School programs at MASS MoCA focus on facilitating students’ experiences with contemporary art through our signature pedagogy, ArtInSight. This three-pronged approach features guided, inquiry-based tours, mindfulness-based insight activities, and art-making exercises.
MASS MoCA uses its array of world-class exhibition programming — particularly Kidspace’s thematic exhibitions — as a platform for discussing contemporary social issues, as well as to expand notions about art and art materials.
About the School Partnership Program
Due to the hybrid-learning plan for the 2020-2021 school year in the North Adams Public Schools, North Berkshire School Union, and Pittsfield Public Schools, our School Partnership Program will be conducted virtually.
MASS MoCA offers interdisciplinary, standards-based Educator Guides for the following exhibitions; the links to download these guides are available on the exhibition webpages.
- Curriculum Takeover for Black Lives Matter
- Apsáalooke: Children of the Large-Beaked Bird, 2020-2022
- ERRE: Them and Us / Ellos y Nosotros, 2019-2021
- Still I Rise, 2019 – 2020
- Come To Your Senses 2018-2019
- Cavernous: The Inner Life of Courage, 2017-2018
- Federico Uribe: Here Comes the Sun, 2016-2017
- Walk In My Shoes, 2015-2016
- It’s Only Human, 2014-2015
Additional asynchronous resources, such as lesson plans and Virtual Tour Slideshows, vary and are available upon request. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
MASS MoCA forged its inaugural school partnership with Brayton Elementary School in North Adams in 2000, expanding to include all of the elementary schools in the North Adams Public Schools and North Berkshire School Union by 2001. In 2012, MASS MoCA doubled its partnership program through building relationships with schools in the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District and Pittsfield Public Schools. Through the Kidspace gallery and associated programming, the partnership provides 100% subsidized educational opportunities to a growing number of students and teachers in the region. The program currently reaches 11 partner schools in the North Berkshires.
A significant aspect of the partnership program is to involve the entire student body of each partner school in annual programs that focus on a specific theme particularly relevant to children, explored in the Kidspace exhibition. Students also may participate in teaching artist residency programs with Kidspace exhibiting artists, and attend Art Assembly school-time performances.
Pre-K – 12th Grade Guided Tours
Please note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are not currently offering in person guided tours. Please check back regularly for updates.
Art Assembly Performances
Please note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are not currently offering Art Assembly performances. Please check back regularly for updates.
Teacher Workshops and Resources
MASS MoCA occasionally leads professional development workshops for K-12 educators. Past examples include summer institutes for teachers, hosting the 2015 Massachusetts Arts Education Association (MAEA) annual conference, partnerships with the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, CARE SYLLABUS, the Wade Institute for Science Education, BRAINworks, and Art21.
Educator Guides featuring pre- and post-visit activities, anticipated learning outcomes, connections to interdisciplinary curricular standards, and background information on artists are available for select exhibitions. Downloads available on select exhibition pages:
Co-developed by Berkshire County youth and artist Shaun Leonardo, the Curriculum Takeover for Black Lives Matter is a virtual teaching resource where students can direct their own and their peers’ learning around racial injustice.
Additionally, check out some of these resources to help make a case for bringing your students to the museum:
- NAEA’s User Guide for the Impact of Single-Visits to Art Museums Study (2018)
- MASS MoCA’s Field Trip Rubric for assessing student outcomes
Check back for details about our 2021 Teen Invitational!
Organized in collaboration with high school art teachers, principals, and artists in the northern Berkshires, the annual Teen Invitational brings local students’ artwork to the public in a fun, friendly, “sporting” environment. Students from nine area high schools submit artwork for a pop-up exhibition at the museum; schools include The Academy at Charlemont, BART Charter Public School, Buxton School, Drury High School, Hoosac Valley High School, McCann Technical School, Mt. Greylock Regional High School, Pine Cobble School, and Pittsfield High School.
Many of the students participating in the Teen Invitational have taken formal art classes in school, but those just testing the waters in the arts on their own are especially encouraged to submit as well. The goal of the Invitational is to reach all students who are engaged by art and who have made excellent work, inside or outside of school settings. A panel of MASS MoCA staff, area artists, and teachers jury the work.