Gift in Honor of the Former DMA Director to Support New Education Programs Dedicated to Engaging Audiences in Innovative Ways
DALLAS, TX – May 18, 2015 – The Dallas Museum of Art announced that its longtime patrons Beverly and Donald S. Freeman have awarded $1.5 million to the Museum to establish The Bonnie Pitman Education Endowment to Do Something New fund, benefiting the DMA’s education programs and in honor of its former Director. A plaque will be placed in the Museum’s Center for Creative Connections, an innovative learning environment located on the Museum’s first level that Pitman established in 2008 during her tenure as Director.
The endowment will support the DMA’s nationally respected Education Department in the development of new programs dedicated to engaging audiences in innovative ways. Inspired by Pitman’s Do Something New™ Practice, established in July 2011, the programs created out of this fund will reflect the Practice’s focus on creativity and incorporating something new into your daily routine.
“The Dallas Museum of Art deeply appreciates this generous gift from Beverly and Don Freeman, longstanding patrons of the Museum including Beverly’s more than three decades as a valued DMA docent, and we are grateful for their continued support of our celebrated education programs,” said Maxwell L. Anderson, The Eugene McDermott Director. “The DMA was fortunate to have had Bonnie in a leadership role for more than a decade where she helped steer the Museum through difficult financial times. The establishment of The Bonnie Pitman Education Endowment to Do Something New fund is a perfect opportunity for the Museum to continue and honor her vibrant legacy as a pioneer of education outreach in the museum field.”
Bonnie Pitman served as The Eugene McDermott Director at the Dallas Museum of Art from 2008 through May 2011, having joined the DMA in 2000 as the Museum’s Deputy Director. At the DMA, Pitman designed innovative new programs and led the interdivisional teams that enhanced and strengthened the Museum’s connection between its collections and its community. During her tenure, Pitman co-wrote Ignite the Power of Art (2011), a publication focused on museum audiences and programs creating a more engaging environment for visitors. She was named the recipient of the 2011 American Association of Museums (AAM) Award for Distinguished Service to Museums. From 1989 to 1994, Pitman chaired the AAM’s National Task Force on Museum Education, which prepared and published the landmark policy report Excellence and Equity: Education and the Public Dimension of Museums. She joined The University of Texas at Dallas as Distinguished Scholar in Residence and Co-Director of the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Museums in 2012. Her work focuses on developing interdisciplinary research and program relationships between UTD and cultural and health institutions. She is researching and developing new programs in art and healing for chronically ill patients and their caregivers with Baylor Health Care Systems, UT Southwestern Medical Center, the Dallas Museum of Art and Crow Museum of Asian Art.
About the Dallas Museum of Art
Established in 1903, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is among the 10 largest art museums in the country and is distinguished by its commitment to research, innovation, and public engagement. At the heart of the Museum and its programs is its global collection, which encompasses more than 23,000 works and spans 5,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Located in the nation’s largest arts district, the Museum acts as a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary events, and dramatic and dance presentations. Since the Museum’s return to free general admission in 2013, the DMA has welcomed more than two million visitors, and enrolled more than 100,000 people in DMA Friends, the nation’s first free museum membership program. For more information, visit DMA.org.
The Dallas Museum of Art is supported, in part, by the generosity of DMA Partners and donors, the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.