Museum as Sanctuary
In the fall of 2010, the Tucson Museum of Art and The Hopi Foundation’s Owl & Panther Project started the Museum as Sanctuary program – a unique community partnership focusing on the benefits of creative expression through art-making and in-gallery activities. Museum as Sanctuary has highlighted TMA as an open environment fostering creative expression, cultural sharing, and individual empowerment. Activities teach art concepts, nurture confidence, strengthen life skills, and stimulate personal growth and interpersonal communication. Museum as Sanctuary has expanded TMA’s audience, while connecting members of The Hopi Foundation’s Owl & Panther Project to a cultural institution they might not have encountered otherwise. Through this program participants have become more expressive as they become more comfortable in gallery spaces. Increased confidence in the galleries carries beyond the TMA’s walls, resulting in more comprehensive and nuanced discussion that would not have happened otherwise.
Currently on display is an exhibition of works created by the Museum as Sanctuary participants entitled Museum as Sanctuary: Giving Voice to Tucson’s Refugee’s. This exhibition is an opportunity to display works of art—and stories—that highlight culture, community, and identity.