By Kish Beverely
BYU”s Museum of Art provides BYU students an opportunity to teach and children in local Utah communities.
Since 1993, BYU students have conducted free tours of MOA exhibits to surrounding Utah communities and local Utah schools.
“The programs we offer help children learn about art, both the techniques and the history,” said Tracey Laverty, education assistant at the Museum of Art.
In conjunction with the tours, the museum also offers free educational packets to help teachers prepare their classes for the museum visit.
The packets consist of lesson plans, art slides, background information and follow-up activities for students.
“When students have been exposed to the art, when they”ve had the preparation, they are able to gain a richer understanding and appreciation for what they are seeing,” said Christine Howard, public program coordinator for the MOA.
Howard said educators have been very receptive to the program.
The success of the tour is due to the MOA”s student volunteer program.
BYU students and members of the community volunteer and are trained to provide guided tours of the museum.
Students attend a class every Thursday evening in the MOA where they receive instruction in art history, technique and theory.
Glenn Miller, BYU graduate and 9-year volunteer, said he wants to help others develop an interest and appreciation for art.
“We try to acquaint children with the artwork and teach them something about what they”re seeing,” Miller said.
According to Anastasia Rees, exhibit curator, elementary school children make up nearly 40 percent of the museum”s visitors, and the docents have to be able to work well with all age groups and art-education levels.
“We have to be able to provide various programs for every group that comes in,” Rees said.
Rees” programs cater tours to different ages and needs of people going through the exhibits.
In addition to schools, the museum also offers guided tours to members of the community, as well as religious groups and clubs.
“We feel a strong sense of community outreach through our programs,” Rees said.