Community Engagement at the Dallas Museum of Art

Maria Teresa G. Pedroche is our guest blogger today! She is the Head of Family Experiences & Community Engagement at the DMA. Maria Teresa enjoys working with children, teaching families at the museum, and working with community partners. She partners with schools and organizations in Dallas and organizes community exhibitions that include “Young Masters,” sponsored by the O’Donnell Foundation and Preservation, Link, Inc.

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My favorite part of my job is helping families and community partners who visit the museum make connections to works of art in the galleries and then sharing the gallery-inspired art that they have created in the Studio. Community Engagement is important to museums, indeed, imperative to museums if they want to grow and prosper in the future.  Many of our visitors see the benefits of becoming a member, especially if they have children. They take art-related workshops and classes that include, Arturo’s Art & Me , Toddler Art, Homeschool Class, Family Workshops, Center for Creative Connections Tech Lab Workshops and Access Programs. Families also enjoy participating in other family-friendly events like Late Nights, and (We)ekends at the Museum.

October has been a busy month both at the Dallas Museum of Art with the opening of the new exhibition, Encountering Space and with our community partners’ events.  We celebrated the African Masks and Mexico 200 exhibitions at the Latino Cultural Center, Dance Africa, and the Dallas International Book Fair.  In addition we partnered with Cathedral Dallas to showcase studio creations on selected Sundays. The event included three new parent classes with over 650 in attendance!  The Dallas International Book Fair on October 23 showcased students who participated in the Hispanic Heritage Contest. The award winners were recognized for the creative and beautiful works and were given family passes to the Dallas Museum of Art. 

Last week we had special guests from So SMAART, The LINKS, Inc, Trinity Chapters’s signature Services to Youth program. The acronym represents students Set on Science, Math, the Arts, Aviation, Reading, and Technology. It is a four-year work force development program designed to focus minority females, ages 9-12, on the important fields of math, science, and technology. Additional focus areas are reading, the arts, and aviation. The girls, parents, and their mentors toured African Masks: The Art of Disguise and Mexico 200 exhibitions followed by studio creations related to the works in the exhibitions.

Celebrating the “Arts in October” grand finale on October 31 was spectacular with our “Masks and Mascaras” Family Celebration highlighting art from Africa and Mexico. Highlights of the day included performances by Ann Marie Newman, Bafut Dance Group from Cameroon, Frida Espinosa Muller and David Lozano, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, and Mariachi Rosas Divinas.

Some of the highlights this fall include ongoing programs at our community sites and at the Museum with Avance Dallas, David Lozano and Frida Espinosa Muller with Cara Mia Theatre Company, Cathedral Guadalupe, Dallas Public Library, Latino Cultural Center, Dave Herman, Preservation Link, Inc. and other organizations.

A special thanks to our promotional sponsors that include Univision 23 TV and radio.  They have gone above and beyond to promote the Mexico 200 exhibition to community partners and schools.  In addition Informate DFW Magazine promotes all of our programs year round. We are grateful to Dallas Child, North Texas Kids, and Radio Disney for their on-going support of all of the programs we offer for families.

Drop by the Museum tomorrow for our First Tuesday program–you can make a mask, take a guided tour, see an artist demonstration, and listen to African songs and stories by griot (storyteller) Melody “AFI” Bell.

I encourage you to visit our family blog and the Museum website frequently to check out new programs we have designed for you.  We look forward to seeing you soon!

Posted by: Maria Teresa

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