Contact: Jason Kendall
Senior Writer and Public Relations Manager
SAVANNAH, GA (September 9, 2020) — Telfair Museums has provided 1,300 art kits to Savannah residents so far during the pandemic, and more are on the way.
As part of the museum’s free outreach programs in partnership with the City of Savannah, Telfair’s education team continues to adapt its offerings to include virtual and touch-free learning and activities for local students, seniors, and other special populations.
“Even before we officially reopened our museums’ doors in late June, our staff was working around the clock to ensure these important outreach programs could continue safely and effectively regardless of the pandemic,” said Bob Faircloth, Telfair’s acting director. “It started with free lesson plans, art and history tours, lectures, and activities offered virtually on our website, and I’m delighted that we’re now reaching folks with hands-on learning in their homes, schools, and care centers.”
Over the past three months, Telfair and its community partners have distributed the art kits at 13 neighborhood centers, five parks, and seven golden age centers. So far, about 200 kits have gone to seniors and more than 1,000 to students.
Each kit is inspired by a recent Telfair exhibition and includes items such as special papers, paints, brushes, beads, threads, and other materials, along with instructional modules and worksheets. Related artists so far have included fabric sculptor Nick Cave and Savannah painter William Kwamena-Poh, who has a studio in City Market.
Much of the art kit delivery has taken place in tandem with food distribution via Second Harvest’s Kid’s Café program and City of Savannah Recreation and Leisure Services. Sites have included Daffin Park, Edgemere, Hudson Hill, Cloverdale, Tatemville, Woodville, and several others. Art kits will also be distributed during Telfair’s two upcoming Free Family Weekends for Savannah residents at the Jepson Center: September 18-20 and November 13-15.
The museum is planning to continue and expand the art kit program into 2021. Works produced by health and social services participants this fall will be mailed in and exhibited in the Jepson Center’s community gallery in December.
“Telfair is committed to providing opportunities for learning and engagement for populations who may not be able to visit the museum right now,” said Harry DeLorme, Telfair’s senior curator of education, who is in charge of the project. “We believe that personal expression and art-making are important tools that can help us cope with difficult times, and we’re grateful to the City of Savannah for supporting this safe program for youth, seniors, and others throughout our community.”
Each year, Telfair’s free education programs reach more than 10,000 individuals in the city. To donate, visit telfair.org/donate-sponsor. To view all of the museum’s virtual offerings, visit telfair.org/telfair-today.
About Telfair Museums:
Opened in 1886, Telfair Museums is the oldest public art museum in the South and features a world-class art collection in the heart of Savannah’s National Historic Landmark District. The museum encompasses three sites: the Jepson Center for the Arts, the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters, and the Telfair Academy. For more information visit telfair.org.