Amon Carter Museum Offers New Education Programs for Groups with Cognitive Disabilities, Alzheimer’s

Release date: 
September 20, 2007

The Amon Carter Museum’s education program now offers two new opportunities that further reinforce the Carter’s commitment to making the museum’s collections more accessible to all visitors.

Connect to Art is a free multiple-visit program for groups of adults with cognitive disabilities and their families and/or caregivers. Tours, which are available by request, are focused on building confidence in viewing and discussing art and discovering connections between the works and the participants’ lives. These visitors also complete writing and sketching activities in their own personalized art journal.

Sharing the Past Through Art is designed for adults with Alzheimer’s and their families and/or caregivers. Participants in this program discuss artists, themes, and exhibitions and use artworks to connect to past experiences. This program will be held monthly, beginning on November 15, 2007.

Both of these programs were designed by Stacy Fuller, recently promoted from Instructional Services Manager to Head of Education. “Many services directed toward people with disabilities focus more on basic living needs, such as medical, housing, and vocational services,” Fuller said. “While these are important, we want the Carter’s accessible programs to provide positive emotional and educational experiences.”

Connect to Art began in spring 2006 when Fuller developed a customized program for the Come Read with Me group sponsored by North Texas Special Needs Assistance Partners.

“After seeing the participants’ increased skills in writing and speaking about art, as well as their enthusiasm about taking part in an experience many had never previously had, we knew we had to make it a permanent public program,” said Fuller. “Sharing the Past Through Art is inspired by a program at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It provides us with a unique way to bring art to an underserved audience.”

These two new programs expand what is already an ambitious and wide-ranging outreach agenda for the Amon Carter Museum:

  • Nearly 20,000 students toured the museum during the 2006-2007 school year, including every fourth-grader from the Fort Worth Independent School District and the Weatherford Independent School District; every fifth-grader in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District; and students from the Santo, Gordon, Palo Pinto and Mineral Wells districts in Palo Pinto County.
  • More than 8,000 educators were served through workshops, in-service trainings and remote-broadcast distance learning programs.
  • Almost 500 students and parents participated in a series of homeschool programs.
  • More than 7,000 students participated in remote-broadcast distance learning programs.

“When speaking with caregivers, I’ve found that many do not view museum visits as a welcoming and beneficial experience,” Fuller said. “A museum experience should be available to all people, and these programs are a first step toward accomplishing this goal at the Carter.”

For more information on these programs, visit http://www.cartermuseum.org/calendar/accessible-programs.