Heather Malcom (right), with Cyndy Harbold, president of the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art
We educate at the same time. We lead gallery tours. We provide a hands-on teaching venue for university students in all disciplines. We supply K–12 teachers with materials that meet state standards at no cost. And we produce the next generation of museum professionals through experiential learning. Finally, we are committed to research. Our curators are faculty members, and every exhibition we organize begins with hours in the library. We’re rewriting art history every day, documenting Georgia’s history and making connections among disciplines.
Though we rely on private gifts for all our programming, numbers aren’t the whole story. When Larry and Brenda Thompson gave us 100 works by African American artists and endowed a curatorial position to focus on that understudied area of art history, their gift served the same three priorities as the campaign. Increasing access isn’t just about scholarships. It’s about making students from a wide variety of backgrounds feel like they belong and providing them with an unparalleled experience while they’re here. The Thompsons’ gift, now reflected in our reinstalled galleries, pushed us toward greater inclusiveness.
That spirit of inclusiveness has also enhanced the student experience, providing models for students of diverse backgrounds to see themselves represented in art. And by validating the importance of all creators, the Thompsons’ gift brings us together as humans, uniting us instead of dividing us. That kind of commitment to the differences that art can make in the lives of individuals is exactly what we’ll be asking of you in the coming years. Together, we can change lives through art.
Director of Development