The Mennello Museum of American Art awarded $10,000 in Education Funding

Orlando, FL — April 6, 2017

The Mennello Museum of American Art is pleased to announce a generous $5,000 sponsorship for our new Free Family Funday program provided by the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation. In addition, the City-appointed Mennello Museum Board of Trustees has gifted $5,000, raised at this year’s Indie-Folkfest, to the museum’s family-friendly education programs.

Shannon Fitzgerald, Executive Director states: “I am thrilled with two new funding sources for our important education programs that are now reaching more families in our community than ever – and can only continue to impact lives through art with support such as this.  The Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation has provide the museum support before, but it is terrific that they specifically wanted to sponsor our newly invigorated Free Family Funday for 2017 – as our most diverse and growing education initiative- It is an honor to have the The Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation be our lead sponsor.” She continues, “it is also exciting that our leaders from our outstanding City appointed Mennello Museum of American Art Board of Trustees have raised $5,000 at this year’s Indie FolkFest and generously committed the funds to support all of our family friendly education programs to include family events, film screenings, school bus funds, artist supplies and more!  This board is generous in vision and action and we are grateful for their leadership in giving back to the community and the museum.

Every second Sunday of the month, The Mennello Museum of American Art opens their doors to the community, and offers all families a welcoming space to learn and create together — Free Family Funday. Trained docents lead museum guests on fast-paced, exciting tours focusing their tutelage on bringing the art in the galleries to life, engaging visitors to look closer and then to try for themselves. Where rigor meets fun, arts projects are designed for guests to create their own masterpieces, to hang on the walls or display on a pedestal at home, using some of the same methods as the celebrated artists in The Museum. Each project lesson plan has the ability to be modifiable for all ages and expertise levels — truly fun for the whole family.

Gretchen Hahn, Board of Trustees Chair, states, “As stewards of the museum, The Board of Trustees is pleased and proud to make a substantial gift to the museum that will continue the mission of enhancing outreach and education for the residents of Orlando.” She continues, “As the event grows each year, so will our contribution to the museum.”

Free Family Funday at The Mennello Museum emphasizes artistic practice, multiple art making methods, and art historical education to evoke conversations about art experienced on the occasion of the visit and that reaches us every day. This programming realizes the Museum’s mission and vision by bringing quality arts education to everyone, serving as a special resource and artistic outlet for the community, and proving that The Mennello Museum is a place for all to enjoy. Every Free Family Funday project is a companion to the exhibitions, truly stimulating a connection with the work, and making each artist and their motivations more attainable. In the summer of 2016, Pop Art Prints visitors pulled their own screen print versions of Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, and Allan D’Arcangelo, used Ben Day Dots to create their own Roy Lichtenstein comic-meets-high art pieces that were then framed and matted, composed collages in the spirit of Robert Rauschenberg – to be a witness, and tell a story of their time in history, and rolled block prints as exciting and impactful as Robert Indiana, James, Rosenquist, and Jasper Johns. The success of the printing programming was followed in three-dimensions by projects that provoked material manipulation in honor of the Three American Sculptors, The Mennello Museum’s 2016 Fall exhibition. Sculptures of ideas and energy were conceived and constructed using only the lightest paper in the spirit of Alice Aycock’s heavy-metal architectural forms, the earth in the form of clay was pushed, pulled, and scored to form literal vessels like Barbara Sorensen’s art, and representation and found materials were employed to explore the line and form of Deborah Butterfield’s horses.

Educational programming at The Mennello Museum of American Art delivers access to captivating American art of all genres through permanent collections, as well as renowned curated and temporary exhibitions. In addition to most popular program, Free Family Funday, the museum brings art studies that present the permanent collection of outstanding Earl Cunningham paintings directly into the classroom through Art Trunks on The Go: Safe Place Space. The Mennello Museum of American art also works closely with Women in the Arts for Community School of the Arts at The Museum, hosts monthly art-focused film screenings, and is re-launching a summer camp program this year, An Artful Summer: Camp at the Museum. Whether through lectures given by world-renowned and established artists the likes of Alice Aycock and Bo Bartlett, docent guided tours for school aged groups or seniors, or Boy and Girl Scout badge fulfillments with arts projects, The Mennello Museum’s workshops and special programming are designed to make personal connections to exhibitions and exploration of artistic methods. We endeavor to engage all individuals who come through the doors in participatory learning of the visual arts. We seek to advance their confidence in discussions around the exhibitions and inspire creativity in personal life and art making.


About the Musuem
The Mennello Museum of American Art, established in November 1998, is owned and operated by the City of Orlando. This intimate cultural gem located in Loch Haven Cultural Park, is just minutes from downtown Orlando, and is housed in what was once the private home of Howard Phillips, son of local philanthropist Dr. P. Phillips. Among the Mennello Museum’s many treasures is the permanent collection of paintings by self-taught artist Earl Cunningham (1893-1977), which was generously donated from the collection of Michael A. Mennello and Marilyn Logsdon Mennello.

On view now through May 7, BO BARTLETT: AMERICAN ARTIST. This exhibition presents large-scale oil paintings that are figurative, psychologically imbued, beautifully rendered, and wonderfully sublime by one of the most significant American Realist painters of his generation.

The Mennello Museum is located at 900 E. Princeton Street, Orlando, FL 32803. · ·


The Mennello Museum of American Art is generously supported by the City of Orlando and Friends of The Mennello Museum of American Art. Additional funding is provided by Orange County Government through the Arts & Cultural Affairs Program and United Arts of Central Florida.

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Francesca Ascione
Marketing & Graphic Design Coordinator
The Mennello Museum of American Art and Public Art, City of Orlando