VMFA Teacher Programs are virtual for Winter-Spring 2021.
As schools throughout Virginia continue to follow regional guidelines with respect to in-person, virtual, or hybrid instruction, VMFA Teacher Programs will support teachers with virtual sessions focused on online resources for specific disciplines and topics. VMFA teacher programs are aligned with Virginia’s Standards of Learning and model strategies for incorporating works of art into K-12 curricula. Suitable for recertification points.
Registration required. Choose a fee to fit your resources: ($3, $5, $10).

Teacher Programs

Statewide Teacher Workshops

Teacher Programs & Workshops at VMFA


Virginia’s Natural Bridge: Art Reveals History, Geography, and Ecology

Thu, Mar 4, 4:30–5:45 pm | Online 

Thomas Jefferson purchased Virginia’s Natural Bridge from King George III in 1774 for 20 shillings. Have you ever wondered why King George could sell or grant lands in America? Learn about this transaction and much more in this workshop. The upcoming VMFA exhibition, Virginia Arcadia: The Natural Bridge in American Art (on view Feb 6–Aug 1, 2021) explores the history of this naturally formed rock bridge and how art has represented its place in the formation of America’s identity. Join exhibition curator Chris Oliver and VMFA educator Sarah Rasich for a virtual tour and conversation about how objects in the show might prompt inquiry about the relationship between Virginia’s physical geography and the lives of its people past and present. Topics include western expansion, slavery, tourism, and ecological conservation. Learn more about the exhibition here: https://www.vmfa.museum/exhibitions/exhibitions/virginia-arcadia-natural-bridge-american-art/

Registration required. Choose a fee to fit your resources: $3; $5; $10


African American History: From the Harlem Renaissance to the March on Montgomery—and More

Thu, Mar 18, 4:30–5:45 pm | Online 

Pictures activate curiosity! Today, most of the information we receive includes compelling visual components. Did you know VMFA’s collection include many works of art that relate to the African American experience? This workshop will offer strategies for exploring visual resources related to the Harlem Renaissance, the Southern Civil Rights Movement (with a focus on SNCC), John Lewis and the March on Montgomery, James Baldwin, and Fannie Lou Hamer.

Registration required. Choose a fee to fit your resources: $3; $5; $10. 

This workshop may also be booked as a Professional Development session, fee negotiable. 


VMFA and Language Arts: Look, Write, Read, and Envision

Thu, Apr 15, 4:30–5:45 pm | Online 

Do your students need help catching up with Language Arts skills? This workshop will match works of art with children’s picture books and young adult literature. For example, link Take a Picture of Me, James VanDerZee! by Andrea J. Loney with the VanDerZee photographs in the VMFA collection—and a lesson concept that culminates with a selfie challenge. Participants will also experiment with works of art as prompts for creative and expository writing—with connections to poetry by Walt Whitman, Langston Hughes, and Nikki Giovanni.

Registration required. Choose a fee to fit your resources: $3; $5; $10.

This workshop may also be booked as a Professional Development session, fee negotiable. 


Native American Narratives: Art, Culture, and Memory

Thu, Apr 22, 4:30–5:45 pm | Online 

How do works of art reflect the world view of their makers? What can they tell us about the connection between these works and the places where they are made? Join Dr. Johanna Minich, curator of VMFA’s Native American art collection, as she addresses these topics and more. For example, discover how Virgil Ortiz’s Aeronauts relate to Star Wars and the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 and how Jaune Quick-to-See Smith’s War Torn Dress addresses the false narrative of a vanishing race —and hear about new gallery installations that juxtapose works by Euro-American and Indigenous artists to reveal differing cultural perspectives and long-suppressed voices in American history.

Registration required. Choose a fee to fit your resources: $3; $5; $10.