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Teacher Workshops 2018–2019

Workshops are designed to help teachers find meaning and pleasure in the visual arts. These programs introduce art in the Gallery’s collection and in special exhibitions, explore interdisciplinary curriculum connections, and model methods for teaching with art. All programs include teaching resource materials.

Teachers of all subjects (pre-kindergarten through grade 12), homeschoolers, and pre-service educators are welcome. Workshops take place at the Gallery.

Exploring Migration: Empowering Student Storytelling through Art
Saturday, May 4, 2019
10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.

How might students’ migration stories be shared and presented in ways that support immigrant-origin students and build new communal narratives? In this workshop, Jean-Michel Dissard, filmmaker and educator for the I Learn America project, will facilitate the process of story-mapping to amplify the voices of young immigrants in our classroom. Through personal storytelling and an exchange of shared experiences, this work will spark discussions to increase understanding, empathy, and agency. We will then explore works of art whose subjects connect to themes of migration and displacement, using strategies that can be applied in the classroom. We will tie together the story-mapping and art conversation with an accordion bookmaking project and reflect on our learning experience.

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Evenings at the Edge
Free Event!
Thursday, April 11, 2019
6:00–9:00 p.m.

Mark your calendars for this evening event that celebrates the East Building’s 40th anniversary. Rediscover works that were commissioned for the building when it first opened to the public in 1978. Wander the galleries and attend 10-minute talks that offer insights into the Gallery’s holdings of modern and contemporary art. Design a birthday card for I.M. Pei’s iconic building, or construct the museum of the future using blocks and magnetic tiles. Music, and a film inspired by the East Building, round out the evening. Light fare and drinks are available for purchase. On departure, teachers will receive educational resources for classroom use.

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Past Events

Exploring Complexity with Contemporary Art
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Repeat date: Wednesday, December 5, 2018
4:00–7:00 p.m.

This workshop offers strategies for investigating the complexity of objects and ideas. The process of uncovering, navigating, and probing complexity is a form of inquiry that leads to deep understanding and nurtures empathy.  Focusing on the exhibition Rachel Whiteread, on view September 16, 2018, to January 13, 2019, teachers will discover the complexities of this British sculptor’s work—her fascination with human interactions within everyday environments and the relationships between positive and negative spaces, public and private, history and memory—and learn strategies for engaging students in meaningful dialogue with contemporary art.

Gordon Parks: Image into Word
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Repeat date: Wednesday, February 13, 2019
4:00–7:00 p.m.

This workshop explores the photographs of Gordon Parks (1912 – 2006) through creative writing. Drawing upon the exhibition Gordon Parks: The New Tide, 1940–1950, on view from November 4, 2018, to February 18, 2019, teachers will consider Parks’s use of photography as a narrative device while engaging in writing activities inspired by his work. During this formative decade of his sixty-year career, Parks worked as a portraitist and fashion photographer for magazines such as Life and Ebony. He also made documentary images for the Federal Government and more candid photojournalistic narratives which sometimes probed America’s racial, social, and economic divide. Writing activities can be used across disciplines and can be adapted to different grade levels.

Going Global—Teaching Critical Thinking with Art
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
4:00–7:00 p.m.

Discover the Gallery’s first MOOC, or massive open online course, and learn how Gallery educators transformed the on-site experience of actively engaging with art into an immersive online experience with global reach. The creators of the course will introduce the MOOC’s features and teaching methods, which combine Artful Thinking routines by Harvard’s Project Zero and artworks in the Gallery’s collection. Workshop participants will engage with a work of art in a gallery session, view a short video from the online course of students exploring the same work, and reflect on best practices for translating on-site learning into effective online learning.

Exploring Migration: Understanding Perspectives through Art
Satuday, March 23, 2019
10:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

How might artists’ migration stories be expressed through their work? Veronica Boix Mansilla, principal investigator at Project Zero, Harvard University, and research director at Re-imagining Migration, will share research-based actionable frameworks that educators can use to prepare young people to understand migration. Following this presentation, Gallery educators will put these ideas into action in the galleries, using Global Thinking Routines to discuss works of art by artists who were immigrants to the United States. Participants will engage deeply with these works, practice strategies for facilitating dialogue about art and migration, and reflect on best practices for exploring global issues through art.

Following the workshop, participants are invited to attend a Special Event:

Black Dreams at Sea: The Sardine Fisherman’s Funeral and An Opera of the World

2:30–4:30 p.m.
East Building Auditorium
Elizabeth Alexander and Manthia Diawara in person

Arshile Gorky, The Artist and His Mother, c. 1962-c.1948, oil on canvas, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund © 1997 The Estate of Arshile Gorky / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; Romare Bearden, Tomorrow I May Be Far Away, 1967, collage of various papers with charcoal, graphite and paint on paper mounted to canvas, Paul Mellon Fund © Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY; Rachel Whiteread, Untitled (Mix), 2007–2008, plaster, pigment, and resin (thirty-nine units), Ronnen Family Collection. © Rachel Whiteread; Gordon Parks, Washington, D.C. Government Charwoman, 1942, gelatin silver print, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC; Wassily Kandinsky, Improvisation 31 (Sea Battle), 1913, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund

Request an In-Service Workshop

In-service workshops are designed for educators to learn how works of art can support student learning. The Gallery offers a limited number of onsite opportunities for groups with a minimum of 20 participants.

Please complete this form to request a workshop.

Cancellation Policy

You may cancel a workshop enrollment via email to [email protected] or your Eventbrite account.  Login to Eventbrite and go to the "My Tickets" page. Click on "View Order" and then click "Cancel Order." Note that if you reserved multiple spaces, this will cancel all reservations. If you need to make a change to the number of participants, please contact [email protected]. Refunds are not available. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation with our policies.


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