Making Art A Refuge In Kansas City

KCPS Language Services Department partners with the Nelson-Atkins Museum


The Kansas City Public Schools Language Services Department and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art began a partnership premised on the belief that institutions have a responsibility to reflect contemporary issues in their programs and curricula.

The aim of the partnership is two-fold. First, it aims to introduce the students, most of whom are refugees/immigrants, to the heritage and culture of their adopted community. The partnership is also structured to introduce and showcase the lives and talents of these young students to the Kansas City community.

The projects undertaken under this program include:

  1. A tour of the Nelson-Atkins Museum by New American Academy Summer School high school students. Stacey Karabegovic, New Americans Resource Teacher and Coordinator of the New American Summer Academy, worked with museum Manager of Community & Access Programs Christine Boutrous to develop this program. According to Ms. Karabegovic, in conversations with New American students, the consensus is that “the Nelson is the best thing about Kansas City.”
  2. It’s the fourth year of art classes at East High School and Gladstone Elementary. This year’s theme is global art, and the art produced by the students will be displayed at the Ricci Auditorium at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences for World Refugee Day, which is on Saturday, July 8.
  3. On June 28, as part of the June Immigrant Heritage Month, students in ESL 1 and ESL 2 summer school classes toured the modern and contemporary galleries at the Nelson-Atkins Museum to view art by artists who immigrated to the US.