Medich Foundation gifts $1M to MCA in support of Early Learning Programs

by Freya Lucas

December 19

Christmas came early for the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) with the announcement earlier this month of The Medich Foundation as Major Benefactor of the Museum’s Early Learning Programs.

 

The Foundation has committed to a gift of $1 million over 5 years in support of MCA’s Early Learning programs, which include specialised learning experiences for early childhood groups; professional development workshops for early childhood practitioners and teachers; and, the Art & Wonder: Young Children and Contemporary Art research project.

 

MCA’s Early Learning programs are a core part of the Museum’s commitment to ensuring that the broader community engages with contemporary art through dedicated and specialised programs, creating space for young children, families and teachers to experience and learn about Australian art and artists.

 

MCA Director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE acknowledged the generosity of The Medich Foundation’s $1 million gift to the MCA, saying the Museum was thrilled to be announcing the generous gift, noting the synergy between the Medich Foundation’s strong commitment to Western Sydney, and the next phase of the MCA program taking place in Blacktown. 

 

“Our research with the Mia Mia Centre at Macquarie University has shown the impact of creative learning programs inspired by art, in particular on the under 5s which are the critical years in a child’s development. This gift will allow the MCA to continue best-practice within the early learning sector, as well as help to extend the program’s reach,” Ms Macgregor added. 

 

Medich Foundation Director Anthony Medich said the programs offered by MCA not only offer inspiration from working with contemporary art and artists but also contribute to the development of essential skills. 

 

The Foundation, he added, is proud to offer its support, and excited to see the impact of its contribution on young children’s museum experiences as well as their creative development.

 

In recognition of the significant contribution made by The Medich Foundation, the MCA programs will be named ‘Medich Foundation Early Learning Programs’ and will include the following branches: 

 

– Learning programs created for early childhood groups, inviting MCA artist educators to design creative learning experiences specific to the needs and interests of the group.

 

– Early childhood teacher professional development programs focusing on the development of creative learning strategies for engaging young children with contemporary art and artists, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives, STEAM learning, and collaboration with early childhood teachers and educators to develop new approaches to art-making.

 

– The Art & Wonder: Young Children and Contemporary Art research project, a collaboration between Macquarie University, Mia Mia Child and Family Study Centre, Blacktown City Council and Lalor Park Kids’ Early Learning. This longitudinal study will continue to inform the MCA’s creative learning programs for early childhood education and care groups over the next five years. A report highlighting the preliminary findings from the pilot phase of the project will be released in May 2020.

 

Since the 2012 redevelopment of MCA, the National Centre for Creative Learning has worked with over 6,000 children aged birth to 5 years of age, supporting them to experience its Early Learning programs, and collaborating with the youngest members of the community to spark meaningful creative learning experiences, a spokesperson said. 

 

To learn more about MCA, please see here. Information about The Medich Foundation may be found here. 

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