Education & Public Programs

P.S. 144, teaching artist Molly O'Brien, 2011


The School Tour and Workshop and Gallery Tour programs offer visiting second- through 12th-grade classes age-appropriate, interactive gallery tours facilitated by the museum’s Sackler Educators, who are professionally trained in inquiry-based teaching techniques. For the School Tour & Workshop Program, tours are followed by studio art or computer-based workshops in the Sackler Center labs.

First Impressions: Stories and Art at the Guggenheim is a four-session program that links the visual and literary arts for children in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and first grade. Through First Impressions, Sackler Educators use picture books as a bridge to discuss images in the museum that do not have related text, allowing children to create their own narratives and make connections to art objects while fostering language, visual literacy, and critical thinking skills.

Guggenheim for All: Reaching Students on the Autism Spectrum is a student program serving school groups of Autism Spectrum Disorder students. Over the course of two museum visits and two sessions at the school, museum educators work with a class to explore themes relating to the students’ in-class learning and to promote skills such as viewing and appreciating art in a museum setting.

Teacher Resource Units in print and online provide teachers with materials to support the use of Guggenheim exhibitions and collections during school visits to the museum, as well as in the classroom. The units also have a life beyond a particular exhibition and can be used to develop concepts and themes related to academic curricula, or to modern and contemporary art and architecture in general.

Internship and fellowship programs offer practical museum training experience to pre-professionals interested in pursuing careers in the arts and museum fields.

Family events and tours offered daily, weekly, monthly, or as special events during the year encourage parents and their children to participate in intergenerational activities that inspire dialogue about art between children and their families while encouraging family members to feel comfortable exploring the museum together.

Scholarly tours, lectures, panel discussions, and symposia are offered in conjunction with exhibitions on view, including educator-led tours of special exhibitions, permanent collections, and the museum’s architecture; tours led by exhibition curators and conservators; tours geared toward partially sighted, blind, and deaf visitors; and public lectures, panels, and symposia featuring artists, scholars, critics, and other important voices in the art world.

Mind’s Eye programs serve hard-of-hearing, deaf, partially sighted, and blind adults and offer the opportunity for these audiences to explore the museum’s exhibitions, collections, and architecture by means of linguistic and visual tools particular to their experience. Tours are conducted in American Sign Language, and through verbal imaging (detailed physical descriptions of artworks) and touch.

The Gallery Guide program places arts professionals in the galleries during regular museum hours who are trained both to serve a security role and to engage visitors in conversations about works of art on view.

Public & Artist Interactions is an initiative that engages artists as collaborative partners in developing educational offerings inspired by current exhibitions and their own work. The program aims to provide the Guggenheim’s diverse audiences with more direct and meaningful access to artists, their processes, and to contemporary art in general.

P.S. 144, teaching artist Molly O'Brien, 2011. Photo: Arielle Sheldon

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