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>  News Releases >   2003 >   October

Museum marks arts month

Posted 10/17/03

Volunteer of the Year Mary Cooper honored for strong commitment to arts education
Mary Cooper
Mary Cooper (photo by Joe Mehling '69)

The Hood Museum of Art joins arts organizations and communities across the nation in celebrating National Arts and Humanities Month during October. The museum is showcasing a special exhibition, Coming of Age in Ancient Greece: Images of Childhood from the Classical Past, and public programs throughout the year.

In honor of National Arts and Humanities Month 2003, the musuem pays tribute to longtime volunteer Mary Cooper of Norwich, Vt.

Cooper has been a docent since the opening of the museum in 1985. Throughout the past 18 years, her service has been distinguished by her interactive approach to teaching in the galleries. Cooper said that one of the most rewarding experiences of being a docent is working with schoolchildren and hearing their natural responses to works of art. Cooper was active in ArtVentures, a program offered on the first Saturday of each month from October through May to children ages 8 and older. From its inception, ArtVentures has helped the Education Department's efforts by offering programs that combine art and music. Cooper has represented the museum at the National Docent Symposium in Philadelphia.

Hood Museum Director Derrick R. Cartwright said, "Mary's enthusiasm for engaging this community in the arts suggests her as an ideal colleague to receive this award. I deeply admire her spirit of volunteerism, which always goes far beyond what is asked of her."

Robert L. Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts and national coordinator of Arts and Humanities Month, said "The arts and humanities play an important role in our lives year round. Here is an extraordinary chance to celebrate the cultural contributions the arts make to our nation. The work that the cultural community does in passing on an understanding of the arts and proficiency in an art form is a gift to the next generation - and to generations to come."

Since the museum opened its doors in 1985, its commitment to the communities of Dartmouth and the surrounding areas has grown as it focuses on high-quality acquisitions for the permanent collection, strives for diversity and educational value in its special exhibitions, and continues to increase its offerings of public programs for all ages.

National Arts and Humanities Month is coordinated by Americans for the Arts, the national organization working to empower communities with the resources and support necessary to provide access to all of the arts for all of the people. The month-long celebration grew out of National Arts Week, which was begun in 1985 by the National Endowment for the Arts and Americans for the Arts.

- Sharon Reed

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