Smart Museum plans to launch family program with new grant

By Sara Jerome

The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art was recently honored with a 2005 Museums for America grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency. The grant, awarded to only 169 museums across the country, consists of $95,000 that the Smart Museum will use to support the “Families at the Smart” initiative. The Smart Museum intends to match these federal dollars one-to-one, according to a press release.

Designed to reach out to communities in the South Side area, the “Families at the Smart” initiative will build on the Museum’s already acclaimed public school and family programs.

“Many neighborhoods in this area have been under-served in terms of access to the arts, arts education, and accessible family-friendly cultural venues,” the release said, adding that the new funds will allow the museum to reach residents in a wider area of the mid-South Side.

The initiative will support new family programs, fund research about local communities, and provide a place where residents can come “not only to learn about art but also to engage with each other and the members of the University community,” according to the release.

Current exhibitions at the Smart Museum include Quiet Revolutions: Modernizing Tradition Art in East Asia and The Poetry of Sijo Surimojo.