The Terra Foundation for American Art supports, initiates, and serves as a catalyst for programs and resources that bring American art into classrooms, enriching the curriculum and deepening students’ understandings of American history and culture and themselves.
In November 2012, the Terra Foundation for American Art launched a multi-year initiative in partnership with twelve Chicago-area museums and in consultation with administrators at the Chicago Public Schools that explores ways to address the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts (CCSS-ELA) using American art and related primary-source documents. The project is based in the belief that American art, when used effectively in museum and classroom settings, motivates students to do the kind of close reading, analysis, evidence-based and reflective writing, and critical thinking that the CCSS-ELA call for.
Teacher Deb Lui, Solomon Elementary School, Chicago
The Terra Teacher Lab, a Chicago foundation initiative, was a year-long professional-development program that introduces Chicago Public Schools (CPS) teachers to the history of American art. Between 2005 and 2013, the Teacher Lab supported teachers as they developed in-depth lessons that brought American art into their curricula. The Teacher Lab was offered in partnership with DePaul’s Center for Urban Education and the Art Institute of Chicago’s Department of Museum Education. Learn more
Art Institute of Chicago American Art curriculum guide
Learn about and link to American art instructional materials for the classroom that were developed and/or disseminated to teachers and schools with grant support from the Terra Foundation. These range from American art curriculum guides and poster sets to Web-based presentations and television broadcasts. Featured resources come from the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Chicago Humanities Festival, and Chicago’s WTTW11, among others.
The Terra Foundation has provided grants for K–12 education projects and programs in Chicago since 2005. Through its grant program the foundation has made it a priority to help Chicago teachers integrate American art into the classroom curriculum. The foundation is especially interested in projects that also generate models and resources available to wider audiences for teaching about and with American art. For more information, please see the Chicago K–12 Education Program Guidelines