The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) announces a partnership with Bay Area–based technology company Google that will advance both institutions' shared vision to spur creativity and broaden access to art education for young children as a key step toward encouraging innovation and building museum audiences for the future.
Google will provide support to SFMOMA's existing family outreach by sponsoring programming such as kid-friendly activities every Sunday (rather than semi-monthly) starting in July 2011 and Google Family Day on July 17, when families will be able to visit SFMOMA free of charge. Additionally, SFMOMA will host an exhibition from May 20 through July 19, 2011, in the museum's Koret Visitor Education Center, featuring drawings by the regional finalists in Google's annual "Doodle 4 Google" student design competition. Doodle 4 Google invites students across the United States to redesign the company's logo based on a given theme for a chance to win a $15,000 college scholarship and a $25,000 technology grant for their school.
"The museum is taking on an increasingly vital role as a resource for Bay Area families with young children," says SFMOMA director Neal Benezra. "We are thrilled to join forces with a forward-thinking partner like Google in order to deepen and diversify our relationship with family audiences and to welcome even more kids to enjoy expanded programs that increase cultural literacy, foster a lifelong enjoyment of the arts, and grow civic participation. This is particularly crucial at a time when California's public schools are struggling to provide even minimal arts education."
Marissa Mayer, Vice President at Google and SFMOMA trustee, adds, "This is our fourth annual U.S. Doodle 4 Google contest, and I'm continuously amazed by the remarkable creativity and inspiring ideas that the students put into their artwork. Doodle 4 Google is an incredible opportunity for K–12 students not only to have their designs appear on the Google home page but also have them exhibited in the museum's education center. We're delighted to be partnering with SFMOMA in this culmination of art and technology. It's great to see that we are both dedicated to empowering the next generation of innovators and celebrating their creativity."
Since SFMOMA opened its current Mario Botta building in 1995, the museum collection has more than doubled in size, annual attendance has tripled, family programs have increased fivefold, and teacher-training programs have increased sixfold. Over 68,000 students come through SFMOMA's doors each year, and 37,000 families with children ages 4 to 11 enjoy SFMOMA's resources annually. Since 2008, with the support of seed grants from The Wallace Foundation, SFMOMA has furthered its commitment to families by creating a suite of family-friendly materials available for free every day both onsite and online. These include a new mobile game for families, family guides based on specific artists in SFMOMA's collection, and the children's library in the Koret Center Family Lounge. SFMOMA's partnership with Google will complement this range of family-oriented programs and help maximize the educational value of art for children.
Family Sunday Programs
Family Sundays at SFMOMA currently offer museumwide activities on the first and third Sunday of each month. Programs include hands-on art-making, docent-led family gallery tours, book readings, and film screenings linked to SFMOMA's collection and special exhibitions. Led by SFMOMA educators and guest artists, Family Sunday programs are designed to encourage experimentation and creativity, and to develop critical thinking skills. The new partnership with Google will enable the museum to offer these programs every Sunday starting in July 2011. Also starting in July, Family Sundays will follow thematic seasons, with the inaugural theme "What's the STORY?" inviting families to explore the connection between art and literature. Each week will feature a different book reading by children's authors including Amy Novesky (Me, Frida), Jeanne Walker Harvey (My Hands Sing The Blues, available September 2011), and Lynn Hazen (The Amazing Trail of Seymour Snail).
Google Family Day at SFMOMA
Held on Sunday, July 17, 2011, Google Family Day will provide a personal gateway for families to explore the entire museum and all its resources free of charge. This daylong celebration is an opportunity for the whole family to have fun together while creating, viewing, and learning about art. Kids and their parents can immerse themselves in the museum exhibitions through special performances, gallery treasure hunts, and hands-on art projects. Poets Jacqueline Suskin, Lynn Gentry, and Silvi Alcivar will be stationed in the galleries creating poems for and with families in response to the artworks on view. Families will also be able to design their own books and fill them in with content inspired by the art around them. In the museum's Haas Atrium, children ages 4 to 11 will be able to sign up for the Mods, a free kids club that entitles each member to return to SFMOMA with an adult, free of charge, at any time for the remainder of 2011.
Doodle 4 Google
Google's "Doodle 4 Google" design competition invites students across the nation to create their own version the company's logo. The Google homepage is familiar to almost everyone, and occasionally the company features a temporary new design of its logo on the site, called a "doodle." These doodles often celebrate the lives of famous innovators—artists such as Wayne Thiebaud and Jeff Koons have created their own designs. Every year, a panel of independent guest judges and representatives from Google select the top student doodle submissions, and then public vote helps determine four national finalists. This year's national winner will appear on Google's homepage on May 20, 2011, for hundreds of millions to see.
In SFMOMA's Doodle 4 Google presentation, on view May 20 through July 19, 2011, 40 regional finalists will be featured from among the more than 107,000 entries received from every state in the country. Although all the students were given the same instructions—to reconsider the Google logo with the theme, "What I'd like to do someday…"—the responses vary greatly. The submissions represent a vast array of dreams and aspirations, from conserving the environment to becoming inventors, teachers, and space travelers. The children's ambition to picture a world of their own choosing makes a strong case for art in education and child development today, a goal to which SFMOMA and Google are deeply committed. For more information about Doodle 4 Google visit google.com/doodle4google/.
About the Koret Vistor Education Center
Located on SFMOMA's second floor adjacent to the museum collection galleries, the Koret Visitor Education Center is a 7,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art venue for the museum's education programs. It includes a lecture hall, screening rooms, classroom space, a multipurpose Learning Lounge with multimedia kiosks, a teacher resource room, and a gallery for educational and community-oriented exhibitions. Koret Center is a friendly complement to the direct experience of viewing art in the galleries and offers visitors a dynamic venue where they can learn more about modern and contemporary art through self-directed or guided activities. The breadth of resources in the center—from books and videos to computer kiosks—represents extraordinary opportunities for learning and reflection. An emphasis on interactive programs enriches the visitor experience by sharing the knowledge of staff, docents, artists, and teachers. Spotlight tours and guided explorations of the museum's award-winning multimedia programs are designed to enhance the gallery experience. Small-scale exhibitions and art-making activities encourage personalized experience of the creative process, giving visitors multiple pathways to deepen their relationship to modern and contemporary art.
Known for groundbreaking exhibitions, a world-class collection, and an iconic building, SFMOMA is a hub of innovation in the global art community and a cultural beacon on the West Coast. SFMOMA's 27,000-piece collection—international in scope, while reflecting the distinctive character of our region—spans all media and includes works by both modern masters and the most exciting contemporary artists. Located in San Francisco's vibrant Yerba Buena cultural district, the museum recently opened a stunning new Rooftop Garden showcasing signature sculptures from the collection. SFMOMA's exhibition program has become one of the world's strongest, offering major touring surveys of the work of Diane Arbus, Olafur Eliasson, Eva Hesse, Frida Kahlo, William Kentridge, Sol LeWitt, Richard Tuttle, Luc Tuymans, and Jeff Wall. Founded in 1935, SFMOMA has always been a forward-looking institution, dedicated not only to preserving the past but to embracing the future. Now the museum is looking ahead to the next phase in its evolution: an expansion that will significantly enhance the public's access to and enjoyment of SFMOMA programs and provide a new home for the Doris and Donald Fisher Collection, one of the finest collections of modern and contemporary art in the world.
Major support for family programs at SFMOMA is provided by The Wallace Foundation, Google Inc., and Target.