Multi-Visit Programs

Multi-Visit Programs

School District of Philadelphia Programs
© Michael Perez

The Barnes Foundation offers cross-curricular outreach programs for 7,500 K–8 students annually in the School District of Philadelphia (SDP). Programs combine in-class learning led by Barnes educators with a structured tour of the Philadelphia Collection Gallery and the Roberts Gallery. Programming develops students’ art appreciation and reinforces reading comprehension, math, science, history, and social studies, depending on the grade level.

The Barnes provides classrooms with curriculum guides, multidisciplinary lesson plans, teaching posters, and extension activities that district teachers use to prepare students for the program and to facilitate ongoing learning throughout the academic year. 

The Barnes’s collaboration with the district is generously supported by corporations and foundations and offered free of charge to district schools. Registration is required.

The Barnes Foundation smART Fund for Education, established by GSK, is an endowment that provides generous annual support for K–8 education outreach programs in the School District of Philadelphia. Learn more


Pictures and Words (K–3)
Pictures and Words is a multidisciplinary program offered to 2,500 primary students annually. Developed with input from district teachers and administrators, the program integrates works of art in the Barnes collection with lessons and activities that reinforce Pennsylvania Common Core State Standards for English and Language Arts. The program teaches students about the narratives behind paintings in the Barnes collection and invites students to respond to what they have learned with their own creative storytelling/writing, poetry, and art.

Pictures and Words is sponsored by




Additional support provided by the Hamilton Family Foundation.

Click here to download Pictures and Words curricular material.

ArtSpeaks! (Grade 4)
A collaborative program with two other Philadelphia cultural institutions that provides an art museum experience for every fourth-grade student in the district. 1,000 students visit the Barnes annually. Funding is provided to participating institutions through grants made to and administered by the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Explore the ArtSpeaks! curriculum and program resources. Explore the ArtSpeaks! curriculum and program resources.

Art of Looking (Grades 5 and 6)
The Art of Looking curriculum enriches math and science core curricular concepts through the study of how artists use geometry, light and shadow, dimension, and other principles to create works of art. Students test interdisciplinary connections as they create their own art that they share and discuss with their peers. The program is modeled on S.T.E.A.M. education theory (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art + Math) that purposefully integrates the arts, design, and other disciplines in experiential activities. An arts-integrated teaching and learning approach helps students develop innovative thinking and problem-solving capabilities, which contribute to improved testing abilities and life skills. 2,000 district students participate in the program annually.

Supported by the Connelly Foundation.

Click here to download Art of Looking curricular material.

Crossing Boundaries (Grades 7 and 8)
Crossing Boundaries supports core curriculum in social studies and art by encouraging seventh- and eighth-grade students to observe and compare works of art that are unique to specific cultures, and to identify connections between objects based on shared aesthetic principles, regardless of their geographic origins. The program encourages students to consider how societal values and expectations influence the art that is produced by a culture, and how art captures and contextualizes history in a visual medium. An underlying theme of appreciation for art of all forms and from all cultures is the basis for the curriculum at both grade levels. 1,000 district students participate in the program annually.

Sponsored by  

This program is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

National Endowment for the Arts Logo

Additional support provided by The 25th Century Foundation and the Connelly Foundation.

Click here to download Crossing Boundaries curricular material. 

Other Resources for District Students and Teachers
The Barnes offers free admission and transportation for 1,000 SDP students annually who visit for a docent-led tour of the permanent collection. District teachers are invited to attend monthly half-day workshops that introduce programs and activities and illustrate opportunities to integrate the arts into lesson plans in fun and engaging ways. Teachers can earn Act 48 credit hours through a partnership with the Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Explore current teacher workshops and the annual Teacher Institute.

Annual support for all K–12 outreach programs in the School District of Philadelphia schools is provided by

The Syde Hurdus Foundation
The Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation
Joan and Bernard Spain
The Victory Foundation
The Hamilton Family Foundation
The Louis N. Cassett Foundation
The Samuel P. Mandell Foundation
A generous gift from an Anonymous Foundation
A generous gift from an anonymous donor and by

wells fargo

Subaru of America has generously supported K–12 outreach programs by providing a vehicle for Barnes educators to use to travel to city schools.





Education outreach programs for School District of Philadelphia students are generously supported by gifts made through the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program. The Barnes Foundation gratefully acknowledges the following donors for their support:

M&T Bank

Chubb Logo


Kline and Specter

Additional support through the EITC program provided by Aqua America, BNY Mellon, Brown Brothers Harriman, and Elliott-Lewis.

K-12 Group Visit

Request a visit for your K-12 group online.

Contact Us

For more information about any of our education programs, contact the Education Department at 215.278.7300.

Teacher Resources

Teachers and educators, learn more about how you can enhance your skills as an arts and humanities educator at the Barnes.