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High School Sketch Club students working on a collaborative project in the Sean Scully exhibition
High School Sketch Club students working on a collaborative project in the Sean Scully exhibition.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art strives to build and maintain partnerships with community organizations, schools, and social service agencies, offering programs and educational opportunities that connect diverse communities with the Museum’s rich collections and resources. Using the arts to support and strengthen community-based initiatives in youth development and arts education, the Museum reaches out to communities around the region to enhance and expand its mission of making art accessible to everyone.

Community Programs

For over 20 years, the Division of Education has developed many partnerships with cultural, educational and social service organizations to engage diverse audiences and create a social fabric of inclusion and civic responsibility. Thanks to grant funding, the Museum is able to offer free admission and transportation assistance to a limited number of Philadelphia community organizations. Free admission will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
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Community Partnerships

The Division of Education maintains a long-term commitment to partner organizations to provide collaborative art programs and museum visits for neighborhood groups and families. All projects are created with community leaders to customize curriculum and develop programs that connect with the interests and needs of the community partner. The Division of Education also supports special short-term projects to provide art programs and museum visits themed in conjunction with special exhibitions at the Museum. Every year the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service works collaboratively with the Global Citizen program to create service projects for young people at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. A recent partnership with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia provided a teaching artist for 12 weeks to work with HIV positive teens to create multimedia documentary projects in connection to their identity and the city of Philadelphia.

Community Connections - Museum Tours

With the Community Connections Program, Education Staff work year round with community partners to customize free tours and projects so that each group can have a unique experience at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Each tour and workshop is planned in collaboration to introduce community groups to the museum’s history, its mission and permanent collection while being reflective of the interests and activities of the community organization. All programs address inquiry based learning and critical thinking skills as guidelines.

Teen Programs

The Philadelphia Museum of Art offers various teen programs and internships designed to work with a small group of sophomore, junior, or seniors from schools throughout the Philadelphia region. Each program is designed to inspire, mentor, and prepare those selected students for leadership roles and further study in the visual arts. Internship opportunities for high-school students nurture professional development and foster growth of the museum profession.
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High School Sketch Club

The High School Sketch Club began in 2003. This program is for ten Philadelphia public school students who are considering a career in the visual or graphic arts. This program runs in the fall and spring. During this 8 week long program ten select students:
  1. Develop portfolio material for applications for future study in the visual and graphic arts.
  2. Become familiar with outstanding art objects in the Museum’s collection.
  3. Discover and learn about career options in the fine arts.
  4. Increase general visual awareness with aid from professional artists.
Each week will focus on a specific artistic theme such as - architecture, landscape, contour drawing or the human figure. Students will spend time looking and discussing works of art in the museum’s galleries followed by guided drawing experiences. Every session will end in discussion and critique of sketches and experiences in a Division of Education art studio.

Teen Docent Program

The Teen Docent Program began in 2000. This program is for ten Philadelphia public and non-public students who are interested in learning about art and teaching. This program runs in the spring. During this 11 week program students:
  1. Meet with curatorial staff and museum administrators.
  2. Go behind the scenes and tour the conservation laboratories, and resource areas.
  3. Perform hands-on demonstrations using touchable carts and resource kits for the public.
  4. Answer questions from visitors about the kits, the art exhibits and the museum in general.
  5. Assist in and lead short hands-on art activities for children.
Each year students have their choice of learning about and presenting one of the following kits depending on the theme; Armor, Medieval panel painting, Stained Glass, Masonry Korean Ceramics, Chinese Calligraphy and Japanese Tea Ceremony. After several weeks of research and discussion, the Teen Docents provide several weeks of demonstrations to the public using resource kits in the museum galleries.

Mastery Charter School Internship Program

Internships give Mastery Charter students a graduation requirement and an opportunity to experience the workplace and apply their skills in the real world. This allows them to better appreciate their academic schooling while increasing their skills and career marketability. In addition, internships allow professional organizations a chance to mentor the development of a young person and introduce him or her to the world of work. This creates a greater connection between businesses and the communities they serve, and helps to create an educated workforce that is truly prepared for the demands of both the local and the global economy. The Philadelphia Museum of Art has been hosting interns from the Mastery Charter Lenfest and Thomas campus since 2004 and is a proud participant in this important program.

Delphi Programs

The Delphi Project Foundation, funded by Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Delphi Financial Group, Inc., supports innovative arts education programs to enhance the education for Philadelphia public school students and increase accessibility to the arts.
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Delphi After School ART CLUB

The Delphi After School Art Club is a weekly comprehensive arts education program held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Each year, up to 240 middle school level students in the School District of Philadelphia participate in the program. The students tour the Museum’s galleries and create their own works of art inspired by the Museum’s collection. In addition to weekly studio art classes and gallery tours, the program includes a student art exhibition, a cultural performance, conservation demonstrations, and a collaborative community art project. The Delphi Art Club focuses on both the creative and academic aspects of visual arts, and most importantly, provides students with a safe and inspiring place to gather after school.

Delphi ART PARTNERS Program

The Delphi Art Partners Program is an artist-in-residence program that pairs six professional teaching artists with six middle schools in the School District of Philadelphia. The professional artists spend 30 hours in residence at the schools and work with the classroom art teachers and students to design and implement engaging art projects. The program is enhanced with customized Museum gallery visits. Through hands-on classroom art projects and Museum tours, the students use the visual arts to add an innovative artistic dimension to their school curriculum. The program also features a student art exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Delphi ART FUTURES Program

The Art Futures Program pairs professional teaching artist with high school art programs. The artists spend 30 hours in residence working with the classroom art teachers and students to design and implement art projects that reflect both the classroom curriculum goals, and the particular expertise of the resident artist. Both the artist and the schools are selected through a competitive process. In addition to creating art in the classroom, the program features customized Museum tours and a juried student art exhibition at the Museum. Each year, Delphi Project Foundation provides funding for five Philadelphia public schools to participate in the program.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art secures additional funding for five Philadelphia area Catholic schools to also participate in the Art Futures Program.

Delphi Summer Teen Media Program

The Delphi Summer Teen Media Program provides unique training both in the visual arts and filmmaking. For six weeks during the summer, students work with professional filmmakers to learn camera techniques, acting exercises, script writing and film editing. The students create a portfolio of short films inspired by the Museum’s collections, public works of art and current social issues. Once the films are complete, the students participate in film screenings at the Museum and in their community. Throughout the summer, the program also exposes the students to career opportunities in both the visual and media arts.

The Museum currently partners with the Big Picture Alliance, Taller Puertorriqueño and Esperanza Academy Charter High School in the implementation of the Delphi Summer Teen Media Program.

Curriculum-based Teaching Resources for the Classroom

The Delphi Project Foundation has supported the creation of a variety of teaching materials for use at all grade levels in the Philadelphia public schools. Based on the Museum’s permanent collections, these resource kits include full color reproductions of works of art, background information, teacher guides with learning activities, posters and power point presentations. These teaching resources encourage all classroom teachers, not just art teachers, to use visual arts as part of their core curriculum instruction. Free to all Philadelphia public schools, they serve as pre-trip materials for classrooms visiting the Museum and as permanent classroom resources for classes that are unable to visit.

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Summer Library Outreach Program

In partnership with the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Education Department at the Philadelphia Museum of Art oversees the Free Library Summer Reading Program partnership that takes place from June through August every year.
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Summer Library Outreach Program

Developed in 1997, this collaborative program gives participants in the Summer Reading Program at all 54 branches of the Free Library of Philadelphia a community pass for the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This program encourages new audiences to visit the Art Museum for free over the summer and provides professional development for two college interns who present a free arts workshop at over 20 Libraries throughout Philadelphia. With this program, participants at local branches are connected to the literacy programs at the Free Library and receive a free community pass for up to 8 people to visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This program supports community based initiatives to celebrate literacy and the arts and share the resources of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.


For more information, please contact The Division of Education by phone at 215-684-7580, by fax at 215-236-4063, or by e-mail at .

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