Anonymous grant fuels kid’s bus to art museum

The university’s Museum of Art hopes to bring in hundreds of students with a new program that will bus area school children to the museum, allowing them continued exposure to the world of art. With an anonymous donation of $3,500, the museum’s educational outreach has a new lease on life, bringing in students who, in turn, bring in their parents.

Rob Snyder, within his first three months as director of development for WSU’s Museum of Art, found an anonymous donor to make a one-time donation to start a busing program for area school children.

The program has received additional donations, including one from Lee and Jody Sahlin of Spokane and one from the Pullman’s Lion Club. “We will continue the program as long as there are resources to pay for the buses,” Snyder said. He calls the program ‘Buy a Busload of Kids for only $175.’ Hopefully, a continual stream of donations will come in and keep this program going, he said.

The program is open to all area schools — preschool through high school including (but not limited to) Whitman and Latah counties. “We hope that schools from all over eastern Washington and northern Idaho will take advantage of our free busing program and our docent tours,” said Anna-Maria Shannon, assistant director of the Museum of Art.

“Not only do we offer free busing, but we will come to the classroom with art workshops and slides of the current exhibit. If the kids can’t come to us, we are willing to go to them and work within the curricula of the individual grade levels,” she said.

“Coming to the museum and experiencing art first-hand can have a great impact on children. Those who visit museums now will be visitors as adults,” said Brenda Congdon-Power, docent coordinator.

Schools interested in participating in the program can contact WSU’s Museum of Art at (509) 335-1910 or (509) 335-6150. All events at the museum are free and open to the public.

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