Romare Bearden Foundation

foundation programs



Developed to address the ongoing decline in public school arts education programs, NAE offers Romare Bearden in the Classroom, a model curriculum for teaching African American Visual Arts designed with support from the New York City Board of Education. Through this curriculum, the Foundation establishes sustainable relationships with cultural and educational, local and national partners, thereby reaching those underserved by more mainstream arts education programs.


NAE provides content-rich curriculum packets that contain art reproductions, an annotated teacher’s guide, lesson plans and teacher training workshops, providing methods for integrating the curriculum into existing lesson plans. All lessons align with the NYC Blueprint for the Arts and NEA curriculum standards.


Explore traditional subjects by studying pivotal themes in Romare Bearden’s creative life, from ancient Chinese landscape scrolls and Renaissance art to 20th century jazz, literature and painting. Engaging K-12 students, the NEA provides opportunities to learn standard curriculum themes through viewing art critically and art-making, as well as other skills such as design and video making.


Curriculum Components:


Educator’s Workshops: Introduces administrators and educators to Romare Bearden’s biography, his work and the NEA curriculum material through Educator’s Workshops held in partnership with local Boards of Education and cultural organizations;


Teaching Artists Training: Introduces local artists to the NAE curriculum and trains them to collaboratively implement it with teachers in the public schools;


In School Partnership—Artist and Educator: Highlights the curriculum through classroom-oriented activities and projects, to teach, enrich and inspire students to higher levels of personal and academic achievement.

To host or sponsor a workshop in your school or school district, contact 


National Educator’s Workshops

Educator’s workshops introduce participants to the curriculum and are structured to be accessible and appropriate for public school educators, classroom teachers, art teachers, school administrators and school district art coordinators and to facilitate discussions about African American art and visual arts in general.

The Foundation workshops are in collaboration with educators in departments of education, professional organizations, universities and museums in key locations around the country.

Introduced by a prominent local educator addressing regional challenges facing the arts educational systems, National Educator’s Workshops highlight the impact and significance of the Romare Bearden curriculum project. Workshops can be scheduled as either half- or full-day programs, and are comprised of structured activities including the comprehensive introduction to the curriculum by a Romare Bearden Foundation’s program staff member, the hands-on collage-making exploring Bearden’s process and break-out small group sessions to collaboratively outline a lesson plan.

Original Bearden works can be viewed in a museum setting, alongside art from which Bearden drew inspiration and works by his contemporaries and artists whom he influenced.

Teaching Artists Training and In School Residencies

Teaching artists are selected annually by the Foundation through a competitive merit and financial need based selection process. The artists are trained and then placed in K-12 public and private schools in New York City. Placing teaching artists in schools provides them with financial assistance, provides students with an in-depth exploration of the curriculum and provides the practical opportunities for the Foundation to regularly assess the curriculum in a classroom setting.


The Foundation works closely with school administrators and educators to build cooperative relationships, determining which schools would most benefit from the program and which schools’ educational goals best correlate with the objectives of the teaching artists’ residencies. Together, teaching artists and classroom teachers devise a lesson plan that will meet the teacher’s semester goals as well as the Foundation’s goal to integrate Bearden content and visual instruction.


To contract a teaching artist for your school please send an email to


To help us realize this mission, support the Foundation!