The Mattress Factory, known for its installation art, has received a $100,000 grant from the Benedum Foundation to continue its educational outreach in western Pennsylvania and extend it into West Virginia.
Felice Cleveland, the museum's director of education, said artists create educational tools called "The Space I'm In" to be used in K-12 classrooms by pairs of teachers: one art teacher paired with a teacher from another subject. Together, they develop a series of inter-disciplinary lessons to present core curriculum to their students.
New teachers will be chosen in June and will attend professional development workshops throughout the year. Cleveland said they will be trained to think about space and to be more aware of their environment, along with how to adapt what they learn for the classroom. It's hoped that students will also be able to visit the Mattress Factory.
The goal of the installation art at the museum and the education project is to help people become more aware of space, according to Cleveland.
"There's this big goal of really wanting people to notice the world, take things a little slower and realize that they are in control of changing spaces and changing things in the world," she said.