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The Keith Haring Foundation makes $500,000 grant to New Museum to support programs
Thanks to the continued partnership with the Keith Haring Foundation, the New Museum’s School, Teen, and Family programs have flourished. Courtesy New Museum, New York. Photo: Dean Kaufman.

NEW YORK, NY.- Lisa Phillips, Toby Devan Lewis Director of the New Museum, has announced that the Keith Haring Foundation has made a generous gift of $500,000 to support and name the Museum’s School, Teen, and Family programs. The Foundation previously made a $1 million gift in 2008 to establish the School and Youth Programs Fund and to name the Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement—a post currently held by Johanna Burton.

Keith Haring’s work, created from an iconic language of signature lines and symbols, blurs the boundaries between art, popular culture, and the urban environment, and mirrors the New Museum’s own ideals of fearlessness, activism through art, and accessibility to broad audiences. This second major gift continues this legacy and celebrates the artist’s devotion to public service through art.

Thanks to the continued partnership with the Keith Haring Foundation, the New Museum’s School, Teen, and Family programs have flourished, serving a greatly expanded audience of students, teachers, and families. Over the last six years, the New Museum has welcomed approximately twenty thousand young people and families to participate in education and community programs. The vast majority of these participants are from the Museum’s surrounding neighborhood in the Lower East Side including Chinatown and the East Village. The next phase of the partnership will prioritize bringing youth together around issues of social responsibility.

“The New Museum’s Keith Haring School, Teen, and Family programs are essential to opening young people’s minds and inspiring learning about the world through contemporary art,” said Lisa Phillips. “With this essential support from the Keith Haring Foundation, we provide free access to the Museum and expose young and diverse audiences to new art and ideas.”

“With this gift, the Keith Haring Foundation is delighted to continue our collaboration with the New Museum,” said Julia Gruen, the Foundation’s Executive Director. “We remain deeply impressed by the Museum’s continuing effort to seek out and highlight vibrant contemporary artists who share Keith Haring’s spirit and energy. We are committed to supporting the Museum’s youth and school program fund and securing the curatorial position as a tribute to Keith’s dedication to inspiring and working with young people, something that was very close to his heart.”

The Keith Haring School and Youth Programs Fund supports the New Museum’s innovative Global Classroom (G:Class) program for high school students. The G:Class program employs contemporary art and artists to strengthen students’ and teachers’ awareness of global culture and to develop visual literacy and critical thinking skills both in the classroom and at the Museum. Other Education programs that are supported include the monthly First Saturdays for Families program, Teen Nights, the annual neighborhood Block Party, and the Department’s most recent programmatic addition, the Experimental Study Program for Teens (ESP). This fall, the New Museum launched ESP, a ten to twelve week, application-based Experimental Study Program for young people aged fifteen to twenty years old. The program offers twelve teen participants the chance to work closely with artists, engage in critical discussions around contemporary art and culture, and contribute directly to the New Museum’s ongoing commitment to social analysis and change by involving youth in research and development projects connected to the Museum’s public programs.

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