b'EDUCATIONThe mission of Museum Making Connections (MMC) is to foster creativity and provide a developmentally appropriate education in the arts by delivering enriching and meaningful art encounters and hands-on learning art opportunities to children and adults primarily of the Tri-State area who may otherwise lack access to the arts.With your support, Museum Making Connections served 47,983 individuals in fiscal year 2017, and 47,458 individuals in fiscal year 2018. MMC experienced the following increases in participation: TOTAL SERVED +19%MMC offered a STEAM component to its highly successful Tri-State Elementary program. TRI-STATE ELEMENTARIES+178%MMC initiates, reinforces, and enhances an appreciation and understanding of the arts. Each program under the MMC umbrella reaches large numbers of participants, the majority of whom are children, and seeks to instill an appreciationARTS IN MEDICINE +64%in and enjoyment of the arts through engaging hands-on art activities. Interactions guided by MMC components enable HMA to establish and deepen positive community relationships with families, schools, school systems and area agencies.CLASSES+62%MMC learning experiences are often a childs first experience with Huntington Museum of Art or a museum. ACCESS THROUGH COLLABORATION COMMUNITY EVENTS+35%Our Education Department is dedicated to increasing access to the arts and has found that collaboration with area organizations and agencies is a great way toAFTER SCHOOL +7%promote this. Here are a few examples. We continued to partner with the Cabell-Wayne Association of the Blind to provide clay classes to students with visual impairments and a small annual exhibition of their works. Our partnerships withTOURS+4.4%school systems in Cabell, Mason, Lincoln, Putnam and Wayne counties (WV), Lawrence County (OH) and Boyd County (KY) ensured that multiple grades were(Fiscal years 2017 & 2018)served county-wide with onsite and offsite programming. Pressley Ridge sent underserved teens to participate in our project-based ArtWorks! program, and Talented & Gifted Students from within HMAs service area visited the studios to throw clay and make paper from papyrus. We continued to make the Create Crate available to visitors from Marshall Universitys Autism Services Center, to use at their discretion and we joined with the Greater Huntington Park & Recreation District to host semi-annual community hikes on our nature trails.BENEFITSIn our service area, more than 29,000 children under the age of 18 are living below 24% of the federal poverty level. Funding cuts to public school art programs leave them with limited access to arts education resources. Huntington Museum of Arts education outreach programs, offered to students at no cost through Museum Making Connections, provide these children with an outlet to explore creativity and critical thinking through arts exposure, guided art making, and interactive project-based learning incorporating 21st Century Skills which meet state educational standards. Education research has shown that guided exposure to art leads to increased spatial reasoning which, in turn, can be seen through improved performance in math and science.8'