The Dallas Museum of Art’s Susan Diachisin, the Kelli and Allen Questrom Director of the Center for Creative Connections (C3), attended Harvard University’s Continuing the Conversation (CtC) conference in late October to speak on the success of the Museum’s new Center for Creative Connections. Ms. Diachisin participated in a discussion on current issues in the arts-in-education field to describe how the DMA’s Center for Creative Connections, an 18-month-old innovative and accessible learning environment, has become a national model for engaging people with art.
The CtC conference was developed in 2007 to bring together annually alumni and students of the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Arts in Education (AIE) program to, among other things, identify real-world applications for the theoretical foundation developed in the Arts in Education program. Ms. Diachisin is a 1997 graduate of the AIE program.
The 12,000 sq. ft. Center for Creative Connections offers an environment for visitors of all ages to have a creative, educational experience with works of art from the DMA’s collections accompanied by interactive components that encourage personal responses, creative thought and inquiry, and conversation. C3 also has designated areas for specialized programs and children. Both young and old are led to be inquisitive about works of art and artists in a way that fosters personal creativity. Under Ms. Diachisin’s leadership, C3 has hosted more than 220,000 visitors since opening in May 2008.
Prior to joining the DMA in January 2008 to direct the C3 and develop its exhibitions and programs, Susan Diachisin spent over 25 years in various positions at contemporary art organizations and museums in Massachusetts: the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln; the Fuller Museum of Art in Brockton; the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University; and the New Art Center in Newton.