High Museum of Art Launches Programming Initiative for Ages 50+
May 24, 2022
June 1 kickoff celebration will include free admission for visitors age 50 and older
ATLANTA, May 24, 2022 — This summer, the High Museum of Art will officially launch its programming initiative for visitors age 50 and older, with events and classes designed for curious adults to explore art, exercise their creativity, learn new skills and make social connections.
The Museum will host a kickoff celebration on June 1 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., featuring free admission for adults age 50 and older and a sampling of programs to be offered throughout the year. The day’s activities will include art-making workshops, behind-the-scenes and art conservation tours, walking tours of the Woodruff Arts Center campus, and pop-up performances, including poetry readings by writer Pearl Cleage.
The kickoff comes after years of audience research and pilot programming for older visitors and aging-services organizations, which have strengthened the High’s capacity to better serve adult audiences.
“Atlanta is one of the nation’s most rapidly aging cities, so it is imperative that we offer programs that our older visitors want and need,” said Rand Suffolk, the High’s Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr., director. “We want to be a space where visitors of all ages can find joy, inspiration and camaraderie among their peers. We also hope this initiative will serve as a national model for other museums.”
Since the High began work on this initiative over two years ago, the Museum’s staff has surveyed its members and visitors to learn what types of programs align with their interests and hired a group of adults over 50 to advise on the initiative. In addition, the Education staff has collaborated with community partners including aging services organizations such as AgeWell Atlanta and Georgia State University’s Project Healthy Grandparents, among others, to learn more about aging communities’ needs and to develop programs to serve older guests.
Pilot programs have included Studio Sessions, one-time studio workshops that explore different art-making materials and processes, inspired by the Museum’s collection and special exhibitions; Short Courses, multi-week classes led by art historians that provide in-depth examinations of special exhibitions such as “Picturing the South: 25 Years”; virtual studio classes focused on smartphone photography; and walking tours that examine public art and architecture around Atlanta. The High also offers established programs such as Conversation Pieces, monthly 30-minute conversations focused on a single artwork in the Museum’s collection, now held both virtually and in-person.
“I have been inspired by the thoughtfulness, curiosity and vitality of all who have been part of this research and program development, and we are thrilled to invite Atlantans ages 50 and up to join our celebratory kick-off and experience all the High has to offer,” said Laurel Humble, the High’s head of creative aging and lifelong learning. “Looking ahead, we will continue to offer events and experiences that foster learning, creativity and meaningful conversations across generations through engagement with art.”
In 2022, the Museum will expand its programming to reach a wider audience and serve more Atlantans and continue its research, capacity building and outreach efforts, aided by funding from a recent Community Anchor grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Programs coming this summer will include:
- Short Course Series: “What Is Left Unspoken, Love” (Wednesdays, June 15-July 6, 1-2:30 p.m.) — Led by scholar Katie Geha, this four-week, immersive, discussion-based course will explore the major themes in the High’s special exhibition “What Is Left Unspoken, Love.”
- Inquiring Minds (June 14 and July 12, 1-2:30 p.m.) — These events invite participants to explore one of the High’s special exhibitions through small group conversation.
- Short-Course Studio: Objects of Love (Tuesdays, July 19-Aug. 9, 1:30-3:30 p.m.) — In this multi-week studio course inspired by the special exhibition “What Is Left Unspoken, Love,” participants will learn various art techniques, including embroidery and textile design, figural sculpture making and found-object collage.
- Art and About Walking Tour (July 14, 6-7 p.m.) — Participants will meet at Ponce City Market to explore works of art found alongside the Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail, from public sculpture to wall murals.
- Studio Sessions: Expressive Figuration in Painting (Aug. 16 or 17, from 1:30-3:30 p.m.) — This art-making workshop draws inspiration from the exhibition “Bob Thompson: This House Is Mine” and explores Thompson’s personal and symbolic visual vocabulary. Participants will develop their own iconography while examining elements of art such as color, form and composition.
- Docent-Led and Self-Guided Group Tours — Group visits are available to lifelong learning organizations, aging-services organizations and senior living communities. Docent-led tours will include lightweight collapsible stools and assistive listening devices to amplify the facilitator’s voice in the galleries. Other accommodations such as wheelchairs will be available.
For more information and to sign up for programs and classes, visit https://high.org/Program/lifelong-learning.
About the High Museum of Art
Located in the heart of Atlanta, the High Museum of Art connects with audiences from across the Southeast and around the world through its distinguished collection, dynamic schedule of special exhibitions and engaging community-focused programs. Housed within facilities designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects Richard Meier and Renzo Piano, the High features a collection of more than 18,000 works of art, including an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American fine and decorative arts; major holdings of photography and folk and self-taught work, especially that of artists from the American South; burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, including paintings, sculpture, new media and design; a growing collection of African art, with work dating from prehistory through the present; and significant holdings of European paintings and works on paper. The High is dedicated to reflecting the diversity of its communities and offering a variety of exhibitions and educational programs that engage visitors with the world of art, the lives of artists and the creative process. For more information about the High, visit www.high.org.
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Manager of Public Relations