On Thursday, April 26, 2001, students and adults will celebrate the culmination of the yearlong SFMOMA Matches program at the fifth annual San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) Matches Spring Party. Guest of honor and acclaimed actor Delroy Lindo will congratulate the students and their adult mentors on their continued commitment to a future of art exploration.
For five years, SFMOMA’s Education Department has joined forces with the Contemporary Extension auxiliary to support the SFMOMA Matches program, which is aimed at helping young people develop a lifelong interest in the visual arts.
SFMOMA Matches is the only program of its kind among major museums in the United States. The program introduces teenagers to modern and contemporary art through one-on-one pairings of host adults (SFMOMA members) and students. Designed by SFMOMA Trustee Kamala Harris, the curriculum focuses on helping teens discover an interest in art with the help of adult enthusiasts through hands-on activities and museum tours. All students receive a free Museum membership for participating in SFMOMA Matches. At the Spring Party, students have the opportunity to bring their parents, guardians or adult friends to the Museum to tour their favorite galleries and enjoy a dinner hosted by SFMOMA.
The public schools involved in the 2000 – 2001 Matches program—San Francisco’s Thurgood Marshall Academic High School and Potrero Hill Middle School and Oakland’s McClymonds High School and Cole School Performing and Visual Arts Magnet—each have a strong visual arts department. Within the schools, participating students are recruited by their art teachers. This is often their first connection with professional adults who have similar interests in art and who may be able to offer helpful insights into career choices. Many of the students would not normally have the opportunity to visit cultural institutions like SFMOMA or to become members. Approximately 85 students participate in the program each year.
The host adults are active Museum members. They participate in an evening orientation that provides adequate training yet is less time-consuming than docent training or other community mentor projects. According to Kamala Harris, “We are hopeful that some of the matches evolve into a mentoring friendship. At the very least, we know the kids will have a new-found relationship with SFMOMA and art, which we hope will last a lifetime.”
The 2000–2001 SFMOMA Matches program began in fall 2000 and continues through spring 2001. Support for SFMOMA Matches is generously provided by the Peter J. Owens Fund. Art supplies are donated by Utrecht.
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Education Programs at SFMOMA are made possible by the California Arts Council, Wells Fargo and The Bernard Osher Foundation. Additional support is provided by American Express Company, Pacific Bell, the Robert and Helen Odell Fund, Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Green, McKessonHBOC Foundation, Transamerica Foundation, Georges DeBatz Trust for the Arts, Peter J. Owens Fund, Citigroup Foundation, Gap Foundation, Joseph R. McMicking Foundation, The Grove Foundation, Siemens ICN and Loomis, Sayles & Company, LP.
KidstART free admission for children 12 and under is made possible by The Charles Schwab Corporation Foundation.