MPS students first to tour new art museum center

MILWAUKEE – Students from Milwaukee Public Schools’ Mary McLeod Bethune Academy were the very first to tour a new Kohl’s-sponsored Milwaukee Art Museum center designed to inspire creativity and art appreciation among children.

The new Kohl’s Education Center – which includes an original Picasso – opens to the public February 25.

Two days earlier, on Thursday, February 23, 5th-grade students from Bethune toured the center. WITI-TV (Fox 6) covered the event and you can watch the video here.

A Mary McLeod Bethune Academy student works at the video animation station in the new Kohl's Education Center gallery at the Milwaukee Art Museum as a WITI-TV Fox 6 News photojournalist looks on

A Mary McLeod Bethune Academy student works at the video animation station in the new Kohl's Education Center gallery at the Milwaukee Art Museum as a WITI-TV Fox 6 News photojournalist looks on

The center includes a hands-on children’s studio where kids can make their own art; a lab where students can “x-ray” works of art and learn more about what a museum curator does; and an art gallery that includes an original Picasso.

To create the center’s gallery, MAM partnered with Disney and Pixar to identify paintings, sculptures and other historical works of art that inspired Disney and Pixar movies. The result helps tie kids’ favorite films, from older classics to one due out this summer, to art.

Bethune student Chris Letizke sat down in front of a video station in the gallery that allows children to create their own animations. He was impressed by the technology and the touch screens he used to create a video.

“It’s awesome,” Chris said. “I love it. When you touch it, there it is.”

Classmate Makayla Jones spent some time in the lab arranging an art gallery the way she would want it to look.

Mary McLeod Bethune Academy students work inside the new Kohl's Education Center lab at the Milwaukee Art Museum

Mary McLeod Bethune Academy students work inside the new Kohl's Education Center lab at the Milwaukee Art Museum

She could create her own personal museum, she said, adding that it’s something she may be interested in as a career.

The Kohl’s Education Center will now serve as the hub of the Kohl’s Art Generation program, now in its fourth year. The program is made possible thanks to a $3.7-million gift to the Milwaukee Art Museum from Kohl’s Department Stores and Kohl’s Cares.

Milwaukee Public Schools is grateful to MAM and Kohl’s for the opportunity given to the Bethune students — and looks forward to bringing more children through the center!