HISD’s Fine Arts Department is committed to providing accessible and equitable learning opportunities for all students regardless of their zip code. In keeping with this goal, HISD is constantly on the lookout for partnerships with organizations and programs that share these values.
The Vincent Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam launched their Heart for Art educational program in New York City at the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year, and following its successful run there, Houston was selected as one of four cities to host the program’s continuing efforts. Heart for Art is a collection of lessons designed to stimulate creative development and to engage with important themes present in the history of the prolific painter.
Before the lessons could begin, HISD teachers had to bone up on their knowledge of Van Gogh’s life and artwork. Educators from the Van Gogh Museum held teacher training days to prepare teachers for the upcoming lessons and provided them with bespoke teaching materials and a 3D reproduction of a famous piece of Van Gogh’s work. The Van Gogh Museum partnered with DHL to bring the immersive experience from the Netherlands all the way to Houston, TX.
59 Houston campuses participated in Heart for Art with the Fine Arts Department leading the way in bringing this exciting opportunity to HISD students.
“The work we are doing with the Van Gogh Museum expands our instructional reach much beyond anything we could have envisioned,” said Chandel Bonner-Hancock, HISD Secondary Visual Arts Curriculum Specialist. “Partnerships like the one we have with the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and now with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and DHL, have provided our students on 59 campuses with an opportunity unlike any other. We are grateful.”
The Heart for Art program not only introduces students to the work of Van Gogh, but inspires them to examine important concepts that the artist’s work and his life continue to highlight, such as identity, pursuing dreams, and dealing with setbacks. Much like HISD, the Van Gogh Museum understands the importance of bringing these kinds of educational opportunities to those who might not have access to them, so that even 132 years after his death, young people will continue to learn and grow from Van Gogh’s work and legacy.