Teaching and Learning at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College Museum

Academic Engagement Resources at the FAC Museum

The FAC Museum seeks to be an essential teaching site on the Colorado College campus. The Museum supports students’ learning across all disciplines by creating opportunities for engagement with expressive culture that can facilitate critical thinking, encourage reflection, and stimulate creativity. 

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the FAC Museum Academic Engagement blog! The site will provide a regular space for sharing resources, announcing opportunities, and highlighting successful collaborative projects. In this introductory post, I’d like to share a bit of information about teaching and learning opportunities at the FAC Museum.

Simply put, the FAC Museum aims to serve as a teaching and learning resource for the entire campus. We believe that the experiences the Museum can provide opportunities for developing the research, writing, critical thinking, risk-taking, and communication skills that students need to be successful in any discipline.

To make the Museum’s resources broadly available for teaching, we offer a wide range of support, including :

  • Facilitating discussions in the galleries;
  • Teaching visual literacy sessions with students;
  • Co-designing and supervising Museum-based research, writing, and creative response assignments;
  • Providing access to the Museum’s collection for discussion and student research;
  • Coordinating projects with participants in the Mellon Artist-in-Residence program;
  • Hosting objects-based teaching workshops for faculty.

More detailed information can be found at our website: https://www.coloradocollege.edu/offices/dean/faculty/ccfac-faculty-resources/academic-engagement-programs.html

We have had an extraordinary year thus far – our first since the FAC/CC merger. To date, more than 100 Colorado College classes representing 27 departments visited the Museum with a total of 1,610 student participating. And the year is not yet over! Participating departments include Art, Anthropology, Biology Economics Geology History, Philosophy, Psychology, Southwest Studies and Spanish – along with several others. But perhaps more important than the statistics is the variety and depth of the learning opportunities that have taken place, with activities ranging from visual literacy workshops to multi-visit research and analysis assignments, to curatorial projects.

Highlights include:

  • Associate Professor Naomi Wood curated the exhibition Raizes/Roots: Transformations in Contemporary Brazilian Art. The exhibition was incorporated into eight CC classes;
  • The FYE Introduction to Art History, taught by Visiting Assistant Professor Victoria Ehrlich, created an exhibition in the FAC’s exploratory UnBlocked gallery to explore topics related to their course;
  • Assistant Professor of Psychology Jason Weaver incorporated analysis and interpretation of visual materials into his course Japanese Americans During World War II, making observation and hypothesis exercises in the Museum an integral part of the course;
  • Students in several Spanish language and culture courses taught by Assistant Professor Javiera Jaque and Professor Clara Lomas researched and wrote Spanish interpretive texts for objects on display;
  • Students in Professor Joan Ericson’s class researched and wrote interpretive texts for the current exhibition Takaamanohara: The Plain of High Heaven which are available in digital format in the gallery.

In upcoming posts, we will spotlight some of the year’s many wonderful projects to celebrate our faculty’s commitment to innovative teaching, share successful strategies, and hopefully inspire others to use the Museum in creative ways.

We are always available to discuss ideas, share successful assignments, and help facilitate productive experiences in the Museum for students and faculty. We look forward to working with you!




Jessica Hunter-Larsen, Director of Academic Engagement

Phone: 719-477-4319, Email: jhunterlarsen@coloradocollege.edu






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