The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations

Museo del Barrio - Classroom connections

The Museo was founded in 1969 by artist and educator Raphael Montañez Ortiz with primary support from New York Puerto Rican and East Harlem's Spanish-speaking community. It filled the gap left by the city’s mainstream museums, which had largely ignored Latino artists.

The Museo del Barrio: New York’s leading Latino cultural institution

Through its collections, exhibitions and publications, bilinguals public programs, and educational activities, El Museo educates its public on the richness of Caribbean and Latin American arts and cultural history.

El Museo is creating the next generation of museumgoers, while satisfying the growing interest of a broad national and international audience.

“The museum is a school: the artist learns to communicate, the public learns to make connections.”

This quote from the conceptual artist Luis Camnitzer reflects the strong educational mission of El Museo.

El Museo’s educational programming addresses many of the City’s critical educational needs. These programs provide a vital experience for young people, the majority of who lack opportunities for arts education in the NYC public schools they attend. El Museo’s school and educator programs are dedicated to providing K-12 school programs rooted in cultural empowerment and civic engagement.

Through the programs, students develop and apply visual literacy, critical thinking and communication skills. All of El Museo’s K-12 programs address the NY State Learning Standards and the NYC Department Of Education Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in the Arts.

The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations support the Classroom Connections programs 

Classroom Connections (CRC) are in-depth, long-term multi-session programs that link El Museo’s cultural resources with social studies, English, science, and art in all grade level (K-12) by sending artist-educators to work in classrooms.

With the support of school and El Museo administrators, each partnership consists of classroom teachers and teaching artists who design and implement a program that enables students to develop an apply visual literacy, critical thinking, and communication skills.

Throughout the program, museum teaching artist and other staff work closely with classroom teachers to develop ways of integrating artistic practices into classroom curricula that will help students learn how to apply their skills. The program includes museum visits; classroom visits from the teaching artist, art-making activities, and a final presentation at one of El Museo weekend family programs at the end of the school year.

El Museo conducts at least eight sessions with each CRC partnership in order to build a community and safe space to have an honest dialogue while also creating a final project and meaningful connections
The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations encourage the unique positioning of El Museo del Barrio within New York’s long-established museum scene. They deeply believe in cultural mediation and youth empowerment through the arts.