Samuel H. Kress Lecture in Museum Education 2018
“Reimagining New York City’s Monuments”
Darren Walker, President, The Ford Foundation
On Friday, June 8, the Frick presented a conversation both critical and timely, following months of national dialogue surrounding the removal and recontextualization of Confederate monuments across the country.
Darren Walker, The Ford Foundation, in conversation with Rachel Himes, The Frick Collection, considered the power of monuments as reflections of our historic past and as markers of who we aspire to become. Walker discussed his recent role as co-chair of New York City’s Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers, recalling the many challenges he and his fellow commissioners faced. His commitment, he said, is defined by an insistence upon reducing inequality in the world.
Walker and Himes examined their own identities as African-Americans who grew up in the South, where public monuments largely reflected a culture not their own. Walker implored educators to engage critically with history and the arts. He proposed that practices of commemoration could evolve in the future to reflect the full diversity of New York City today and “ensure that the people, all of us, feel validated, uplifted, and valorized in our public spaces.”
Frick Community and Cultural Partnerships 2017-18
The Academy for Teachers organizes master classes that bring New York City’s teachers together with cultural leaders throughout the city. Education at the Frick offered an after-hours master class for twenty principals from the city’s public, private, and parochial schools on February 28, 2018. The event brought influential educators together for a dialogue on the role of the visual arts in K–12 education.
Apex for Youth is a free mentoring and education service for Asian and immigrant youth from low-income families in New York City. Throughout the year, middle school students from Apex visit the Frick to draw and to discuss works of art in the galleries. To date, 68 students from Apex for Youth have visited the Frick over the course of six programs.
The Boys’ Club of New York (BCNY) provides a safe haven from the streets and empowers boys and young men to seek high standards of scholarship, moral development, and physical achievement. Groups from BCNY visit the Frick throughout the year for focused discussions surrounding works of art, as well as drawing and writing exercises. To date, 36 students have visited the Frick over the course of three programs.
Columbia University: Art Humanities has been a degree requirement for all Columbia College students since 1947. Education began a partnership with Art Humanities in 2017, encouraging instructors to bring their classes to the Frick for guided visits and offering complimentary student memberships for students completing coursework on objects in the collection. Education has welcomed 155 Art Humanities students this year across 14 visits. 104 students have taken advantage of the complimentary student membership offer. The numbers of students served, visits, and student memberships have all increased since last academic year.
Columbia University: Narrative Medicine is a program within Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. Its goal is to provide opportunities for medical students to spend purposeful time in pursuit of the arts in preparation for a medical practice enriched by the humanities. This year marks the tenth consecutive year of the Frick’s partnership with Narrative Medicine. Each year, twelve first-year medical students participate in a six-week program at the Frick, studying masterpieces in the collection. To date, 142 students have benefited from the partnership over the course of 66 programs.
The East Harlem School (EHS) is an independent middle school enrolling children from families with low income. The school’s mission is to challenge students to develop a balanced physical, moral, and intellectual strength that they will use to adapt to change. EHS visited the Frick eleven times this school year. The visits alternate between 7th-graders, 8th-graders, and a Poetry Club made up of 7th- and 8th-graders. Students engage in a variety of close looking, drawing, and writing exercises in the galleries. 25 students have benefited from the partnership this year.
The Fat Afro Latin Jazz Cats is the pre-professional big-band youth orchestra of the non-profit Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, a training organization to prepare young musicians for the field of music and jazz. The Frick has partnered with the Fat Afro Latin Jazz Cats since 2016, featuring performances by members of the orchestra at Teen Night and at First Fridays events throughout the year.
Ghetto Film School (GFS) is a nonprofit founded to provide talented students from local communities the access, opportunity, and resources to pursue creative careers, free of charge. The Frick began its partnership with GFS in 2015, offering seminars in the Frick’s galleries led by Curatorial and Education staff. The program culminates with the creation of a student-produced short film inspired by the Frick and filmed in the galleries. This spring, the Frick offered nine seminars for 27 high school and college students. In addition to the culminating short film, students produced presentations on works of art in the permanent collection.
Hunter College Office of the Arts supports student engagement with the arts on and off the Hunter campus. At the end of 2017, the Frick became an official Cultural Partner of Hunter College, the largest college in the City University of New York system and a historic leader in the field of inclusive and equitable higher education. The Education department was chosen to host a Hunter Mellon Arts Fellow from June to December 2018. This fellowship program cultivates a new generation of arts professionals from historically underrepresented communities by supporting undergraduate internship placements at cultural institutions.
Additionally, over the past academic year, Frick staff have presented on dialogical teaching to Hunter administrators at the Academic Center for Excellence in Research and Teaching, and the Frick hosted the Associate Provost for the Arts and Director of the Office of the Arts for discussions of the Frick’s ongoing outreach to faculty and students. The Director of the Office of the Arts brought her “Explorations in the Arts” course to the Frick in March for an extended pilot visit.
The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre is a ballet training program for young dancers, enrolling over 400 students each academic year. Students from the school visit the Frick to study masterpieces in the galleries. 44 students from the school came to the Frick across two visits this academic year.
The Juilliard School Drama Division is a renowned four-year program that provides rigorous training for actors and playwrights. The Frick has partnered with Juilliard since 2010, welcoming groups of students into the galleries. In their visits, students develop critical interpretive faculties, which they then apply to their work of script analysis, criticism, and historical study. These visits are emblematic of Juilliard’s mission to nurture the whole instrument—body, mind, and imagination. This year, a group of 25 students visited for a sustained look at Vermeer’s Officer and Laughing Girl.
Mannes School of Music is a music conservatory in The New School dedicated to advancing the creative role of music in a rapidly changing society. The Frick has partnered with Mannes since 2017, featuring current students and Mannes alumni onstage and throughout the galleries at First Fridays. In April, Mannes students gave two performances of the Brahms Piano Quartet No. 3 in the Music Room. In May, cellist Christine Chen performed in the Garden Court.
P.S. 84 The Lillian Weber School of The Arts is a small and diverse neighborhood school offering Spanish and French dual-language immersion programs, as well as performing arts curricula. The Frick has partnered with P.S. 84 since 2017, welcoming students into the galleries for long looks at works of art. 122 students visited this academic year over the course of five visits.
Prep for Prep is a leadership development program that identifies promising students of color across the city and prepares them for success at independent schools throughout the Northeast. This academic year, 29 Prep for Prep students visited the Frick across two visits to study works of art in the galleries.
Sanctuary for Families is a comprehensive service provider and advocate for survivors of domestic violence, sex trafficking, and related forms of gender violence. The Frick welcomed 40 clients from Sanctuary for Families’ Economic Empowerment career readiness program during the winter and spring of 2018. Participants looked closely at works of art in the permanent collection and participated in discussions about the arts with Education staff.
The Frick Film Project
In 2015, The Frick Collection and the Ghetto Film School launched The Frick Film Project, a pilot collaboration between the Bronx-based independent film organization and the celebrated museum. The initiative provides onsite education across two creative disciplines, the fine arts and the cinematic arts. Throughout the year, students in the Fellows Program at Ghetto Film School participate in seminars led by the Frick’s Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator Xavier F. Salomon, and members of the Frick’s curatorial team. The seminars focus on the concept of narrative in the works of art in the museum’s collection and encouraged the students to consider the visual arts in relation to their own storytelling and filmmaking. The program culminates with the creation of a student-produced short film inspired by the Frick and filmed on location at the museum. For more information about the Ghetto Film School or to view the film, visit www.ghettofilm.org.