Asian Museum celebrates grant

On Saturday, the Asian Art Museum hosts a free family community day to celebrate a $1 million grant that will go toward broadening the museum’s education programs for schoolchildren and the community.

Announced earlier this month, the grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation will help launch the Bridge Program, which will expand access to high-quality teaching materials about Asia, with an emphasis on middle-school curriculum.

The funds, which are expected to be distributed over a five-year period, will go toward online learning as well as teacher training and outreach.

“The Asian Art Museum is a critical cultural resource for the San Francisco Bay Area,” said Steve Silvestri, Bank of America’s San Francisco market president. “As public resources for arts education in our schools diminish, there is an increasing role for the private sector to help fund important arts and culture education.”

“It’s a wonderful gift,” said Stephanie Kao, manager of school and teacher programs for the museum. “Bank of America is allowing us to put thought into how we want to craft our programs.”

Among the initial goals, Kao said, is to consolidate current resources to help determine exactly how to enhance learning. Currently, the museum serves some 15,000 students per year; the grant money will helpincrease that number — including reaching out, via the Internet, to students who can’t come to the museum.

In addition to improving curriculum and online resources, the program will develop partnerships with schools, after-school programs and neighborhood groups, increasing community participation in the form of tours, youth cultural performances and internships.

“With a thoughtful expansion of our educator materials, we have an opportunity to significantly address and improve the teaching about Asia in this country,” said Emily Sano, director of the Asian Art Museum. “To be culturally relevant today, it’s vital to extend your impact beyond museum walls.”

IF YOU GO

Community day

Where: Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin St., San Francisco

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday

Tickets: Free

Scheduled activities: » Korean Youth and Cultural Center drummers, 11 a.m.

» Family Art Encounter: Pasko! (Filipino Christmas), 12:30 to 4 p.m.

» Chinese brush painting,

noon to 12:45 p.m. and 1 to 1:45 p.m.

» School programs resource table, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

» First Saturday storytelling, 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

» Guided tours on the half-hour from 10:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.

Contact: (415) 581-3500 or www.asianart.org  

lkatz@examiner.com

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