Talking Art

TALKING ART is a successful example of how collaboration between FRAME museums fosters the sharing of ideas, resources, and professional exchange. TALKING ART is a series of programs that bring traditionally under-served youth or young adults into the museum to grow and gain new confidence through their experiences with art.

One of the first of these FRAME initiatives was the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute’s award-winning RAISE program (Responding to Art Involves Self-Expression), now in its seventh year. The Clark is working with a psychologist from Williams College to evaluate the program and to examine how looking at and talking about art affects behavioral change. Preliminary results suggest that the RAISE program has a positive effect on self-esteem and world outlook:  the recidivism rate for participants in juvenile justice programs (which the Clark project targeted) is close to zero. Click here for a video about RAISE:

The Clark’s RAISE curriculum guide has been translated into French and shared with the French FRAME museums and educators as TALKING ART with generous support from the Annenberg Foundation, the U.S. Embassy in Paris, and FRAME.  The Musée Fabre in Montpellier was an early leader in this project with a program for incarcerated young adults. Staff from the museum worked with these individuals leading up to their release from detention.

FRAME museums in Marseille and Rouen, France have developed their own programs and a number of North American FRAME museums are presently developing and planning to implement their own versions of the program, inspired by RAISE, as TALKING ART. For these museums, the FRAME network has provided the opportunity and motivation to share best practices, learn from, and support each other’s work. The end result is the best part of all: sharing our collections with traditionally under-served populations from a broad array of communities who can so greatly benefit from engaging with art.

Images:  RAISE participants at the Clark; artwork produced by a Talking Art participant in Marseille.