Wednesday December 7, 2016
Tags for: Cleveland Museum of Art Celebrates End of Centennial Year with Gift to Cuyahoga County Students
  • Press Release

Cleveland Museum of Art Celebrates End of Centennial Year with Gift to Cuyahoga County Students

exterior of the CMA building

All third graders in Cuyahoga County to receive Create It Kits to foster hands-on learning and spark creativity

Cleveland, OH (December 7, 2016) As one of the final celebrations of its centennial, the Cleveland Museum of Art announced today that it will donate specially designed “Create It Kits” to every third grader in  Cuyahoga County. 

The centennial initiative was announced at H. Barbara Booker Elementary School on the city’s near west side. In partnership with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and United Way of Greater Cleveland, nearly 14,000 kits will be distributed to third graders at 130 public, charter and parochial schools in the county, including 80 schools in the city of Cleveland, along with 30 school districts and 53 private and parochial schools in suburban Cuyahoga County.   

“By donating these kits to all third graders in the county, we hope to share the gift of art with as many families as possible and provide them with another creative resource for family learning, just as the museum itself has been for millions of people since its founding 100 years ago,” said William M. Griswold, museum director.

The museum and Cleveland’s own American Greetings teamed up to design the kits, which encourage Clevelanders of all ages to connect to the museum’s world-renowned collection. The kits include art supplies; a free children’s “Art Explorers” membership to the museum; Get Creative, a custom-made sketchbook with art-making activities; five Collection Cards designed to engage students with objects in the museum’s collection; and DIY paper glasses inspired by the museum’s beloved Portrait of Nathaniel Olds by Jeptha Homer Wade.

“Research indicates that early experiences with art can teach children problem solving, creative thinking and literacy skills,” said Cyra Levenson, the museum’s director of education and academic affairs. “The kits are just one opportunity the museum can provide to help families have fun with art together and to encourage visual expression at an age when many children give up on drawing.” 

Throughout its centennial year, the museum also has given community organizations free RTA bus passes (good for two rides each) to ease the transportation barrier that exists for many families, whether it be for travel to the museum or elsewhere. The museum and the United Way of Greater Cleveland formed a special partnership to provide 2,000 RTA bus passes to students as well as the Create It Kits to third graders at H. Barbara Booker Elementary and other Cleveland schools participating in United Way’s wraparound initiative, which places a coordinator in each school to help provide students and families with the important resources they need. 

“The museum values our northeast Ohio partnerships,” Griswold added. “Together we are creating a city and region that is a vibrant place to live, learn and create, and the museum is proud to continue to be a resource for the community for a second century.”

For more information about the museum’s Create It Kits, visit

Cleveland Museum of Art’s Presenting Centennial Sponsor:


Create It Kits made possible through a special partnership with American Greetings Corporation.

Contact the Museum's Media Relations Team:
(216) 707-2261