The Walker Art Center has created ten new paid positions for tour guides in response to the changing make-up of visiting tour groups and to prepare for the Cultural Experiences Partnership with the Minneapolis School System. That partnership will see every 6th grader in the Minneapolis Public School’s visit the Walker in 2017. The Cultural Experiences Partnership ensures that all students have shared arts and culture experiences across the district.
Nisa Mackie, The Walker’s Director and Curator of Education and Public Programs, notes: “The population of the Twin Cities is rapidly increasing and simultaneously cultural and educational institutions are facing some stark realities such as the widening achievement gap, the need for better support for recent migrants, as well as financial and perceptual barriers to arts access. As a public institution that places a high priority on active audience engagement it’s important that we’re responsive to the interests and needs of our local community.” Nora Schull, K-12 Arts, District Program Facilitator with the Minneapolis Public Schools, adds, “We are excited to be partnering with the Walker Art Center for the 6th grade CEP experience. We value the work that the Walker does and are looking forward to our students having this unique arts experience.”
In the fall of 2017 the Walker will be launching a range of new school-based education programs. These new programs – which include moving image, STEAM, disability access, and programs for English language learners – are the result of extensive and ongoing demographic research and community consultation, and will be facilitated by a small group of specially trained, paid educators. The Walker anticipates that the re-launch of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden will not only reinvigorate learning programs, but increase school and tour visitation by up to 30% in 2018 in the new campus.
The new educators will facilitate school tours and specialist curriculum including ASD, ELL, moving image and STEAM. Current volunteer tour guides will be will be responsible for public tours, daily tours, facility rentals, donor events and special public programs.
Walker School Programs are supported by the Nordstrom Foundation and the Pentair Foundation.
Walker Tour Programs are sponsored by United Health Foundation.