The Museum of Contemporary Art has been awarded a $2.2-million grant by the W. M. Keck Foundation to develop educational programs, it was announced Monday.
MOCA plans to use most of the Keck money to establish an education endowment. The remainder is to be combined with earnings from the endowment to support the museum's efforts at educating and broadening its audiences and teaching children about contemporary art.
"Over the last five years, MOCA has been involved in developing a program, establishing its permanent collections and building the (permanent Grand Avenue) museum," MOCA Director Richard Koshalek said by telephone on Monday. "Now a major emphasis for us in future years will be education. This grant is the shot of penicillin we needed to develop a comprehensive education program with national importance."
The Keck grant, payable over the next two years, will be used for such MOCA programs as its volunteer tour program, its The Contemporary publication and Contemporary Art Start--a program that sponsors contemporary art classroom instruction and field trips for Los Angeles grade schoolers.
David A. Thomas, chairman of the W.M. Keck Foundation Southern California Committee, said in a prepared statement that MOCA's program for schoolchildren "typifies the types of programs we seek to fund--one which meets pervasive needs has broad volunteer involvement, provides enduring benefits and is not duplicated elsewhere."
All MOCA's educational programming will be overseen by Vasundhara Prabhu, who became MOCA's first director of education in mid-January. Prabhu developed multicultural programs for the Boston Children's Museum for three years prior to assuming the MOCA post.
"We plan to make contemporary art and MOCA more available to the multicultural audiences of Los Angeles," Prabhu said Monday.
In recognition of the Keck Foundation grant, the museum has named its south wing the W.M. Keck Foundation wing. In prior years, the Keck Foundation gave MOCA a total of $800,000.
"There is a greater interest in contemporary art and culture," Koshalek said. "What's needed now is more information--which the public is asking for."
The W.M. Keck Foundation was established by William Myron Keck, founder of the Superior Oil Co. It supports science, engineering and medical research, arts, education, community services and health care throughout the country.