The AGO’s free Virtual School Programs return this fall with new sessions on art-making and dance

Mark your calendars for the AGO’s first teacher event of the year, highlighting the art of the Caribbean on view in Fragments of Epic Memory and the launch of school programs!

TORONTO — This fall the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) Zooms into classrooms and homes once again, bringing live art education to students anywhere in the world — all free of charge. Beginning Oct. 12, 2021, the AGO’s hugely successful Virtual School Programs returns Monday to Friday, with new 30-minute sessions for students ranging from JK to Grade 12. Led by AGO Art Educators, the sessions highlight works from the AGO Collection, and align with the Ontario Curriculum. Registration begins in mid-September at https://ago.ca/visit/group-visits/virtual-school-programs#schedule.

“Last year, we saw how vital art education and access to culture was for students' sense of wellbeing, as we welcomed more than 750,000 students online from across Ontario and around the world. This is why the return of our Virtual School Programs is so crucial and why we are introducing new programs and partnerships for students and teachers this year,” said Audrey Hudson, the AGO’s Richard & Elizabeth Currie Chief, Education & Programming. “We are eager to launch our first virtual teacher event of 2021 on September 22 with a special talk by Curator Julie Crooks, as she discusses the new AGO exhibition Fragments of Epic Memory. It is the first exhibition through the AGO’s new Department of Arts of Global Africa and the Diaspora, and represents an exciting intersection of world history, visual art, literature and music.”

Virtual School Programs

Free of charge to students, parents, educators and caregivers everywhere, the AGO’s Virtual School Programs deliver a live 30-minute field trip every day, Monday to Friday, via Zoom. Each day, three sessions are presented, each one designed especially for students either in JK to Grade 3, Grade 4 to 8 or Grade 9 to 12.

Led by AGO Art Educators, each session corresponds to a recurring theme. This fall each Monday is dedicated to exploring Art and the Senses; Indigenous Art and Artists will be discussed every Tuesday and the Art of Africa and the African Diaspora will be presented on Wednesdays.

New this year, happening every Thursday is Art Beyond Borders, a series of sessions co-presented by colleagues from other cultural institutions. Requiring only a pencil and a sheet of paper, each Friday, educators will lead students in Artmaking 101, an exploration of line, texture, shape and colour.

Complementary worksheets linked to Artmaking 101 sessions will be available for download at ago.ca/learn/learning-resources/teachers. Registration will begin mid-September. For more details, visit ago.ca/visit/group-visits/virtual-school-programs.

New Partnerships for Fall

The AGO is partnering with leaders in dance to bring movement online as part of the Art Beyond Borders sessions happening each Thursday. On Oct. 21, Oct. 28 and Nov. 4, artists from Canada's Ballet Jörgen will explore movement, wellness and storytelling with students through ballet. On Nov. 18, Nov. 25 and Dec. 2, artists from Jade’s Hip Hop Academy will explore art, rhythm and hip-hop, including the origins of the art form.

Custom Virtual Tours

Looking for a bespoke experience tailored for a classroom? In addition to daily Virtual School Programs, the AGO also offers custom virtual school tours. Designed in tandem with an AGO Art Educator, tours are available for a flat fee of $250 in French or English. For more details and to book, visit ago.ca/custom-virtual-school-tours.

For Teachers

Teachers are invited to stay up to date with resources and events by signing up for AGO’s Educator E-Newsletter at ago.ca/learn/ago-educators-enewsletter. Ontario teachers are invited to enhance their engagement with the Gallery through the free Teachers’ Access Program (TAP). For details about how to enroll and program benefits, visit ago.ca/teachers-access-program-tap.

On Sept. 22 at 5 p.m., teachers are invited to attend a free virtual talk about the AGO’s upcoming exhibition Fragments of Epic Memory and to learn more about AGO school programs. For details, visit https://ago.ca/events/virtual-teachers-night-out-fragments-epic-memory.
 

Acknowledgements

The AGO is grateful to the following for annual support of Education & Programming:

Virtual School Programs generously supported by:

Lead Support: The Michael Young Family Foundation

Generous Assistance: Liza Mauer & Andrew Sheiner

Additional Support: Nordstrom 

School and Teacher Programs generously supported by: 

The Weston Family Teacher Training Fund established by the Weston Family Foundation

Education programs at the AGO are supported by endowment funds from the Arthur Lismer Group, The Learning Circle, and the Learning Fund.
 

ABOUT THE AGO
Located in Toronto, the Art Gallery of Ontario is one of the largest art museums in North America, attracting approximately one million visitors annually. The AGO Collection of more than 120,000 works of art ranges from cutting-edge contemporary art to significant works by Indigenous and Canadian artists and European masterpieces. The AGO presents wide-ranging exhibitions and programs, including solo exhibitions and acquisitions by diverse and underrepresented artists from around the world. In 2019, the AGO launched a bold new initiative designed to make the museum even more welcoming and accessible with the introduction of free admission for anyone 25 years and under and a $35 annual pass. Visit AGO.ca to learn more.

The AGO is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. Additional operating support is received from the City of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts and generous contributions from AGO Members, donors and private-sector partners.

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For media inquiries, please contact:

Wendy So; Communications Officer
Wendy.So@ago.ca

Andrea-Jo Wilson; Manager, Public Relations
Andrea-Jo.Wilson@ago.ca

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