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How to Learn More About Art
Part Four: Educational Resources in Your Community


We know you hardcore art lovers can't get enough of this stuff, so part four is for you!

Your community is an excellent resource for all kinds of ways to learn more about art. From local museum educational programs and volunteering, to courses at community colleges and universities--the arts seem to be enjoying a true renaissance.


Want to know the best way to learn more about art? Go see it! Most museums, small or large, provide educational programs of some kind to their communities. Many offer formal docent led tours or formal lectures given by scholars or artists. Volunteering at your local museum gives you even better access to all the goings-on behind the exhibitions.

Also consider becoming a member of the museum. The benefits often include free admission for the member and a guest, discounts for lectures and special events, and the museum's monthly newsletter or magazine. And remember, the cost of a membership is usually tax-deductible.

To find a museum in your area, link to the WWW Virtual Library web site. This exhaustive site has links to every museum in the country. Each museum site clearly indicates what types of classes and/or volunteer opportunities that are available.

Community Colleges

Most community colleges have art history classes scheduled each semester. Typically survey courses are available that offer an overview of the major artistic movements in western art. Some colleges provide courses that explore some movements, such as Renaissance or medieval art. Classes are affordable and can be taken close to home or work. To find a community college in your area, do a search on the Internet. Here is a link for a list of community colleges located throughout the United States.

Continuing Education

Maybe you don't feel like committing to a semester of college by formally enrolling in a class. Then the continuing education is a great option! Most of the courses included in these programs meet only once a week for a limited period of time (some courses may even be available online). The courses are eclectic and are taught by either art historians or artists. Below is just a sample of recent courses available in California. Check out your own local university, it's likely that they offer similar classes.

UC Berkeley Extension

UC Santa Cruz Extension

Stanford University Continuing Studies

An Opportunity for "Seasoned Citizens"

If you're over 60 (just a kid these days) and have the time to pursue your interest in art history, you might want to explore the "Over Sixty Program" at San José State University. This program was created to allow California residents who are over 60 to enroll in regular session courses…FREE!!! The only restriction is that you must register after all other students have registered for the class. This is one of the best-kept secrets for those who want to seriously study art history. For further information call the Student Resource Center (408) 924-2129 or the Re-Entry Program (408) 924-5950. Email:

In addition, Executive Order 600 stipulates that all California State Universities must provide fee waivers for California residents 60 years of age and older. If you live outside California, contact your local university to see if they offer a similar program.

Why aren't you an art expert yet??? It's time to get out there and explore these resources and get involved. It's not only educational; it might be fun to meet others who share your interest in art.

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