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    Beyond accessibility

    One of the goals of the Burchfield Penney is to help people of all ages - and all abilities - experience artwork. To that end, the staff at the fully accessible museum has developed the following programs.

    Ekphrastic Writing Program

    For two years Campus West Elementary School partnered with the Burchfield Penney Art Center for a multiple-visit Writing Program. Using artwork to build vocabulary and literacy skills, Campus West students became “collectors of words.” They looked with their eyes and their “minds’ eyes” to create poems and prose. Their notebooks were places to study objects more closely, such as pinecones or profiles, or to expand fictional stories they started in the museum. Docents guided small groups of students in gallery activities for several weeks. Together they increased their ability to see the world in new ways, at times working as a team to understand a composition or invent stories. At the end of the program, the students selected two favorite pieces of writing to edit with docents for their Community Gallery exhibition.

    Sight Tours

    The museum - which is fully accessible - offers tours and hands-on art activities for individuals and students with visual impairment. Using a variety of methods, including touch tours and storytelling, docents create a unique experience for these students.

    Junior Docent Program

    Currently in its pilot stage, the Junior Docent Program is designed by museum staff and docents to teach middle school students how to lead a group of younger students from their school on a museum tour. The program seeks to engage students with works of art that resonate and parallel their own life experiences. The training provides positive experiences with adult role models and opportunities to gain self-confidence and public speaking skills.

    Girl Scouts

    The museum offers badge programs nearly every month for Girl Scout troops through the Girl Scouts of Western New York. Please check the current and upcoming events for our workshop schedule in addition to our Art Museum Discovery Day and Night at the Art Museum. You can also book a tour for your Girl Scout troop at any time of the year.

    Early Stage Alzheimer’s Program

    The Burchfield Penney Art Center is committed to making the museum and its vast collection of regional art accessible to all members of our community. In keeping with this mission, we are now providing museum visits specifically designed for Early Diagnosed Alzheimer’s patients and their families and caregivers. The program was developed in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association of WNY Chapter 2805. Providing interactive tours with docents affords a means for Early Diagnosed Alzheimer’s patients to express their thoughts and emotions as they connect images and ideas to their past.

    Each visit has three distinct components: a tour of the exhibitions, socializing afterwards in the café and return to the galleries for further discussion.

    Education programs are supported in part by First Niagara.