The activities room at the Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery (MJMAG) is officially the Kinsmen Learning Centre for the next two years thanks to a $10,000 sponsorship from the Kinsmen non-profit service organization.
"Our learning centre is now the Kinsmen Learning Centre for the next two years, and those sponsorship dollars will go towards helping us expand on the programming we're doing and make that programming more accessible," explained Jennifer McRorie, director and curator of the MJMAG.
"We're looking at some of those dollars going toward buses because there are some schools that might not be able to afford the cost of transporting kids to our gallery.
"We're still doing virtual programming, but it will be great to get more kids in the building, in front of the artworks and responding to art and creativity here in this space. The sponsorship will also help people who otherwise couldn't afford to participate in our classes, so there will be a couple of spots in each class that will be sponsored. That could be anyone from seniors to youth, just to broaden our outreach and make our mission more inclusive and accessible."
The learning centre holds regular classes, such as painting instructor Ward Schell's watercolour classes. Classes in other mediums include basket weaving, printmaking, pottery, beading, mixed-media, sculpturing, drawing, and more. The space is also packed with art supplies.
"We're really happy to sponsor this initiative, because it's a new way to provide opportunities for kids in our community," said Cody Sharpe with the Kinsmen Club. "When Jennifer came and pitched the idea to our committee a few months ago, what impressed us was how many more children they're going to be able to serve with our sponsorship — especially kids who probably couldn't afford to enjoy the programming here, both at an individual level and at a school level."
Christy Schweiger, the MJMAG's education co-ordinator, said the sponsorship will also help the museum reach more newcomer and immigrant families. The museum and art gallery are a city-funded cultural resource and artistic centre, and she said they are always trying to expand their reach and increase awareness of their educational opportunities.
"One of the other areas becoming a bigger part of our community is bringing newcomers to the (MJMAG)," Schweiger explained, "offering them a chance to engage with a new part of their lives and making them feel welcome. So, between increasing our accessibility for kids, for seniors, and for others in our community, this is a wonderful opportunity and we really thank the Kinsmen for their support."
Learn more at about art education programs at www.mjmag.ca/artclasses.
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