in education and foster innovation in teaching.”
Developed in 2012, this expanded version of Kidspace extends the reach of the original program. Kidspace was founded in 2000 as a gallery housed in MASS MoCA, to provide essential art education experiences for children and families in Northern Berkshire County. (link to Kidspace at MASS MoCA site)
Arts-Centric Kidspace Philosophy
Arts-centric can be defined as looking at, creating, and thinking about art as a way to understand the world and ourselves. Our philosophy is to put art and artistic practice at the center of teaching and learning. We believe that art offers a key to understanding oneself and the world, a key to exploring and expressing ideas, a key to creative teaching and engaged learning. Through arts experiences, students develop their creativity and new ways to visualize, analyze, and discuss. We value a holistic look at student needs—academic, social, and emotional—and art’s ability to meet these needs.