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October 24th, 2012
Grant Awarded to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to Support Art Education in Upper Darby School District

The Ethel Sergeant Clark Smith Memorial Fund recently awarded a $20,000 grant to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to support the Upper Darby Multiple-Visit Program, an arts education program that annually serves all fifth-grade students in the district through in-classroom activities and two visits to the Museum. The first visit, “Art from around the World,” introduces students to art from different world cultures. For their second visit, teachers may select from over thirty lessons, designed by the Museum’s Division of Education and Public Programs, that connect to their classroom studies. The Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Upper Darby School District are proud of this collaborative program, which has been in existence for over thirty years.

Marla Shoemaker, The Kathleen C. Sherrerd Senior Curator of Education, noted, “I am delighted that the Ethel Sergeant Clark Smith Memorial Fund has chosen to support this long-standing arts education program. The Upper Darby Multiple-Visit Program is a wonderful example of how the Museum’s Division of Education and Public Programs, which is a dynamic and innovative leader in the field, stays attuned to the needs of the large and varied community in and around Philadelphia.”

Upper Darby, located in Delaware County, is one of the most diverse communities in Pennsylvania, where over seventy languages are spoken, notably Spanish, Bengali, Vietnamese, Punjabi, Chinese, and Urdu. The schools are also economically disadvantaged; the district’s 2012–2013 budget includes a $14.1 million deficit and in four out of ten district elementary schools, more than 75% of students are eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch.  This funding shortfall led the Museum to seek foundation support for the art program.

Louis F. DeVlieger, Upper Darby School District Superintendent, said, “In supporting the Upper Darby Multiple-Visit Program, the Ethel Sergeant Clark Smith Memorial Fund offers our students high-quality arts programming that would be difficult if not impossible for our school district to fund during this time of economic hardship. This exposure to fine arts gives our students a new way of viewing the greater world around them. Each year, all fifth-grade students, approximately 900 students, will visit the Museum for two 90-minute visits guided by Museum educators during both the fall and spring semesters. Without this program, many of our students would not be able to take advantage of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, even though the Museum is a mere eight miles from our district.”

The Ethel Sergeant Clark Smith Memorial Fund’s grants, administered by Wells Fargo, are awarded in the fields of medicine, education, arts and culture, and health and welfare.

Sponsorship:
The Philadelphia Museum of Art gratefully acknowledges the Ethel Sergeant Clark Smith Fund for its generous support of the Upper Darby Multiple-Visit Program, which serves the fifth grade of the Upper Darby School District, in the 2012–2013 school year, and for its previous support of this program and our Division of Education and Public Programs.

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The Philadelphia Museum of Art is Philadelphia's art museum. We are a landmark building. A world-renowned collection. A place that welcomes everyone. We bring the arts to life, inspiring visitors—through scholarly study and creative play—to discover the spirit of imagination that lies in everyone. We connect people with the arts in rich and varied ways, making the experience of the Museum surprising, lively, and always memorable. We are committed to inviting visitors to see the world—and themselves—anew through the beauty and expressive power of the arts.

For additional information, contact the Communications Department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art phone at 215-684-7860, by fax at 215-235-0050, or by e-mail at pressroom@philamuseum.org. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 26th Street. For general information, call (215) 763-8100.

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