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NEWSROOM : Driving imagination with the new MoMA

Jan 16, 2020

Arts education takes center stage at the newly reopened Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City. As a partner since 2011 and the lead sponsor of MoMA education since 2015, Volkswagen is proud to support new, outstanding enrichment opportunities for museum-goers.

The new MoMA opened its doors in the fall with an expanded campus, a groundbreaking new curatorial approach, and the centering of education—both physically and programmatically—as part of its new vision.

Of the new MoMA’s educational experience, Wendy Woon, MoMA’s Edward John Noble Foundation Deputy Director for Education at MoMA, says: “Art museums are not just repositories of great objects from the past, they are vital public spaces for questioning, investigation, and for people to come together and connect to something bigger than themselves. That’s why as part of the new MoMA, education is infused throughout the entire museum experience. Now more than ever, we need the kind of empathy that is derived from imagining bigger. Arts education is essential to this process and Volkswagen’s support makes that a reality for every visitor who walks through our doors.”

Particularly notable in the new MoMA is the Paula and James Crown Creativity Lab, a dedicated space for arts education at the heart of the museum. The new Crown Creativity Lab creates a welcoming and experimental space for visitors to engage with and reflect upon their experiences with art, learn about artists’ processes and explore their own creativity.

“We chose ‘The People’s Studio: Collective Imagination’ as our theme for the first experiment in the Crown Creativity Lab because we believe that imagining bigger means imagining together,” Woon says. “The challenge to ‘imagine bigger’ is not about ‘more’ in the sense of accumulating or taking over new territory or expanding and setting boundaries that divide us. Rather, it is a challenge to step back, take a bird’s eye view, and to see the interconnectedness of all people and of nature, and to know that we all play a part in the health and well-being of our world.”

Beyond the Crown Creativity Lab, education filters into MoMA’s galleries and is infused throughout the entire museum experience. From imaginative gallery experiences, school tours, and teacher workshops, to community programs, art spaces for LGBTQ students and allies and family tours, there is something for everyone.

The Volkswagen-sponsored education opportunities even expand into the online space, as MoMA recently launched its free, six-week online course, What is Contemporary Art? The online class, available on Coursera, explores art created between 1980 and today, and provides an in-depth look at over 70 pieces from MoMA’s collection. Learners can hear directly from the artists, designers, and architects during each class and can focus their studies across five different themes.

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