SHELBURNE, VT.- Shelburne Museum
Director Thomas Denenberg announced the endowment of the director of education position made possible by a gift from the Stiller Family Foundation.
The Stiller Family Foundation, the foundation of philanthropists Christine and Robert Stiller, gave a generous gift of $1.5 million to endow the Education Department chair. Christine Stiller is a trustee of Shelburne Museum. Robert Stiller founded Keurig Green Mountain. The two are longtime supporters of education initiatives, early childhood development and programs for Vermont school children.
This leadership gift from the Stiller Family Foundation represents a significant investment in a vital component of Shelburne Museums mission and highlights the increasingly important role that museum education plays in arts education in Vermont, Denenberg said.
Director of Education Karen Petersen, a longtime staff member of the museum and recognized leader in museum education service, will serve as the first Stiller Family Foundation Director of Education. The endowment ensures that the museum will retain the best in the field of museum education services.
Educational programming is essential to meeting the museums mission to provide an enriching and engaging experience for adults, families and school children. Each year more than 7,000 Vermont school children visit the museum and participate in programs including Passport to Learning, a series of interactive, collection-based workshops for students grades K6 that was developed in concert with Vermonts Education Quality Standards in multiple content areas, as well as special exhibition workshops, summer camps, family programs and specialized programming for specific audiences such as visitors with visual impairments.
We understand the crucial and increasingly important role Shelburne Museum plays in arts education in Vermont, and we believe that the arts are integral to quality education, especially for school children. This has come into sharper focus now that I am serving on the museums board of trustees. We are pleased to support the museums educational mission for generations to come through endowing the Stiller Family Foundation Director of Education, Christine Stiller said.
The Stiller Family Foundation Director of Education is the second position to be endowed at Shelburne Museum in recent months. In July, the Francie and John Downing Curator of American Art was announced, endowing the museums chief curator position.