BAG in A Box Shares Lessons in Art

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The Burnaby Art Gallery’s BAG in a Box program consists of four themed boxes, each containing two to three original artworks by local artists, along with work reproduced from the City of Burnaby’s Permanent Art collection. The program enables classrooms to connect with cultural institutions and local artists. Participating teachers can borrow a kit for 12 days, making use of suggested lessons, discussions, supplies and activities suited to the class level. Each box also includes an introductory classroom visit by an artist or gallery educator.

With $15,000 in funding from Catalyst, the Burnaby Art Gallery offered the program during the 2006-2007 school year, with more than 2,900 students from across the Lower Mainland taking part. Ninety-four percent of the available 72 program bookings were filled in the first two months of offering the program. Later in the school year, the program had waitlists. An eight per cent increase in regular gallery tours and workshops show teachers used the boxes as an additional source for improving visual literacy in the arts. Fine Art programming at the Burnaby Art Gallery saw an increase in 2007, partially attributed to an awareness of gallery programs via BAG in a Box. For example, children’s 2007 summer classes increased by 20 percent over 2006. The program, which is ongoing, has proven to be a valuable tool in fostering visual literacy in the Lower Mainland.

Catalyst invests in BC arts, cultural and heritage organizations wishing to enhance their artistic, administrative and organizational capacities. The program is supported by the Province of British Columbia.