Education & Programs Guiding Philosophy – Clyfford Still Museum

Education & Programs Guiding Philosophy

(created 12/16/2011; updated 4/2019)

Education and Programs are at the center of The Clyfford Still Museum’s role as steward of Still’s art and legacy. The Education and Programs department promotes engagement with CSM’s collections through innovative interpretation and programming and continuous evaluation of our offerings. We aim to foster an informed appreciation of Denver’s rich collection. Our philosophy is derived from the Clyfford Still Museum’s mission and the standards and principles set by the American Alliance of Museums’ Education Professional Network (EdCom), both of which provide the foundation for Museum learning and engagement.

Vision:
The CSM’s Education and Programs department aims to be a model for educational practice and a leader in the field of museum education. Education and Programs are the bridge between audiences and collections. We create a collaborative learning environment where learning, teaching, and interpretation allow visitors to feel the power of their own ideas.

Philosophy:
We are a single-artist museum, but with more than one story to tell.

We believe that everyone (regardless of age, disability, socioeconomic status, etc.) has a valuable contribution to make to the ongoing interpretation and enjoyment of Still’s works. Clyfford Still said, “People should look at the work itself and determine its meaning to them.” We honor this by creating a space where all visitors can make meaning.

Values:
Several key values underlie the Museum’s education and program culture. The Museum’s education department values include:

  • Love for learning sustains our work
  • Learning is an ever-changing process and a life-long pursuit
  • Internal and external collaboration makes ideas better
  • It is necessary to experiment and fail in order to innovate
  • We are artist-centered and audience-centric
  • Advocacy on behalf of our visitors is one of our core roles
  • When our interpretation and programming are accessible, represent diverse perspectives, and are inclusive, they create a richer environment for learning
  • We are committed to activity, research, and dialogue in the field of art museum education
  • It is critical to allow time for collaborative evaluation & reflection
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