New learning opportunities: Museum offers open house and education hub
By Alisa Nordholt-Dean, vice president for public programs and Beeler Family director of education
Eiteljorg Guides regularly lead students from school field trips on tours of the new Native American Galleries exhibition, “Expressions of Life: Native Art in North America.” Eiteljorg file photo.
The Eiteljorg is pleased to announce the launch of a new education web hub: a dynamic website foundationally designed to support the museum’s Native American Galleries exhibition, Expressions of Life: Native Art in North America.
On the new website, Eiteljorg.org/EducationHub, you will find lessons and videos connected to the key themes of the exhibition — Relation, Continuation and Innovation. These resources were designed in partnership with three contemporary Great Lakes region Native artists: Karen Ann Hoffman (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin / Haudenosaunee), Katrina Mitten (Miami Tribe of Oklahoma) and Jason Wesaw (Pokagon Band of Potawatomi). Works by each artist are in the Eiteljorg’s permanent collection and are now on view in Expressions of Life. This yearlong collaboration between the artists and the museum’s education department resulted in a collection of educational materials based on their incredible artworks and lived experiences. Look for work by new artists and content to be added regularly, starting with works by porcupine-quillwork artist Monica Jo Raphael (Anishinaabe / Sičáŋğu Lakota) later this year.
You can use the website to incorporate contemporary Native voices and perspectives into your classroom, after-school activity or scout event, expanding beyond history to present Native peoples of today and tomorrow. Lessons and activities the website offers can stand alone or be combined with an Eiteljorg visit or tour. Information on group visits and guided tours for groups of 10 or more is also available on the web hub.
After you’ve explored the site, mark your calendar and join us for the Educators’ Open House and Community Conversation from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23. This event is open to all — you need not be a traditional classroom teacher to attend.
On this day you can wander through the museum’s newest permanent exhibit, Expressions of Life, and view special exhibitions such as Native Art History is Made Here and Quest for the West®. Join a conversation with artists Hoffman, Mitten and Wesaw, and learn how you can bring contemporary Native voices and experiences into your classroom. Then, participate in an art-making experience or meet and talk with the artists one-on-one.
Interpretive volunteers and staff will be available to discuss connections to Indiana Department of Education academic standards, answer your questions, and show off some of the hands-on materials used during tours. Peruse book recommendations, enjoy light refreshments, enter for your chance to win a goody bag for your classroom and learn about all the Eiteljorg has to offer, including group tours, transportation grants, artist-in-residence experiences and more. Educators, administrators, support staff, librarians and their immediate families receive free admission on Sept. 23 with a valid ID. Teachers attending will receive two professional growth points (toward teacher relicensing) for participating. Admission to the Eiteljorg is always free for Indiana teachers with a valid ID.
For a detailed schedule of the day’s events, visit eiteljorg.org.
Visit the Eiteljorg’s online education hub at: Eiteljorg.org/EducationHub
Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the June 2023 issue of Storyteller magazine.