Nasher Museum of Art Receives NEA Grant

Duke's art museum receives a $75,000 grant to partner with Durham elementary school teachers on a new, arts-infused language arts curriculum

The Nasher Museum of Art has received a $75,000 grant to work with local public elementary school teachers and their students on an art-infused language arts curriculum.

The Art Works grant is one of 788 nationwide given to not-for-profit organizations by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The grants support public engagement with art, lifelong learning in the arts and the strengthening of communities through the arts.

"The arts should be a part of everyday life," said Rocco Landesman, the NEA's chairman. "Whether it's seeing a performance, visiting a gallery, participating in an art class or simply taking a walk around a neighborhood enhanced by public art, these grants are ensuring that across the nation, the public is able to experience how art works."

The NEA grant will allow the Nasher Museum's education department and a group of Durham public school teachers to create a language arts curriculum for kindergarten, first- and second-graders using art from the museum's collection. The lesson plans and activities will meet the curriculum standards set out in the Common Core Standards (adopted by 44 states) and 21st Century Skills (adopted by 15 states). The curriculum materials will be available on a free new website.

"We are all very excited and grateful to the NEA for allowing us to support teachers and students as never before, and to help strengthen the arts in our public schools," said Kimerly Rorschach, Mary D.B.T. and James H. Semans Director of the Nasher Museum. "The grant will allow us to work directly with teachers to incorporate visual arts in language arts lessons and further our educational mission. Also, local teachers offer valuable insights and new ways to engage children through our exhibitions, which will benefit our broader public."

The NEA received 1,624 eligible applications under the Art Works category for this round of funding. For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, please visit the NEA website at