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U.S. Department of State and Arkansas Announce Launch of Year Two “Arkansas Declaration of Learning” in Support of Secondary Education & Learning with Historical Objects & Art

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announces the launch of the second year of the “Arkansas Declaration of Learning” program, which works collaboratively with Arkansas teachers and school librarians teaching 7th-12th grade students in the fields of art, English language arts, and social studies to develop innovative curriculum that brings history to life and shares the importance of civic engagement with students.

Through this program, teachers have the opportunity to work with historic art, as well as objects from national and state partners, to develop innovative lessons for their classroom and school libraries that inspire student learning. While Arkansas is the first state in the country to participate in this national program, all states are eligible to apply, and others are already in the pipeline.

Applications are now open and close at midnight on March 29, 2016. Stipends will be provided to selected participants.

This innovative public-private partnership, launched in 2015, is conducted by the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Reception Rooms in partnership with Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, and the Arkansas Department of Education. To date, more than 1,700 Arkansas students have benefitted from this initiative.

In 2015, a group of 28 Arkansas teachers and school librarians were selected to create dynamic teaching tools using historic objects, works of art, and primary sources from the collections of the founding partners: the U.S. Department of State, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies.

Objects selected for the program were used to tell national and state-based stories that vibrantly illustrate the many ways our nation valued civic engagement during our country’s formative years, and the importance of this continued focus today.

This program is part of a national Inter-Agency Educational Initiative that began when representatives from 13 national partnering organizations signed the “Declaration of Learning” in 2012.

This document pledged that the U.S. Department of State, the Diplomatic Reception Rooms, and 11 other national organizations would work with state and local partners to co-create learning tools for educators and students in middle and secondary education using historic art and objects from their respective collections and best practices in education.

The Diplomatic Reception Rooms are the site for many of our nation’s diplomatic meetings and events including summits, treaty negotiations, official State Luncheons, and important Presidential speeches.

Located on the top two floors of the U.S. Department of State, these 42 rooms are modeled after 18th century historic rooms and spaces in our country’s history. The rooms house a historic museum-quality collection of more than 5,000 fine and decorative art objects valued at $150 million that tell the story of our country’s founding and formative years (1730-1840).

The rooms and their historic collections were created and are sustained through generous gifts from American donors, corporations, and foundations.

To apply to participate in the program, please visit: http://bit.ly/1M2Cubo

For more information about the application process, please contact Zev Slurzberg at [email protected].

For more information about the “Declaration of Learning” or the “Arkansas Declaration of Learning,” please contact Anne Menotti at [email protected] or 202-647-1990.

Follow @StateDept using the hashtag #ShareHistoryAR.

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