Art Builds Creativity (ABC) is a collaboration with Shelby County Schools. The goal of ABC is to integrate the visual arts into the standard fourth-grade academic curriculum, and to bring quality art education and the museum experience to students.
Since its inception in 1979, ABC has grown from a program that served 120 students, to a program that currently serves approximately 1,000 students in Title I schools. The goals of the program are to increase creativity skills and reinforce language art skills. In four, ninety minutes sessions, two in the regular school classroom and two at the Brooks, instructors use artworks in the museum's collection to inspire group discussion, art making, and creative writing. Each lesson includes support materials and classroom activities for teachers. ABC culminates with an exhibition of student artwork at the Brooks.
ABC is a year-long commitment that begins in August and concludes in March. Participation is free except for the cost of transportation for two museum visits. Participants are required to attend in an orientation at the beginning of the year to establish content areas and to provide feedback about the program at the end of the year. Recruitment takes place each spring.
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The Art Builds Creativity Program is generously sponsored by the Tennessee Arts Commission, International Paper, and Target.