Grant Builds Partnership Between Baruch College and Rubin Museum of Art

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Rubin Museum
Photo courtesy of rmanyc.org

The Shelly & Donald Rubin Foundation has kicked off an exciting new collaboration between Baruch College and the Rubin Museum of Art with a $200,000 grant, plus — depending on the outcome of the first year — a commitment to make four additional $200,000 grants over the next four years for a total of $1 million dollars. The grant will finance the development of art-enriched programming at Baruch College. Through this partnership, the College and the Rubin Museum of Art (co-founded by Shelly and Donald Rubin), hope to better educate Baruch students on the important role art plays in the development of civil societies and their cultural and spiritual values. The intent is to help students develop a deeper sense of who they are and their purpose in life. “One of the things Donald has always cared about is the educational component of the museum — programs for school kids, having a broad array of public programs … [he’s] eager for people to experience work that has a lot of powerful human content,” says Bruce Payne, executive director of the Rubin Foundation.

Through its diverse collection of Himalayan and cultural art, the Rubin Museum will introduce rich art teachings into Baruch College coursework meant to prepare students for careers in business, government, the non-profit sector, and the arts. Proposed programming will include regular student visits to the museum, new courses that capitalize on its assets, special arts events on campus, as well as internship and scholarship opportunities for students.

The venture is of special interest to current President Stan Altman, who out of his deep interest in South Asia first proposed the idea of such a collaboration between Baruch College and the Museum. The Rubins were immediately enthused and responsive. Dr. Altman will serve as the project’s director.

Currently, the museum hosts over 300 special events in any given year including seminars, lectures, speakers, panels, and films and is expecting to ramp up their offerings even more in light of this new relationship with Baruch College. “The hope is that it will help students develop a connection with a range of art and the power and usefulness of thinking with visual images, and that it will get students familiar with a culture that they don’t know much about,” says Payne.

Baruch College will work to expand and share what is developed with other CUNY colleges — a goal that Payne says is an integral way to keep the classroom from being overly insular. “A college education [in New York City] should mean having contact with the museums, opera houses, concert halls. The idea is that a relationship between a college and a lively and interesting institution [like the Rubin Museum] will serve as a kind of model between more colleges and cultural institutions,” he notes. This project will complement other programs spearheaded by Dean Jeffrey Peck designed to expand students’ social awareness through integration of the arts into Baruch College curriculum.