January 5, 2011 – Sacramento, CA – The Crocker Art Museum and the First 5 Sacramento Commission are pleased to announce that the Museum has been awarded a First 5 Sacramento Commission grant of $566,040. This grant will support the development and implementation of the Museum’s All About Families—Early Childhood Initiative, an educational program for children ages zero to five and the adults who care for them. The grant will be awarded to the Crocker over the course of 2 1/2 years.

The Initiative uses the Museum’s collection, exhibitions, programs, and expertise in object-based learning to support the Commission’s goal of using developmentally appropriate practices and/or evidence-based programs in early care and education programs throughout the County of Sacramento.

The four overarching goals of the All About Families—Early Childhood Initiative are to:

·provide meaningful, developmentally appropriate ways for early learners to connect and engage with the world around them through art;

·promote cognitive development for early learners through interactive art experiences with parents and caregivers;

·provide resources for parents and caregivers that promote developmentally appropriate practices connected to art;

·increase the Museum’s capacity to effectively serve children ages zero to five and their parents and caregivers.

“The First 5 Sacramento Commission grant will enable us to build on the resources of the New Crocker to make a significant contribution to the region’s early childhood programming and support the critical role of caregivers in preparing children for success in school and beyond,” said Lial A. Jones, Mort and Marcy Friedman Director of the Crocker Art Museum. “We are thrilled to be able to expand the services we provide to children and families in this region.”

During the first year of this program, which begins in January 2011, the Crocker will:

    * design and install Story Trail, a collection-focused hands-on experience that uses storytelling to facilitate adult-child interaction throughout the Museum;
    * create Art Spot, a multilayered interactive gallery designed to stimulate children’s curiosity, promote cognitive development, and support the development of motor skills;
    * establish a new monthly program entitled “Baby Loves Art” for children from infancy to three and their caregivers; and
    * create backpacks containing a collection of children’s books, art materials, music, games, and art education resources for parents that can be checked out at Sacramento Public Libraries.


Ongoing Education Programs at the Crocker

Education is a key component in the mission and programming of the Crocker Art Museum. A new 6,500-square-foot education center enables the Crocker to present an engaging schedule of education programs that contribute to the awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the visual arts for a diverse audience. Student and community exhibition galleries, new studio art spaces, an art education resource room, and expanded library combine to serve as a “learning laboratory,” making the Museum’s collections and resources more readily accessible to broad and diverse audiences.

Homeschool and family groups are invited to visit the Museum regularly for thematic gallery adventures designed to engage children ages six and older. The Crocker also offers a broad array of Studio art and art history classes for families, children, and teens of all skill levels. Additionally, every month, the Crocker offers teachers opportunities to earn professional development credits while exploring exhibitions, sharpening art skills and learning new techniques in a host of programs designed for teachers of all grade levels and subject areas.

Beyond the Museum’s walls, the Crocker actively supports, connects, and involves its surrounding communities through outreach programs including the mobile art education center Art Ark, which has served more than 450,000 people over the past 30 years and continues to serve thousands of schoolchildren and community members today.

The Crocker Art Museum, established in 1885, is one of the leading art institutions in California. The Museum offers a diverse spectrum of special exhibitions, events and programs to augment its collections of Californian, European, Asian, African and Oceanic artworks. The Crocker is located at 216 O Street in Downtown Sacramento. Museum hours are 10 a.m.–7 p.m., Tuesday–Wednesday; 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Thursdays; 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Friday–Sunday. Every Third Sunday of the month is “Pay What You Wish Sunday” sponsored by Bank of America. For more information, call (916) 808-7000 or visit crockerartmuseum.org.

About First 5 Sacramento

Research shows that a child’s brain develops most dramatically in the first five years and what parents and caregivers do during these years to support their child’s growth will have a meaningful impact throughout life.  Based on this research, California voters passed Proposition 10 in 1998, adding a 50 cents-per-pack tax on tobacco products to support programs for expectant parents and children ages zero to five.  In the last year, First 5 Sacramento distributed approximately $16 million a year in Prop 10 revenues to programs and services that meet local needs. Each county has a First 5 Children and Families Commission providing unique local services for that county. Surrounding First 5’s include: First 5 Yolo: 530-669-2475; First 5 Placer: 530-745-1304; and First 5 El Dorado: 530-672-8298.


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