ALA receives funding from the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust and the Terra Foundation for American Art

Contact: Angela Thullen


Program Officer, Communications


312-280-5286



NEWS


For Immediate Release


January 12, 2010

Funds will support library outreach programs, using visual arts to encourage civic engagement

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office has received funding in the amount of $50,000 from the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust and $54,500 from the Terra Foundation for American Art to support the development of Picturing America through Civic Engagement, a pilot program to engage young audiences in citizenship and the American electoral process through the visual arts.




Picturing America through Civic Engagement will target young adult audiences in Chicago region public libraries through partnerships between public libraries and local high schools. Building on the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Picturing America art initiative, the ALA Public Programs Office will develop supplemental library programming resources for public audiences that will utilize the visual arts as springboards to civic engagement, particularly voting rights and the American electoral process.




The objective of Picturing America through Civic Engagement is to deepen participants’ knowledge and appreciation of American art and its relation to American history (particularly voting history) and civic life, and to contribute to the development of informed and discerning voters.




Picturing America is a project of the National Endowment for the Humanities, distributed in cooperation with ALA. Through Picturing America, more than 43,000 schools and 3,500 public libraries received a collection of 20 double-sided, laminated reproductions of American artwork, and a copy of the Picturing America Teachers Resource Book, which includes information about the paintings, sculpture, architecture, and crafts reproduced.




The ALA Public Programs Office promotes cultural and community programming as an essential part of library service in all types and sizes of libraries. Successful library programming initiatives have included “Let’s Talk About It” reading and discussion series, traveling exhibitions, film discussion programs, the Great Stories CLUB, Live! @ your library and more. Recently, the ALA Public Programs Office developed
www.ProgrammingLibrarian.org, an online resource center bringing librarians timely and valuable information to support them in the creation of high-quality cultural programs for their communities. For more information on the ALA Public Programs Office, visit
www.ala.org/publicprograms.