LAM Awarded Grant for Create Access Program 

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 By LB Indy Staff

Orange County students take part in LAM’s Create Access Program. Photo/Laguna Art Museum

Laguna Art Museum has been awarded the California Cultural and Historical Endowment Museum Grant for $178,288 from the California Cultural and Historical Endowment (CCHE) in support of the museum’s Create Access Program, which provides free educational student tours and hands-on art classes that build history studies, language arts and art skills for K – 12 Title 1 students in Orange County. Before the Create Access Program, there was no established consistent Title 1 school tour program of this scale. The program will aim to serve 5,000 students by 2024. 

“We are so grateful to receive this generous gift from the California Cultural and Historical Endowment to help support the museum’s Create Access Program,” said Julie Perlin Lee, executive director of Laguna Art Museum. “These important funds will help us expand our art education initiatives to engage Title I students, BIPOC, and low-income populations in meaningful programming that builds vital academic skills. The program utilizes art and culture to help Title I students recover from the learning loss they have suffered during the coronavirus pandemic.”

The programs supported by this grant will offer students opportunities to process grief and lived experiences through tours and art classes that illuminate how similar circumstances have impacted a variety of cultures throughout time. The Create Access Program immerses students in the creative process, allows them to process the loss of the pandemic and helps to heal and provide hope.

The California Natural Resources Agency announced more than $19.7 million in funding awarded by the CCHE to support 63 museum projects from San Diego to Shasta counties, including Laguna Art Museum. Funding will support small capital projects and programs in museums that have been severely affected by COVID-19 and that serve historically underserved communities or students subject to Title 1. Laguna Art Museum’s curriculum-based programming will help prepare students for bright futures, hoping to foster intrinsic creativity skills that apply to the modern workplace and world.

“California’s museums teach us about our state’s dynamic, diverse history and culture,” California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot said. “This funding will support projects across the state that lift up history and culture that has been underrepresented in the past and enable more people to learn these remarkable stories.”

Laguna Art Museum’s Create Access Program meets the needs of disadvantaged students and helps them to meet state academic content and performance standards, as required by Title I of the Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Program components immerse students in learning activities that build language skills and content knowledge. Docents use questions, classroom curriculum, students’ personal experiences and art to discuss the art and history included in exhibitions during the tour. Exhibition content and art classes are directly linked to California common core standards, providing opportunities for students to build art, language arts and history/social science content knowledge, as well as English language and literacy skills.

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