Celebrating Lifelong Learning and Our Community at the High Museum of Art
By Laurel Humble, Head of Creative Learning and Lifelong Learning, and Evelyn Newsome, Coordinator of Lifelong Learning Programs, High Museum of Art
At the High Museum of Art, we strive to provide an engaging, accessible space for all Atlantans, regardless of age. On June 1, we hosted a Lifelong Learning Celebration to celebrate our audience and provide an opportunity for our community to embrace their museum, socially connect with one another, and explore the arts through a variety of programming.
With the support of numerous High Museum staff members and volunteers, the Woodruff Arts Center campus came alive with tours, performances, art making, and more, allowing participants to develop deeper connections with the High. Below is a recap of the day by the numbers — we are thrilled and grateful that so many of you joined us!
· We welcomed 471 Lifelong Learning Celebration attendees.
· We held four Art-Making Workshops and three Conversations with a Conservator events.
· To get outside participants involved, we held tours in and around the museum. Twenty-two people attended our two History of the High tours, fifty-one people joined our three Meet Your Museum tours, and forty-five people participated in our three Art and About walking tours.
· Throughout the day, we welcomed eleven groups, totaling 126 people.
And we hosted five of our most exciting programs of the day, pop-up performances, featuring two from Pearl Cleage, distinguished artist in residence at the Alliance Theatre, and three from Franklin Pond Chamber Music, which is affiliated with the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra.
Pearl Cleage encapsulated the spirit of the day with a segment from her poem that she performed: no matter the trying times we experience, it’s imperative that we continue embracing community and love.
“How can you write about love in wartime,” you will say,
“When the penalty for everything is death,
“Or does this mean the war is over?
“Does this mean all is forgiven?”
And I will say, “do I know you?”
And you will say, “no, I’m just asking,
“How can you do it?”
And I will say:
How can I not do it?
How can I not stand in the rubble
Of everything we have ever known
Clutching my lover’s hand
And vowing ’til death do us part,
Clinging to, singing to the power of love.
Pearl Cleage, “All Is Forgiven,” in What Is Left Unspoken, Love catalogue (Atlanta: High Museum of Art and DelMonico Books ● D.A.P., 2022), 16–17.
We’re grateful for all the hard work that went into this event and to the Institute of Museum and Library Services for its continued support; Audience Focus for its assistance in research and evaluation; and the Collective, the High’s advisory group who helped evaluate educational programs, co-plan the celebration, and serve as ambassadors for the High. Lastly, we’re thankful for the support of our community as we continue to experiment and launch education offerings for our audience through the Creative Aging and Lifelong Learning initiative.