Foundations fund art program for Southington students

Foundations fund art program for Southington students


SOUTHINGTON — The Community Foundation of Greater New Britain and the Southington Education Foundation are teaming to provide an art lesson for every third-grader.

All 475 students from the eight elementary schools will visit the New Britain Museum of American Art in the spring and have an in-school, hands-on art lessons by an artist in residence from the museum. Students will create Connecticut landscapes, which ties into the third-grade curriculum.

“New Britain Museum of Art is just a gem in our back yard,” said Jan Galati, chairman of the Southington Education Foundation. “Our mission is to expand learning experiences for students with things that are exciting, creative, and hands on.”

About $9,000 of the $24,875 in grant funding for the program came from the Southington Education Foundation and the rest from the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain. The education foundation is a non-profit dedicated to raising funds for school programs. The community foundation works with Berlin, New Britain, Plainville, and Southington to raise funds and develop partnerships.

The art program has been in the works since 2012.

“We really can’t wait,” said Linda Mare, director of education at the New Britain Museum of American Art.

Teachers visited the museum Tuesday for professional development and to learn about the program. Plans for the student visits and art lessons are still being worked out for the spring.

“It’s an undertaking, but it’s something that we do,” said Mare.

A survey conducted by the museum found that only 35 percent of Southington third-graders have visited an art museum and 10 percent have visited New Britain’s museum. Galati said it was a “startling” and “alarming” statistic. Students should have more exposure to the arts, she said. The education foundation has supported many programs on science and technology.

“This is an example where we want to support the arts as well,” said Alan DeBisschop, treasurer of the Southington Education Foundation.

Students will come to the museum for a few hours, one bus at a time, and study some of the different landscapes in the museum. They will be shown a variety of other genres as well. (203) 317-2212 Twitter: @FollowingFarrah

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