TAMPA Fla. – Thanks to a federal grant secured by U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, the Tampa Museum of Art will welcome nearly 15,000 additional students in Hillsborough County Public Schools’ Transformation Network next year as part of a new Community Arts Education Initiative supplementing the Museum’s existing school tour programs.
The $1.9 million federal grant for the Museum and the Straz Center for the Performing Arts will provide local students with experiences critiquing works of art, as well as practicing critical thinking skills that will help students in many different subjects.
“Education is at the heart of our mission, and our recent Centennial Renovation has made it possible for us to welcome record numbers of local students to the Museum for learning experiences that engage and inspire,” said Michael Tomor, Ph.D., the Penny and Jeff Vinik Executive Director of the Tampa Museum of Art.
“All Hillsborough County students should have an opportunity to develop creative skills and enjoy the arts in partnership with the expanding Tampa Museum of Art education initiative and local cultural arts centers. I am proud to champion federal support so that a greater number of Hillsborough students can engage, grow and thrive through arts education,” said U.S. Rep. Castor.
“Our Transformation Network provides support for our most vulnerable students in Hillsborough County. The Community Arts Education Initiative stresses innovative experiences for our students that will strengthen their critical thinking skills. We are thankful for Representative Castor’s leadership and the Museum’s partnership for welcoming our students for this guided and gallery-based learning,” said Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Van Ayres.
The federal grant funding will support an 18-month cycle of staff training, curriculum development, school visits, teacher and facilitator training, and assessments to determine the impact of the arts experiences on the students’ critical thinking skills. Students who participate in a visit to the Museum will demonstrate an increase in skills related to the Visual Art Critical Thinking and Reflection, Enduring Understanding 3 standard.
In addition to the federal funding secured by U.S. Rep. Castor, the Community Arts Education Initiative is also made possible by the Museum’s recent Centennial Renovation project which doubled the size of the gallery space, and opened the Vinik Family Education Center which grew the Museum’s dedicated education space from 1,400 to 8,000 square feet, including four classrooms and a spacious lobby that features orientation areas and a secure entrance. The number of students that the Museum can serve will continue to grow with the upcoming Centennial Expansion. Learn more about the Centennial Renovation and Expansion project.