The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation recently awarded Skidmore College a substantial grant to support new courses that will explore diversity through artworks at the Tang Teaching Museum. This initiative will strengthen the college’s existing focus on identity and race, while solidifying its commitment to diversity, integrative learning, and community engagement.
Photo Credit: Tim Hursley
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s $840,000 grant supports the $360,000 from the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation and Skidmore College, which in total funds a three-year, $1.2 million initiative.
In a press release from Skidmore College, college president Philip Glotzbach voiced his thoughts about the initiative’s potential and stated that, “The focus on diversity, access, and collections will bolster the work the College does to ensure that every Skidmore student develops the intercultural understanding and global awareness necessary to thrive in this complex and increasingly interconnected world.”
Over the past few years, Skidmore College and the Tang Museum have put education and diversity at the forefront. Traditionally unrepresented artists are now an essential part of the Tang Museum’s collections, and the college hopes this initiative will allow them to further this trend.
As a part of the initiative, faculty members and museum staff will develop interdisciplinary courses based on the museum’s exhibits. To augment these courses, the college will host visiting artists and scholars and involve them in public dialogues, workshops, performances, and exhibitions in the coming years.
Skidmore’s goal is to make the project accessible to others as well. The college and museum plan to work together with other colleges, area school districts, and community groups that serve racially diverse populations. For those farther away, the initiative includes plans for a digital archive to expand the museum’s accessibility.
The grant will open the door for new opportunities for students, faculty, and members of the public to engage with the Tang Museum and its growing collection.
Tang Museum Dayton Director, Ian Berry said in a statement, “A leading part of our mission is to foster inclusion and critical discussions through the arts, and we are continuing to grow both our collection and our programming to serve as a national model on this front.”
- The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation – Skidmore College: Diversity, Access, and Museum Collections