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Nordstrom Gala
Wednesday September 21, 2011
Signature Project Overviews

Missouri Botanical Garden
The Missouri Botanical Garden’s mission is “to discover and share knowledge about plants and their environment in order to preserve and enrich life.” Today, 152 years after opening, the Garden is a National Historic Landmark and a center for science, conservation, education, and horticultural display.

Signature Project — Green Schools Program
Through the Garden’s EarthWays Center, the Green Schools Program empowers St. Louis-area administrators, teachers, and students with knowledge, resources, and strategies to create greener, healthier schools that use less energy and incorporate best practices for sustainability. The multi-faceted program encompasses teacher training, classroom lessons, hands-on research projects, field trips, learning evaluations, and student presentations focused on energy use, conservation, and school “greening” with 5th–8th grade students and teachers. Teachers receive intensive, field-based training at power-generation facilities, learning about energy production and use in the Midwest and gaining first-hand experience. Students visit the Garden to learn how it incorporates sustainable practices. The curriculum teaches students to conduct a Green School audit, implement a student-driven project to make improvements, and make a formal presentation of their recommendations to school administrators.

Center of Creative Arts (COCA)
COCA has been providing meaningful arts experiences to St. Louisans and their families for two decades.  COCA has become the largest multidisciplinary arts institution a valuable community asset featuring performances, classes, art galleries, summer camps, exhibits, and a world of learning. 

Signature Project — Interchange
Arts integration emphasizes learning in and through the arts. Interchange, a collaborative program of COCA since 2003, engages students and improves learning by providing classroom teachers with another set of tools—the use of the arts to bring lessons to life. Through Interchange, St. Louis’s diverse arts and cultural organizations partner teaching artists with classroom teachers to change the way teachers teach and students learn.  In 2006, Interchange launched an arts enrichment catalog, providing support to teachers to select arts education programs produced by local arts and cultural institutions.  In 2008, Interchange revised its model to focus on professional development of classroom teachers. The new approach, which centers around in-classroom collaborations between teachers and teaching artists, was piloted in three schools in the Spring of 2008 and is now utilized by 11 schools.

Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (CAM)
Founded in 1980, the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis is one of the leading voices in the world of contemporary art.  CAM is dedicated to exhibiting the visual arts and artists of our time and to producing nationally recognized education programs.  As a non-collecting institution, CAM focuses its efforts on featuring local, national and international, well-known and newly established artists from diverse backgrounds, working in all types of media.

Signature Project — Free Family Days
Free Family Days are special days held twice a year at CAM for parents and kids of all ages.  These family days offer a great introduction to CAM’s programs and mission to promote meaningful engagement with the most innovative and relevant art being made today.  Visitors enjoy a mix of hands-on art activities with local artists, storytellers, interactive programs, special performances, and special gallery tours just for kids, experiencing CAM as a gathering place for experiencing contemporary art and culture and pushing the boundaries of innovation, creativity and expression. 

Saint Louis Art Museum
The Saint Louis Art Museum collects, presents, interprets, and conserves works of art of the highest quality across time and cultures; educates, inspires discovery, and elevates the human spirit; and preserves a legacy of artistic achievement for the people of St. Louis and the world.

Signature Project — Arts in the Basic Curriculum
Arts in the Basic Curriculum (ABC) is an exciting, free, multivisit program for 4th and 5th-grade students in public, private, and parochial schools in Saint Louis City and County.  The ABC program utilizes the galleries of the Saint Louis Art Museum as sites for experiential learning.  Students investigate the Saint Louis Art Museum’s collection through close observation and critical thinking during 90-minute interdisciplinary visits, making connections across cultures, time periods, and media.  Each ABC student will receive a sketchbook and pencil to record their responses through a range of hands-on writing and drawing activities.  In addition, students will also practice drama and movement-based activities and interact with art objects.  By the conclusion of their visits, students will have gained a familiarity with the Museum environment and can act in the role of a ‘docent’ when they return with their family.  All lessons at the Museum support the Show-Me standards and Grade Level Expectations (GLEs) in an effort to connect with 4th and 5th grade curricula.