In 2019, the Missoula Art Museum teamed up with Inspired Classroom, a local education-tech company. Together they launched Museum as Megaphone, a free distance-learning platform that allows teachers and students to visit the museum virtually from their classrooms. Modeled after the successful Fifth Grade Art Experience (FGAE) program, Museum as Megaphone includes gallery tours, engaging discussions, and a hands-on art making activity. Click here to watch a video of the soft launch of this program with a school from St. Ignatious, Montana.

The live day launch was on February 10, 2020 and served over 150 students from 7 schools across the state, some as far as the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. In the wake of rapid school closures due to the coronavirus, and the need for social distancing, the education team at MAM quickly modified the curriculum to an "on demand" format where users can log on and access the content for free, whenever they like. Click here to learn about how to access this program.

The platform includes video tours of the building and galleries, high-resolution images, history of the museum, easy to understand curricula about contemporary art, and a hands-on art-making guide. Megaphone offers professional-grade resources to bring the work of three artists into your home – all for free!

The content meets national and state standards in four areas: visual art, language arts, social studies, and Indian Education for All (IEFA). Modeled after the 34th year of FGAE, the pilot season of Museum as Megaphone focuses on the art of Indigenous artists Rick Bartow (Mad River Band Wiyot) and Lillian Pitt (Wasco, Warm Springs, Yakama). This focus is rooted in the museum’s commitment to exhibiting contemporary Native American artists and providing access to rural and tribal communities.


MAM offers trainings for teachers, teaching artists, and art guides. These hands-on workshops will connect with the core values and mission of MAM and share best practices in the field of art education. This cycle will focus on the respectful exploration of our dedicated Contemporary American Indian Art Gallery. Email Jenny Bevill, educator and outreach specialist at [email protected] for more information or to RSVP for upcoming trainings.

Each weekday from October through January, hundreds of fifth graders from Missoula County Public Schools and beyond spend first three hours of their day at MAM interacting with one of the seasonal exhibitions at MAM. Following gallery tours and an art-making project, the classes then move onto the local public library to sign up for a library card. Inquiry-based gallery activites encourage self-engagement and self-discovery, which are at the core of MAM's educational philosophy.

The most recent session, the 34th year, focused on Rick Bartow: Things You Know But Cannot Explain. The 2019-2020 year of FGAE served over 1,500 fifth graders from five counties in northwestern Montana. This program is free and is generously supported by the Art Associates of Missoula.

Read more about previous years in this 2017 article from the Missoulian.

If you are interested in scheduling a fifth-grade tour, please contact Jenny Bevill, educator and outreach specialist.


Montana Treasures: Jaune Quick-to-See Smith and Rudy Autio

MAM now has a broad assortment of online cross-curriculum lesson plans and activities associated with two premiere artists from the MAM Permanent Collection: Jaune Quick-to-See Smith and Rudy Autio. Please feel free to use any of these materials, which will enrich and guide your students in a greater understanding of Montana culture and its artistic legacy.

Learning Through Art: Corwin (Corky) Clairmont and Jaune Quick-to-See Smith

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