Press Releases

Date of Release: 
Monday, May 11, 2015
Contact Info: 

Erika Monroe-Kane, Director of Communications
608.257.0158 x 237 or

MMoCA Nationally Recognized for Innovative Educational Programming

MMoCA Nationally Recognized for Innovative Educational Programming

Just 16 Museums Chosen for National Exhibition

Spotlighting Student Artwork Created in Innovative Educational Programs

MADISON, WI — Joining such esteemed institutions as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Phillips Collection, and the Denver Art Museum, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA) is being recognized nationally for innovation in their education program, specifically the Art on Tour program. MMoCA is among just 16 museums included in an exhibition in Washington DC honoring innovators in educational programming. The MMoCA curator of education, Sheri Castlenuovo will travel to DC for the exhibition opening and presentation.

The Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), in partnership with the United States Department of Education in Washington, D.C., presents the exhibition Museums: pARTners in Learning 2015, on view in Washington from May 6 – June 30, 2015. The third exhibition in this collaborative initiative with AAMD, Museums: pARTners in Learning 2015 features artwork by students participating in innovative educational programming at AAMD member museums offered in partnership with local schools. This year, the exhibition highlights programs organized by 16 museums from across the United States, including the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, and spotlights a wide range of cross-curricular initiatives that seek to develop students’ transferrable skills both inside and outside of the classroom.

On view at the U.S. Department of Education, Museums: pARTners in Learning 2015 celebrates new developments in arts education fostering such “21st-century skills” as creativity, innovation, critical thinking, problem solving, communication, cultural awareness, and collaboration. The exhibition showcases the remarkable achievements of K-12 students across the country, and underscores the wide range of interdisciplinary skills students can acquire through arts education, as well as how direct engagement with the arts supports student learning and personal growth.  

The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art's Art on Tour selects original works of art from the permanent collection and travels them to nine public elementary and middle schools in Dane County, Wisconsin. Reaching over 4,500 participants, Art on Tour provides unique opportunities for students to experience museum-quality art in their schools and serves as inspiration for their own creative work. The program’s evidence-based process of observation, analysis, and interpretation enhances proficiencies in thinking, listening, and language use. Additionally, an exhibition of students’ work made in response to Art on Tour is held annually at MMoCA. According to Prairie View Middle School’s art teacher, this year’s exhibition has encouraged students to think “about how technology and commercial development affect their lives … It’s opening up a world of understanding, of different people’s viewpoints and cultures to them.”

“We regularly hear from teachers the impact Art on Tour has on their students, by providing a deep and inspirational experience. Our mission extends beyond the walls of our building into the community. This national recognition underscores the value of this approach and reinforces the connection between art and education,” said Stephen Fleischman, MMoCA director.

“Museums are an invaluable resource in complementing our schools’ curricula by offering access to cultural content and fostering the creativity and innovation young people need to be successful in the 21st century,” said Chris Anagnos, executive director of AAMD. “We are so pleased that the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art is participating in Museums: pARTners in Learning 2015, and is dedicated to strengthening students’ core skills through educational programming that promotes learning, engagement, and creativity in Madison. We are excited to partner with the Department of Education once again to tell the story of how schools and museums are working together to enrich the quality of education in new ways.”


AAMD’s 242 members serve more than 40,000 public, private, charter, and home schools a year, with programs ranging from single-visit tours to intensive, long-term partnerships that include shared teaching, curriculum design, assessment, and professional development. Museums often pay for students’ transportation, especially those at high-need schools, and offer professional development for teachers, programs for students with special needs, and college preparedness for high school students. All AAMD museums place education at the core of their mission. Further information about the exhibition is available at

The U.S. Department of Education’s Student Art Exhibit Program, now in its 12th year, produces seven exhibitions each year. Members of the public who would like to visit Museums: pARTners in Learning 2015, please contact Jackye Zimmermann (; 202-401-0762) to schedule an appointment.

Housed in a soaring, Cesar Pelli designed building, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art provides free exhibitions and education programs that engage people in modern and contemporary art. The three galleries offer changing exhibitions that feature established and emerging artists. The Rooftop Sculpture Garden provides an urban oasis with an incredible view. The museum is open: Tuesday-Thursday: noon – 5pm; Friday: noon – 8pm; Saturday: 10am – 8pm; Sunday: noon – 5pm; and is closed on Mondays.    

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