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August 12, 2008 at 9:49 AM

Storm gets artsy

Missing the Storm? Well, you still have to wait until Aug. 28 to catch them on the court, but you could checkout the Seattle Art Museum’s Impressionism exhibit and have guards Sheryl Swoopes and Katie Gearlds read to your kids. Or you, if you don’t have kids.
Swoopes and Gearlds are hosts of “The Art of Reading with the Seattle Storm” from 3:30-5 p.m. on Wednesday at the museum’s South Hall. The players will read Impressionism-inspired stories and take participants on a tour of their favorite paintings. True, Swoopes and Gearlds are cool, but the art alone is worth the trip!
Here’s the full press release from the team:
STORM AND SEATTLE ART MUSEUM TEAM-UP TO BRING READING AND ART TO CHILDREN AND TEENS
Sheryl Swoopes and Katie Gearlds to read stories and offer their own take on Impressionist paintings in “My Favorite Things” tours of Inspiring Impressionism exhibition
SEATTLE — August 6, 2008 — On Wednesday, Aug.13, from 3:30-5 p.m., two of Seattle’s most valuable cultural assets — the Seattle Storm’s star players and the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) — will join forces to bring reading and art to children and teens in a new and dynamic way. During The Art of Reading with the Seattle Storm, Sheryl Swoopes and Katie Gearlds will read Impressionism-inspired stories and take turns leading their own, personalized “My Favorite Things” tours in the museum’s exhibition Inspiring Impressionism: the Impressionists and the Art of the Past. The event begins at 3:30 p.m. in the Seattle Art Museum’s South Hall, at the entrance at 1st Avenue and University Street. Individuals who would like to attend the free program may register by emailing communityprograms@seattleartmuseum.org.
“At times young people feel like the arts and their real lives are unrelated. Sometimes we don’t realize how much art and literature are ingrained in our everyday lives–from funky flyers and interesting ads to creative children’s book illustrations and mind-blowing paintings in a museum,” said Sandra Jackson-Dumont, Kayla Skinner Deputy Director for Education & Public Programs at the Seattle Art Museum. “We are thrilled to team up with these incredible women from the Seattle Storm to demonstrate fun ways that reading and art can become part of one’s daily life.”
The Art of Reading with the Seattle Storm will group participants for age-appropriate art tours and literary experiences. The involvement of well-known Seattle Storm players will help kids learn that books and museums are important resources for every person within the community, and that each individual can find their own, unique way to experience both on a regular basis.
“As a child I never really had an opportunity to interact with adults and culture in a stimulating environment. This program shows kids how important it is to read, to be inspired by art and to excel in new areas,” said Sheryl Swoopes. “As athletes we know that we can play a powerful role in showing how these experiences can be both enriching and exciting.”
The partnership between SAM and the Storm came about as both institutions realized the benefits of integrating successful youth education programs.
The Storm currently has two community programs focused on these initiatives. Read to Achieve, sponsored by Starbucks Coffee, is in its eighth year as a highly successful program that challenges students to read for at least 20 minutes a day for 20 days each month. Historically, this program has reached students through the public libraries and schools, and this season has been working with Boys and Girls Clubs of King County.
Fast Break to Reading, sponsored by Pitney Bowes, is a new, national WNBA initiative that increases awareness around literacy and the importance of reading. The initiative, supported by six WNBA teams, raises funds through ticket sales and donations. Funds raised are contributed to local Reading is Fundamental (RIF) initiatives, and the winning team is awarded a Reading and Learning Center for their community.
SAM’s mission is to connect art to life, and an important part of this mission is celebrating young people’s creativity. SAM Teen + Family Programs offer a range of age-appropriate art programs for kids and teens. Family Fun, a program for SAM Downtown and the Olympic Sculpture Park, combines kid-inspired tours with art-making for the entire family. This and the opening exhibition weekend celebration Family Days enable children and their parents/caregivers to experience art up close and then realize projects that tap their own artistic talents. SAM also seeks to engage young adults with dynamic programming that hones and shows off their imaginations while building their leadership and critical thinking skills. SAM Teen Programs include the Teen Advisory Group and the special teen Afterhours program ARTattack: Teen Night Out and special quarterly Teen Workshops. More information about SAM Teen + Family Programs can be found at seattleartmuseum.org.
About The Seattle Storm: The Seattle Storm is one of seven independently owned teams in the WNBA, the world’s preeminent women’s professional basketball league. Established in 2000, the Storm is committed to bringing outstanding professional basketball to a diverse and rapidly growing fan base. The team also plays an active role in promoting literacy, health and fitness, and supports women and girls and youth basketball in local communities. More information is available at www.storm.wnba.com.
About The Seattle Art Museum: For 75 years, the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) has been a leading visual arts institution in the Pacific Northwest. SAM is a world-renowned arts institution with three locations, the Seattle Art Museum downtown, Seattle Asian Art Museum (SAAM) in Volunteer Park and the Olympic Sculpture Park (OSP) in Belltown. SAM is an institution with a global perspective, collecting and exhibiting objects from 140 cultures and exploring the connections between past and present. With approximately 25,000 objects, SAM’s collections are unmatched in the region.

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