New Director of Education

New Director of Education


Kim Kanatani Will Occupy Newly Created Gail Engelberg Chair in Education

NEW YORK, NY, March 12, 2001—Thomas Krens, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, has announced the appointment of Kim Kanatani as the first Gail Engelberg Director of Education of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. As the new director of education, Kanatani will provide the leadership role for expanding and developing innovative and far-reaching arts education initiatives that complement and further museum-wide goals both in New York and in other cities worldwide. Kanatani will begin at the museum in mid-March.

The newly created Chair in Education has been endowed by Gail May Engelberg, a trustee of the Guggenheim Foundation. Deeply committed to arts education, Engelberg is also the Chairperson of the Education Advisory Committee and a member of the Executive Committee of the International Director's Council.

"Kim has earned the reputation as one of the most persuasive advocates on arts education," said Krens. "With Kim's guidance, the dramatically increased educational opportunities afforded by The Sackler Center for Arts Education of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, will allow us to establish a major presence for arts education in the New York metropolitan region and beyond."

Prior to joining the Guggenheim, Kanatani was the Director of Education at The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles, which she joined in 1985. "Kim has played a crucial role in the development of MOCA's innovative education programs," said MOCA Director Jeremy Strick. "Her enthusiasm for working directly with artists and commitment to educational quality has served MOCA exceptionally well. I look forward to the new contributions she will make to her field at the Guggenheim."

"I'm delighted to be joining the Guggenheim at this critical juncture in its history," said Kanatani. "With the global presence of the museum, the potential for developing a dynamic arts education program is tremendous. Addressing the challenges and opportunities of building meaningful educational linkages among our venues worldwide will inevitably lead to some interesting innovations for the field, as well as improve the quality of the visitor experience. Key to these innovations will be the integral involvement of artists in our initiatives and the creative integration of educational technology."

As the new director of education, Kanatani will work with the education programs at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin, and at the Las Vegas venues (opening in the Fall 2001) to coordinate and work in synergistic exchange with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. She will oversee ongoing programs of The Sackler Center for adults, youth and families, including: lectures, symposia, and continuing education courses for adults; cultural exchange and community outreach initiatives; internship and docent programs; professional development for teachers; as well as Learning Through Art, the museum's award-winning program which conducts multi-disciplinary curriculum-based workshops in underserved schools in New York City; and Works & Process, the Guggenheim's theater, dance, music, and opera series.

Kanatani also will oversee the completion and launch of The Sackler Center for Arts Education of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, currently under construction and expected to open in the Fall 2001. The new Sackler Center will comprise an 8,200 square-foot, state-of-the-art media facility with two interactive classrooms, a studio art classroom, a new media theater, an exhibition gallery, a teacher and family resource center and library, and offices for education program and administrative staff. Among its resources, The Sackler Center for Arts Education will offer artist educational residencies, and programs in multimedia design and production, studio art, and performing and literary arts for audiences of all ages. Outfitted for distance learning, the Sackler Center will enable the museum to broaden and diversify its audience through interactive presentations on its exhibitions and collections via videoconferencing.

The mission of the education program of the Guggenheim Foundation is to facilitate the interpretation of works of modern and contemporary art from the permanent collection, special exhibitions, and architecture of the Museum, through programs and materials, which enhance aesthetic understanding, elucidate the curatorial vision, and complement the overall mission of the museum.

Kanatani holds an M.A. in Art Education with teaching credentials in both elementary and adult education. She has launched several nationally recognized museum education programs at MOCA for adults, families, and youth, including the Public + Artist Program, which involves the creation of innovative educational offerings and installations in collaboration with exhibition and invited artists. Kanatani also developed the first formal education program at MOCA, Contemporary Art Start®, a year-long curriculum-based offering designed to introduce elementary and middle school teachers and students to the form, content and concepts of contemporary art. In addition to publishing the Contemporary Art Start® Curriculum Guide and other resource materials on art museum education, Kanatani has written articles featured in The Journal of Art Education. She has produced several exhibition-related multimedia productions partnering with artists such as Gabriel Orozco, Paul McCarthy, and Vito Acconci. Prior to joining MOCA's staff, she was the Education Coordinator at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery.

Actively involved in the museum education field since 1981, the scope of Kanatani's affiliations and presentations is national as well as regional. Honored with several professional awards, she was named the National Art Museum Educator of the Year by the National Art Education Association in 1999. The former Director of the Museum Division for the National Art Education Association, she has also served as President of Museum Educators of Southern California. She has performed panel and grant review work for such agencies as the National Endowment for the Arts, the Institute of Museum Services, the California Arts Council and the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

March 12, 2001

For Press Information: Betsy Ennis
Department of Public Affairs
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Telephone: (212) 423-3840
Telefax: (212) 423-3787

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