The Department of Education and Interpretation serves as a catalyst for visitor learning and enjoyment, connecting intergenerational visitors from Cleveland and beyond with the works of art in the museum's collections and exhibitions. Through interpretation and teaching, the department strengthens the museum's commitment to its communities, making the museum accessible to the widest possible audience.
Find out more about our opportunities to play and explore both at the museum and at home.
In the galleries we offer a number of ways to connect with art and each other. The new ArtLens iPad app allows you to learn about the artworks on your own, or you can take a free tour led by trained docents. At the museum you can handle genuine works of art from the Education Art Collection in our Art Carts, and participate in activities like scavenger hunts on our family days called Second Sundays. Visitors can also learn about special exhibitions and the museum's collection through a variety of programs, including artist talks, lectures and gallery talks, and our new, interactive Join In programs.
In the Studio our artists teach classes for people of all ages. We offer classes for our Littlest Learners beginning at 18 months, for adults, and everyone in between. We also invite you to help us prepare for our Community Arts events like Parade the Circle and the Chalk Festival.
In the Classroom you'll find abundant programming for educators. The Connie Towson Ford Teacher Resource Center offers a variety of workshops throughout the year with standards based content as well as studio options. Art To Go brings museum art objects directly to students in their classroom for lively hands-on presentations. Distance Learning provides interactive videoconferences and webinars with over fifty topics from which to choose, including sessions in French, Spanish, German and Italian.
In the Community you can explore programs at locations around northeast Ohio and onsite at the museum. Community Arts events such as Parade the Circle welcome the participation of individuals, educators, and school groups. The Art and Fiction book club is another example of museum based events organized by the Department of Education and Interpretation for art and literature enthusiasts throughout the community.
From Anywhere you can download materials created by our educators, such as Family Guides and Art Projects for home or school use, Interpretative Resources which add perspective to objects in the museum's collection, and a host of Teacher Online Resources.
Additional Features of Education and Interpretation
The Cleveland Museum of Art is a laboratory for learning through its engagement with the academic community. Area institutions, such as Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, and Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C), have partnered with the Museum to enhance curriculum in fields such as Art History and Museum Studies. Through collaborative programming, as with the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities at Case Western Reserve University, the Museum aims to enrich educational experiences while building closer connections with area colleges and universities.
Students at colleges and universities gain valuable experience outside the classroom through museum internships and fellowships. The Museum reaches out to area institutions by inviting college students to participate in special projects, such as the student art exhibition Connecting with Caporali.
As an important subset of University Connections, the Museum develops and facilitates innovative training for Cleveland's renowned medical education community, including University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Lerner College of Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and the VA Center of Excellence in Primary Care Education at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center. The Museum employs the visual arts to encourage medical students, medical residents, and nurse practitioner residents to hone their observation skills, critical thinking, cultural awareness, communication, and empathy. These programs involve close analysis of artwork in the galleries, a drawing exercise that encourages careful observation, and practice with diagnostic techniques using the Museum's Art to Go collection.
Behind the scenes of the Cleveland Museum of Art lies the Education Art Collection, the resource that provides objects for the Art to Go and Art Cart experiences that Education and Interpretation offers. Set aside since the beginnings of the CMA—first acquisitions date to 1914—the Education Art Collection is used for engaging hands-on experiences for participants of all ages. The collection, formerly called Extensions, is today used for active learning.
The Cleveland Museum of Art partners with other institutions to offer a number of series of private staff-led tours in special exhibitions and the permanent collection. These non-credit, lifelong learning experiences are open to groups visiting the museum several times a year.