We’d like to have adult and children’s art classes back.
I hope this proposal helps.
Hire four teachers full-time. They teach one or two adult art classes four days a week at the Toledo Museum of Art School of Design. The adult classes are ceramics, metals, painting, printmaking, and life drawing. In the afternoons, the teachers go out in the field to the assigned remote art stations that the museum has set up for Owens Corning and Promedica in the federally funded housing projects for the “Art Out of School” program, part of the DEAI plan. The teachers have Monday off, but work a full day on Saturday for the Free Children’s Saturday Classes that the museum brings back.
The salary for the teachers would start out at $52,000, plus the full package of benefits that the museum administrators and special employees receive — 25 Days of Paid Time Off Annually, Birthday Paid Day Off, Medical, Dental, & Vision Insurance, 403b Retirement Savings Plan, Short-Term Disability, Long-Term Disability, Term Life and AD&D Insurance Plans (especially important for teachers working in the field), Paid Parental Leave, Pet Insurance, Employee Assistance Plan, Museum Family Membership, Employee Discounts in the Museum Store, Café, Studio Art Classes, & of course the unspoken preferential opportunities for exhibiting their own art at the museum.
All recipients of museum fellowships are required to teach a class. Just one class that includes the entire community’s involvement, since the museum strives to include the community. Which is exactly how it was done before the original Toledo Museum of Art School of Design classes were eliminated. If it was good enough for Adam Weinberg, who is now the director of the Whitney Museum of American Art, who in the late 1970’s was a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow at the Toledo Museum of Art, and who set up the children’s photo classes, it’s good enough for the Toledo Museum of Art fellowship grant recipients today.
Perhaps the full cost would be $500,000 annually to administer, considering the extra guards and maintenance workers needed, to augment the modest tuition that could be charged.
The restored Toledo Museum of Art School of Design would be supported by Owens Corning, Promedica, Key Bank, The Andersons, Fifth Third Bank, Dana Corporation, Libbey Glass, Hickory Farms, Mercy Health, Ernst & Young, Toledo Trust, Buckeye CableSystem, National Endowment for the Arts, Ohio Arts Council, The Greater Toledo Community Foundation, as well as the Libbey Endowment and other endowment funds.
It would be a way for the troubled Toledo Museum of Art to get back to its roots, to recapture our culture, and give back to the community. The museum has always been inclusive and fair to everyone – it should not discriminate against anyone today. It should spend its money on education that is fair for everyone, and stop spending money on relentless data-analyzing and profiling our community.
It doesn’t make Owens Corning and Promedica look good, who are the benefactors of the Art Out of School program, when the teachers are expected to work freelance, at near minimum wage, without benefits, outside the museum walls in federally funded housing projects. The teachers are expected to work for practically nothing. They are expected to put their lives at risk, while the other museum employees get all sorts of benefits and are surrounded by museum guards. Restoring the Toledo Museum of Art School of Design would take care of that, and make it fair for everyone.
“Art Out of School brings world-class programming from the Toledo Museum of Art to people in surrounding areas. Programs such as this align with Owens Corning Foundation’s aim to empower people in the community,” said Don Rettig, president of the Owens Corning Foundation.
That’s wonderful to help this small community, but not at the disenfranchisement of rest of the community. Children and adults outside of this very specific group of people are not included. What is worse is that the public art programs that formed the fiber of our large, democratic community have been eliminated, such as the free children’s Saturday classes that were for children from all walks of life, along with a robust adult art class program, and the very special century-old May Show that brought together the entire Toledo area art community, a local art show encompassing 17 counties.
The museum’s way of inclusion in 2022 is to alienate their beloved larger community by selling famous French Impressionist paintings, as if subtracting great art makes them more diverse. They do this after greatly reducing classes and killing the community art shows (which fairly represented women and men.) Then they raise the museum parking fee by over 40%, and this is to help with inclusion?
The museum is erasing the past and rewriting history. The public is supposed to believe that the Toledo Museum of Art has not been fair to minorities. Two highly paid administrators are hired to oversee the issue. Their focus is on racial equity, not gender equity. Yet the female half of the population has been marginalized by the art world, and most recently and quite vividly by the Toledo Museum of Art with the elimination of classes and shows that offered women fair and equal opportunities. Amidst the museum’s hypocrisy, countless Museum Fellows are added to the “diversity” mission. A new “Branding” department is created with an extensive P.R. staff, fully employed with extensive benefits. They focus their education efforts on a small minority in public housing projects and expect teachers (mostly women) to work freelance without health insurance! This is how the museum “helps” the community instead of buying art and reinstating its legacy art education program for the benefit of the entire community.
Our progressive founders, Edward Drummond Libbey and Florence Scott Libbey, would want their money back.
The following are pages from the Toledo Museum of Art’s archives regarding the museum’s free children’s Saturday art classes that benefited 2,500 children every Saturday during the school year for nearly a century: