The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute’s Responding to Art Involves Self Expression (RAISE) Program Receives Champions of Arts Education Advocacy Award

For Immediate Release

June 14, 2011

WILLIAMSTOWN, MA—The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute’s Responding to Art Involves Self Expression (RAISE) program has been recognized with a Champions of Arts Education Advocacy Award for Outstanding Arts Collaborative in Visual Arts. The award was presented to Ronna Tulgan Ostheimer, head of education programs at the Clark, by The Arts|Learning Networking and Advocacy Group on Wednesday, May 25 at the Massachusetts Statehouse in Boston.

The Responding to Art Involves Self Expression (RAISE) program is a collaboration between the Berkshire County Juvenile Court and the Clark. RAISE participants take part in gallery talks, group meetings, and writing and self awareness exercises. This alternative sentencing model shifts the sentencing paradigm from punishment to education, offering participants a new way to think about their lives and their potential. Since its inception in 2006, RAISE has served close to 100 boys and girls ages 12 to 17 from Berkshire County.  Berkshire County Juvenile Court personnel have lauded the program as "one of the most effective and uplifting programs offered through the Berkshire County Juvenile Probation Department” and “a revelation of emotion."

Beginning its sixth year in 2011, RAISE has been recognized for excellence by the Education Committee of the American Association of Museums and the French Regional and American Museum Exchange (FRAME). The program has garnered support from the Annenberg Foundation and the United States Department of State, and received the AAM EdCom’s 2010 Excellence in Programming national award. Through FRAME the program is being replicated at other museums in America, as well as in France. To facilitate replication, Ronna Tulgan Ostheimer, head of education programs at the Clark, has developed a curriculum guide (available in French and English) that outlines each sessions, its goals, objectives, and rationales. RAISE is supported in part by FRAME.

“With the RAISE program, the Clark has shown that museums are no longer places solely for elite audiences,” says Arts|Learning. “It has provided an opportunity to serve existing and new audiences in ways that have never before been imagined. RAISE provides alternatives for juvenile offenders in our community and is a first step in raising self esteem and the ability to function in mainstream society.”

The Arts|Learning Networking and Advocacy Group educates about, advocates for, and supports the importance of lifelong learning in and through the arts by building an alliance and creating a network among individuals, organizations, and institutions. Since 1984 Arts|Learning’s Networking and Advocacy Group has recognized individuals, organizations, institutions, and businesses that exemplify excellence in arts education advocacy. Awards are given in the categories of Distinguished Arts Educator Advocate, Excellence in School Administration Arts Advocate, Outstanding Parent Advocate, Outstanding Community Arts Collaborative, Corporate/Business Support of Arts Education, and Outstanding Student Advocate.

The Clark

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm (daily in July and August). Admission is $15 June 1 through October 31. Admission is free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. Admission is free November through May. For more information, call 413 458 2303 or visit clarkart.edu.

Contact:  
pr@clarkart.edu

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