Reliance Standard Life Insurance and the Delphi Financial Group have announced a $220,000 grant to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The grant will sponsor four initiatives intended to strengthen and expand the Museum's longstanding outreach to Philadelphia public schools. All four programs emphasize hands-on arts and education activities for economically disadvantaged students in the School District of Philadelphia. The new initiatives are:
- Museum Club
This program invites students from four middle schools to spend after-school hours in the Museum's galleries and studios with guidance from museum staff. The Club exposes students to art and acquaints them with career opportunities at the Museum. This 20-week program culminates with student exhibitions at both the Museum and the respective schools.
- Inner Visions
Students from three middle schools participate in this program, which encourages creativity and familiarity with African American and Latino art through a varied program of instruction in art history, museum visits and studio projects. Inner Visions concludes with student exhibitions and receptions for their parents.
- Artist in Residence
A practicing, professional artist will be placed in a public high school to work in conjunction with the school's art teacher. Together the artist and teacher will develop a unique arts education program for students.
- African American Art Poster Set
This project will make its debut in September, 1999. It will include five large-format reproductions of works by African American artists from the Museum's permanent collections. They will be accompanied by informative text and suggested activities for students, as well as a teacher handbook. The Poster Set is designed to be an interactive tool and will be distributed free of charge to all Philadelphia elementary and secondary schools.
"Art is a powerful tool that can have a profound and positive impact on children. We thank and commend Reliance Standard Life and the Delphi Financial Group for recognizing this potential and providing safe and constructive outlets for the wonderful creative energies of young people," notes Anne d'Harnoncourt, Philadelphia Museum of Art Director & CEO.
Marla Shoemaker, Curator of Youth and Family Programs in the Museum's Division of Education, adds: "Our partnership with Reliance Standard Life and the Delphi Financial Group and the School District enables us to cultivate creativity and the enjoyment of art while building self-esteem, teaching problem solving and decision making skills and, most importantly, helping students give voice to their experience."
Robert Rosenkranz, Chairman of the Delphi Financial Group, stated that: "We are delighted to work with the Museum to provide arts and education programs that go above and beyond the normal school day, and which provide educational and cultural opportunities to students who might not otherwise receive significant exposure to the arts. We believe that the best investment in the future of Philadelphia is the education of its children."
The Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company's Philadelphia headquarters, employing 300 people, provides life, health and accident insurance primarily in the employee benefits market in 49 states, the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands. Reliance Standard Life also handles asset accumulation products, including annuities. Delphi Financial Group, the parent organization, is a leader in providing group employee benefits, including life, excess workers' compensation, long-term disability and special accident insurance, as well as reinsurance underwriting and integrated disability and absence management services.
To celebrate the generous support of Reliance Standard Life and the Delphi Financial Group, the Museum will host students from the School District of Philadelphia for a special performance of Paul Robeson, All-American, by Theatreworks USA.