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deCordova announces new Education hire and strategic changes to program
Bernson is currently Curator of Education at the Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy in Andover.

LINCOLN, MA.- DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum announces changes to its education program as described in the newly adopted 2011-2016 Strategic Plan: the addition of a Deputy Director for Learning and Engagement, an enhanced and restructured art making program, and the expansion of the deCordova/Lincoln Nursery School (LNS) partnership.

“Our newly hired educational leadership, the creation of the first resident preschool at a contemporary art museum in the U.S., and our new free admission policy for children twelve and under, continue to build on the momentum we’ve gained from the new strategic plan,” commented Director Dennis Kois. “That plan, and the goal it describes—to become a clear leader among this country’s sculpture parks—is impacting every aspect of what we provide for our visitors. Strengthening our education program is integral to advancing our mission, and hence it’s exciting to see so much progress in that area already underway.”

Deputy Director for Learning and Engagement
After a nationwide search, deCordova has announced the appointment of Julie Bernson to the newly-created senior post of Deputy Director for Learning and Engagement. Bernson, currently Curator of Education at the Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy in Andover, is nationally-recognized as a leading museum educator and a visionary thinker.

“I am looking forward to all of the new opportunities that deCordova’s strategic plan offers for engaging visitors of all ages and backgrounds in the Park and Museum and with art and artists,” Bernson said. “The Museum is uniquely situated to share its rich resources of art, artists, and the environment with the immediate communities of Lincoln Nursery School and the town of Lincoln, and the broader museum-going community, as well as initiate new visitors and families into the value and enjoyment of interacting with art.”

Bernson first joined the Addison Gallery in 1995; in 1999 she became Director of Education and then was named Curator of Education in 2010. While at the Addison Gallery, Bernson spearheaded the development of the Addison’s new award-winning Museum Learning Center. She holds a Master’s in Education from Lesley University with a particular focus on the intersection of museum pedagogy and the Reggio Emilia approach, an important connection as deCordova deepens its partnership with the Lincoln Nursery School. Bernson also holds a Certificate in Museum Studies from Tufts University and an undergraduate degree in Art History and Religion from Trinity College. Prior to her work at the Addison, Bernson has held positions at Gateway Arts, the New Art Center in Newton, the Clark Gallery in Lincoln, and was the Founding Administrative Director of the Revolving Museum in Boston. She will begin her new role on March 19, 2012.

Art Making Program
The Strategic Plan describes the goal of becoming a leader among this country’s sculpture parks by 2016 by, in part, offering a robust slate of curatorial programming and innovative educational offerings with an emphasis on experiential learning for all ages—particularly youth and family audiences. DeCordova is modifying the format of its current educational program to being inspired directly by the exhibition themes, exhibiting artists’ ideas and techniques, and the Museum’s unique setting. The current semester-based studio art making program is being transformed into a mission-focused set of offerings to include workshops, seminars, short class series, and readily available art making opportunities for visitors of all ages in a variety of media. Changes are already underway, and it is anticipated that these new programs will be fully implemented by fall 2012.

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