The Uris Brothers Foundation Has Awarded a $10,000,000 Endowment to Create New Educational Programs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art


The Uris Brothers Foundation has awarded a $10 million endowment to create new educational programs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and to build significantly the Metropolitan's outreach efforts to young visitors and their families, it was announced today by Philippe de Montebello, Director of the Museum.

Income from the new fund will allow the Museum to create a new program of outreach activities for children and families in New York schools, libraries, places of worship, and community centers. Focused on reaching young visitors from kindergarten through sixth grade, the endowment will also support a doubling of family programs in the Museum, and generate new learning materials for children (embracing print, audio, and interactive media).

"This extraordinarily generous grant will strengthen dramatically the Museum's outreach to the young people of this region, and their families," said Mr. de Montebello in announcing the award. 'It will make a substantial difference in our ability to introduce young people to their artistic heritage, and significantly enhance the frequency and breadth of our current programs, It adds an entirely new dimension to the Museum's services for children in New York. We are most grateful to the Uris Brothers Foundation, which has demonstrated its deep and abiding interest in the future of New York's youngest citizens, their families, and the Metropolitan Museum."

The Uris Brothers Foundation endowment will fund three maior new programs at the Musewn:

-A New Uris Offsite Program for Children--designed to bring visual arts programs and activities to schools, libraries, settlement houses, places of worship, and community centers--will serve an estimated 25,000 children and their families each year. Uris Program staff will work with area PTAs, community organizations, educators, and librarians to provide exciting workshops and events for children and their families. Using slides, posters, replicas, art supplies, and other materials, every session will invite participants to follow-up visits to the Museum. As appropriate, programs will be presented in any and all of the languages spoken by New York families.

· New programs for families at the Metropolitan, including the addition of more morning-hour family workshops and a series of new weekend workshops in galleries throughout the Museum. These will include musical activities, storytelling, and hands-on activities to introduce young visitors to objects ranging from Egyptian tombs to American sculpture, from medieval armor to Pacific Island canoes and European paintings.

· New Uris Publications and On-line Resources will provide written materials such as gallery guides for students, parents, and care-givers visiting the Museum, as well as exciting publications and projects that can be used at home. Publications will include "Museum Kids," a quarterly newsletter and activity sheet, with expanded material for parents. In addition, new resources will be on-line, giving 24-hour, 7 day a week access to the Metropolitan for parents and children on our website--www.Metmuseum. org. The Museum will also work to develop audiotour guides to the collection just for children and families.

Linda Sanger, a Vice President of Uris Brothers Foundation and an educator with a PhD. from New York University. said: "There lives within us all a basic need for the arts. What better time to nurture it than in childhood? What better guides and partners than a child's teachers, caregivers, and famify?"

Stated Kent Lydecker, the Metropolitan's Associate Director for Education: "Young people are the future. The Uris Brothers Foundation grant opens an important new chapter of the Metropolitan Museum's record of service to children and families that will build community and excitement for the visual arts throughout the region. These new programs add a critical component to our work with schools and teachers because families are so vitally imnortant. The impact will be profound."

The Metropolitan Museum of Art currently welcomes annually approximately 200,000 students in all grades who visit with their teachers. In addition, the "Met Goes to School" outreach program reaches more than 22,000 students per year. Addirtional thousands of visitors use Family Passes, distributed in conjunction with educational programs, to visit the Metropolitan, and the Museum provides professional development workshops and materials for teachers.

The Uris family has enjoyed a history of generous involvement with the Metropolitan Museum. In 1981, Harold D. Uris awarded $10 million to the Met for the creation and endowment of the Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education.

This page was originally published 7/14/98 in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 11/28/11

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