Milwaukee Art Museum Family Sunday was a success!

May 24, 2013

Gan Ami Early Childhood Education and the JCC Kids Center after school program enjoyed a special day to celebrate our collaboration with the Milwaukee Art Museum during the Kohl's Art Generation Family Sunday on May 19. While the event ran from 10am to 4pm, by 2pm we had already tallied 275 adults and 168 children from Gan Ami and the JCC enjoying the free day at the museum.

Early Childhood Education provides a valuable window of opportunity for kids to learn and develop the skills they need to succeed in life. Early literacy doesn't just revolve around teaching children how to recite letters, read, and count - art can have a profound effect on their literacy, and development as well.  The importance of exposing kids to art early in life is often undervalued. But giving young children an appreciation for art encourages exploration, self-expression, logical thinking, self-esteem, imagination, and creativity.

Benefits of Arts Education for Children

      • Stimulates and develops the imagination and critical thinking, and refines cognitive and creative skills.
      • Has a tremendous impact on the developmental growth of every child and has proven to help level the "learning field" across socio-economic boundaries.
      • Strengthens problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, adding to overall academic achievement and school success.
      • Develops a sense of craftsmanship, quality task performance, and goal-setting-skills needed to succeed in the classroom and beyond.
      • Teaches children life skills such as developing an informed perception; articulating a vision; learning to solve problems and make decisions; building self-confidence and self-discipline; developing the ability to imagine what might be; and accepting responsibility to complete tasks from start to finish.

Nurtures important values, including team-building skills; respecting alternative viewpoints; and appreciating and being aware of different cultures and traditions. 

The families that visited the exhibit were amazed at the work of their children and classmates, and it was so exciting to see their artwork displayed professionally by the museum's staff. In addition to seeing their children's artwork, families were also able to participate in open art experiences that went with the theme of Art Around the World. 

Each class or group was given the task of exploring an artistic style, a specific artist or the art of a specific country. Many of these classroom art explorations involved days and weeks of study and many layers of learning before sending their work to the museum for display. The Art Museum has held other Family Sunday events throughout the year, and we specifically chose the to be a part of this theme of Art Around the World in order to showcase the diversity of the JCC and Gan Ami. Classrooms were exposed to the work of Russian-French artist Marc Chagall, Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, Brazilian pop-artist Romero Britto, and Americans Andy Warhol and Keith Haring - just to name a few. 

We want to thank all of the families that were able to come to the exhibit and share this special experience with their children. We are also extremely grateful to our amazing Gan Ami faculty, from both our Mequon and Whitefish Bay campuses, who used this opportunity to collaborate with the Milwaukee Art Museum's educators to have truly meaningful art experiences with the children in our preschool and kindergarten, and to the Kid Center staff who facilitated the experiences for the elementary-age children of the JCC. This was such a wonderful celebration of our community, and we couldn't be more pleased with everyone's reactions to the children's work.