Friday, July 28, 2017


Philbrook Steps Up: Over 1000 teachers respond to free-membership initiative

Following last November’s election—and the defeat of a state question that would have legislated a much-needed raise—Philbrook Museum of Art stood up for Oklahoma public school teachers by offering free, annual museum memberships. To date, 1046 teachers have taken advantage of the program, from 80 public-school districts spread across the state, with more than 10 percent coming from outside the Tulsa Metro area.

“This small effort for teachers perfectly aligns with our commitment to lifelong learning, community engagement, and providing access to all,” said Philbrook Director Scott Stulen.

“Learning and Creativity” ranks No. 1 on the Philbrook vision statement: “We regard learning, creativity, and the investigation of ideas as a vital, life-long pursuit. We advocate inquiry, debate, participation, and experimentation in all our activities, programs, and practices.”

The non-partisan, non-profit Oklahoma Policy Institute reported last September that, of the 50 United States, Oklahoma’s 2015-2016 average classroom teacher salary ranked 48th, ahead of only South Dakota and Mississippi. Average salaries decreased from the previous year, the institute reported, by more than $7,500, after accounting for inflation.

In a survey conducted in the weeks following program launch, teachers were allowed to comment anonymously on the impact the offer was having on their classrooms, and their lives. “Grateful,” one wrote, saying the free membership was an act to both “support the arts and connect my students to artistic experiences.” “Thankful,” wrote another, saying that, for she and her husband, both teachers, “It would otherwise be a ‘luxury’ not in our family budget.”

“Thank you so much for celebrating teachers,” wrote another

“I am not a public-school teacher, but anything that benefits my community benefits me.”
–Sarah, Facebook comment
About Philbrook
Rooted in the beauty and architecture of an historic home gifted by the Phillips family in 1938, Philbrook Museum of Art has grown to become one of the preeminent art museums across the central United States. Highlights of the Museum’s permanent collection include Renaissance and Baroque paintings from the Kress Foundation, one of the greatest surveys of Native American art anywhere, American and Southwestern art, photography, and growing modern and contemporary collections. The Philbrook main campus spans 25 acres of grounds and formal gardens, and features an historic home, as well as a modern museum complex. The satellite location in downtown Tulsa showcases the Philbrook modern, contemporary, and Native American art collections, as well as the Eugene B. Adkins Collection and Study Center of Native American art.

Philbrook Museum of Art is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday, Philbrook Downtown, 116 E. M.B. Brady St., is open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Museum admission runs $9 for adults, $7 for seniors and university students; Philbrook members and youth 17 and younger are always free.

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