LOGAN – The Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art (NEHMA) has been awarded a $50,000 Professional Outreach Programs in the Schools (POPS) Grant through the Utah Department of Education to build art outreach programs in Utah.
NEHMA will begin expanding this year and work to reach every school district in Utah through field trips, classroom visits, Mobile Art Truck visits, and teacher training and enrichment.
Katie Lee-Koven, NEHMA Executive Director & Chief Curator, said their goal for POPS funding is to expand the K-12 programs they already offer and to expand teacher resources into art curriculum so they meet state education standards.
“We are fortunate to have a Mobile Art Truck and plan to use the truck as a mobile gallery to provide schools in rural areas across the state with rich, educational experiences with art,” she said.
Not only is art a form of expression and communication, but Lee-Koven said it helps creative problem-solving skills, encourages collaboration, empathy, and critical thinking. Skills integral to a positive educational experience.
“Why would we not want more of this on our schools knowing what it does for our kids? Art can span across disciplines and can support learning in any subject,” she added.
Earlier this year, the Utah Legislature voted to expand POPS which came with $200,000 in grant funding. The Utah State Board of Education approved three organizations to receive the funding. Along with NEHMA, Plan B Theatre in Salt Lake City received $75,000 and Utah Museum in Contemporary Art, also in Salt Lake City, was awarded $25,000. According to the Utah Board of Education press release, the remaining $50,000 will be held for future expansion of the POPS.
“The program makes Utah fine and performing arts available to perform or work with students and teachers in public schools throughout the state,” the press release states.
Lee-Koven said she hopes to see the Utah Department of Education continue to grow the POPS program.
“Having museums, theater, and opera communities work with teachers in schools to meet core standards and enrich learning is great for kids, for teachers, and is great for Utah,” she said.