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Re: Request


From: Sue Stewart (Sue_Stewart_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Nov 30 2001 - 12:25:35 PST

Well, you are certainly qualified. right now the museum is in an old bank
building - really cramped quarters - the collection is mainly Northwest
and Asian centered, but they have some quirky collections like the studio
of a famous designer and a warehouse full of Chihuly glass, most of which
will go to the glass museum I suppose. Tacoma is a city of some size
overshadowed by Seattle which is directly north - used to be all blue
collar, that is changing.

When I started with them they had wonderful outreach - docents in the
schools, after school programs, etc. They just never could pay enough and
good people just went through there on their way to bigger museums - there
are many including Philchuck Glass, Henry Contemporary and the bigger city
museums all within 150 miles, including Vancouver, Canada. About 4 years
ago the Board hired a new director who is not an art person but rather a
fundraiser - she certainly was successful but has caused a lot of ill will
within the museum community - major curator quit and then most of the ed
staff - I think the new museum will be the director's great achievement
and then she will probably move on. The new building has quite a
educational focus. The programs are very wide - Toddlers and moms, foster
families and their kids, inner city school partnership, afterschool
programs for kids in shelters, big family festivals tied in with exhibits,
and making art stations for kids on tours. They have managed to hang on
to most of these at the expense of outreach to the schools when they are
short of staff. There are two new staffers now and always a university
intern. The most interesting of the upcoming shows is Garden Parks - I
can't remember the rest of the exhibition schedule right now. Hope this

Sue E. Stewart
Sumner High School