Hudson River Museum Wins 2018 Award for Excellence from Greater Hudson Heritage Network

The Hudson River Museum has been selected as a recipient of the 2018 Award for Excellence from the Greater Hudson Heritage Network. The award is in recognition of the Museum’s intensive partnership with Yonkers Public Schools’ Museum School 25 during the 2017-2018 school year. This is the second consecutive year the Museum has been honored for excellence in programming; in 2017 the HRM was recognized for its programs created in conjunction with three Civil War-related exhibitions.

In the recognized project, “Museum Studies Partnership for Learning,” the Museum worked with 220 students in grades Pre-K through 2, engaging them in projects to enhance critical thinking skills while connecting concepts in art, science, history, and other subjects. The interdisciplinary curriculum was organized by the Hudson River Museum and taught through a series of workshops, museum visits, and lessons led by Museum Educators and dedicated Teaching Artist-in-Residence, Ebony Bolt. Bolt, who was featured in the exhibition, The Neo-Victorians: Contemporary Artists Revive Gilded-Age Glamour, explored line drawing and foundational artistic skills that provided new means of self-expression and allowed students to better communicate their ideas. Through multiple onsite and in-school visits, students gained familiarity with and ownership of the Museum space. They discovered shapes and patterns in the galleries, learned about the local environment and ecology in the Museum’s Hudson Riverama, and investigated the Solar System in the Planetarium. Of equal importance, the project integrated professional development for teaching staff and classroom aides. This not only engendered a greater engagement with the Museum to reach partnership goals, but provided educators with new tools and instructional strategies to incorporate in the classroom.

This partnership culminated with an exhibition of student work, Drawing Us Together, a museum-quality installation in which the culminating projects of their curricula were displayed at the school and shared with students, parents, and the outside community. Select objects from this exhibition are currently on view in the Greene Education Center at the Hudson River Museum. The New York State Education Department awarded a Community Schools Grant Initiative to Yonkers Public Schools that supported this partnership; the Museum was one of the partners providing services to increase student achievement and generate positive outcomes for this neighboring school.

“It is truly outstanding that the Hudson River Museum’s public and educational programs have been recognized by the Greater Hudson Heritage Network for two years in a row,” said Masha Turchinsky, Director. “The partnership with Museum School 25 was an innovative, in-depth program that connected the school and the Museum in profound and meaningful ways, certainly in terms of academics, but also as a means toward embracing each other as members of a greater community. It’s a holistic model that we hope to evolve and scale in the years to come.”

Bridget McCormick, Museum Educator, School Partnerships, worked extensively with the school and facilitated the partnership between the HRM and the school. She states, “I am pleased that this curriculum and partnership have been recognized, and thankful for the opportunity to collaborate with Yonkers Public Schools and Museum School 25 educators in this unique way. It was an incredible experience to work with these students this past year, to see the results of their creativity and hard work and to have them be involved and formally represented in our public spaces.”

Greater Hudson Heritage Network’s Awards for Excellence seek to recognize and commend exceptional efforts among GHHN members. Awards are made to projects that exemplify creativity and professional vision resulting in a contribution to the preservation and interpretation of the historic scene, material culture, and diversity of the region. The awards will be presented at the GHHN The Art of History Annual Conference on September 25, 2018, at Bear Mountain Inn and Conference Center in Bear Mountain, NY. The theme of this year’s event, “Flipping the Narrative,” will focus on telling old stories in new ways.

Coming Up:

The Museum continues to invite community participation and will work with schools in Yonkers and throughout Westchester County in 2018/19 academic year. The exhibition Maya Lin: A River Is a Drawing, which will be on view October 12, 2018 – January 20, 2019, focuses on the theme of the Hudson River and climate change. With the Museum’s architectural features and location along the banks of the river as a potent backdrop, Lin will create a series of new works and ambitious site-specific installations that invite visitors to interact.

Public Programs include: an Artist Lecture with Maya Lin (10/17), a Gallery Tour with Guest Curator Miwako Tezuka (10/14), a partnership with Riverkeeper, and a Film Series with Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Yonkers, presenting different perspectives on the challenges posed by climate change. In addition, a Sunday Scholar Lecture Series will include discussions with leading environmental historians and advocates including: Jeffrey Sachs, world-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development, and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University; Karenna Gore, Director of the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary; Lee Bitsoi, Chief Diversity Officer, and bioethicist, Stony Brook University; and Peggy Shepard, co-founder and executive director of WE ACT For Environmental Justice. Learn more at hrm.org.

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