Storyteller-in-Residence Program Introduces Pre-K – Kindergarten Audiences to the Museum

July 24, 2015

In April 2015, the Museum presented a new tour program for regional Pre-K and Kindergarten audiences, Storyteller-in-Residence. Focusing on essential early learning skills and literacy, this free program provided students with a unique opportunity to engage with the Museum by including an interactive storytelling performance inspired by the Museum’s collection, an engaging tour of related works of art in the collection, and creative art-making experiences.

FULLRES-20MAY2015_BYALESSANDRANICOLE-347Each week, professional storyteller Jeff Hopkins amused students with his one-of-a-kind story featuring a cast of characters from the Museum’s collection such as Crying Giant by Tom Otterness and Hans Brinker by Frank Schoonover. As Jeff told the story, he performed live illustration and brought his pictures to life! Students participated in the storytelling process by imitating Hans Brinker on skates, playing the violin like Veronica Veronese, and squawking like a “Wally” bird.

Following the performance, Docents lead students through the galleries for an interactive tour highlighting the artwork featured in the story. Students delighted in recognizing familiar characters and expressed their observations as they viewed the artwork. After their tour, students contributed to Jeff’s 8’ x 12’ illustration by adding color with crayons. Additionally, they had the opportunity to imagine their own museum and collection with an art project.LowRES-20MAY2015_BYALESSANDRANICOLE-379

The Museum is committed to increasing access to the arts and providing enriching learning opportunities that support early learning. Thanks to generous support from Laffey McHugh, the Museum was able to provide transportation and serve 281 Pre-K and Kindergarten students and 74 adults over a 5-week period. Through the Storyteller-in-Residence program, students strengthened their critical thinking, social/emotional and communication skills by participating in the interactive storytelling process, sharing their observations as a group in the galleries, and by expressing themselves with art-making.

Saralyn Rosenfield
Interim Director of Education

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