AAMD Calls Museum as Sanctuary A Next Practice

April 30 / 2014


American Association of Art Museums calls

Museum of Sanctuary a Next Practice


Tucson, Arizona –April 30, 2014 – The Tucson Museum of Art is pleased to announce the inaugural issue of Next Practice, a magazine of innovation and best practices in museums by the American Association of Art Museums, includes the Tucson Museum of Art’s Museum as Sanctuary program. Working with the Hopi Foundation’s Owl and Panther Project, the Tucson Museum of Art offers free art making workshops for refugees of traumatic dislocation, utilizing the arts for the purposes of adjustment and healing.


In the fall of 2010, the Tucson Museum of Art and The Hopi Foundation’s Owl and Panther Project began 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, cultural sharing, and individual empowerment. Activities teach art concepts, nurture confidence, strengthen life skills, and stimulate personal growth and interpersonal communication. The Museum began the program dedicated to our mission of “Connecting art to life,” by connecting the newest Americans to a cultural institution they might not have otherwise encountered.


“This is an essential part of the Museum,” said Morgan Wells, Curator of Education. “Learning to make art is not just a simple exercise in craft. It’s a vital part of who we are. It fosters a sense of place and belonging. It promotes communication, creativity, and innovation.”


In 2012, the Tucson Museum of Art was cited for “Innovation Excellence” by the Center for the Future of Museums for the Museum as Sanctuary program. In2013, the Museum presented an exhibition of the art work of both parents and children, Museum as Sanctuary: Giving Voice to Tucson’s Refugees. Museum as Sanctuary: Giving Voice to Tucson’s Refugees featured a compilation of contemporary artwork created by MAS participants, and one collaborative piece created with the members from the Hopi and Tohono O’odham communities. All of the wall labels were also written by the artists themselves to ensure that the voices of the refugees were heard in the exhibition. The exhibition was covered internationally by the BBC Worldwide


The Tucson Museum of Art continues to work with The Hopi Foundation’s Owl and Panther Project and plans another exhibition of MAS participants in the summer of 2015.  “Arizona is home to over 60,000 resettled refugees from all over the world, and that number continues to grow,” said Marianna Pegno, Associate Curator of Education at TMA. “Traumatic dislocation can be a way of working through those experiences.”

For more information about Museum as Sanctuary, please contact Morgan Wells at 520-624-2333, extension 121. For more information about Next Practices visit AAMD.org or click here.

The Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block connects art to life, inspiring discovery, creativity, and cultural understanding through meaningful, engaging experiences. The Museum is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Thursday 10:00 am – 8:00 pm, and Sunday 12:00 noon – 5:00 pm. The first Sunday of each month is free. The Museum is located at 140 North Main Avenue in historic downtown Tucson, at the crossroads of West Alameda and North Main Avenue.  The Museum also includes a full-service café, five historic houses, public tours, and a Research Library.


The Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable arts and educational organization.

Menu Title