EMP Museum Programs
EMP’s role as an approachable arts venue is especially impactful for younger members of our community. In order to better serve and connect with regionally underrepresented audiences, Community Access Partners for Youth programs go beyond free ticket distribution (above an annual baseline of 800 nonprofits and 18,000 visitors) to remove any participation barriers for groups inclined to benefit from the museum's offerings, but who are deterred from visiting due to financial, physical, or social limitations.
Curriculum Connections Outreach workshops take EMP into 4-12th grade classrooms with hands-on content designed to meet academic goals in Reading, Writing, or Social Studies integrated with the Arts. One of EMP’s dynamic teaching artists meets individually with teachers to tailor two in-school sessions, followed by a third artist-led “Field Study” conducted at the museum, venturing out of traditional settings to inspire students engaged in subjects ranging from songwriting and the history of Blues music, to architecture and mapmaking.
The S.T.A.R. [Students Training in Artistic Reach] program supports school and community group-based music ensembles by equipping students with the artistic skills to perform in a professional capacity. S.T.A.R. participants receive professional coaching/mentorship to hone techniques (e.g. how to address acoustics issues of different venue spaces) and increase onstage confidence, culminating with a live concert in EMP’s Sky Church – providing youth with performance opportunities unmatched anyplace else.
EMP Museum is dedicated to giving all young learners unfettered access to the museum and its unique resources. Pursuing this vision, EMP partners with service nonprofits, arts educators, schools, and universities to collaboratively design participatory experiences suited to meet the socioeconomic needs of our partner organizations and those that they serve.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Since launching the Community Access initiative, EMP has worked closely with Red Eagle Soaring (serving Native American youth), OneAmerica (serving new immigrants), the Community Day School Association, and Seattle Pacific University's Music Therapy department, with whom EMP Museum held its first-ever Music Therapy Camp for children with Asperger Syndrome, ASD, and other related developmental disabilities.
Youth access has flourished, with 117,340 schoolchildren in the region visiting the museum or attending arts education programs at highly-reduced or fully-underwritten entry in 2012 alone. Community Access Partner organizations like the Community Day School Association benefit from free in-school artist residencies and transportation stipends, serving nearly 1,000 students last year. While another 20 local middle and high school level music groups performed in live S.T.A.R. concerts, ranging in genre from jazz and rock to a cappella.
Both the Curriculum Connections Outreach and S.T.A.R. programs demonstrate how such educational experiences can be thoughtfully adapted to empower underserved students (as well as their families and teachers) in ways that are mission-aligned, relevant, and accessible to bring EMP’s innovative, performance-based arts learning to the kids and kids to the museum.
Your support will enhance community outreach efforts by EMP Education to initiate Community Access Partners for Youth Programs, subsidizing student admission and program registration fees for more service organizations and schools, significantly expanding access by locally underserved communities.