No experience in the arts compares with viewing the primary source – original works of art. Textures and materials come to life when students see works of art firsthand. Original works of art connect students (and visitors) to the historical and cultural context in which these artworks are made; provide a forum to understand art as way of communicating and reflecting important ideas and serve as inspiration for self-reflection. Students carry these personal experiences with them as they grow and develop as human beings in our ever-changing, ever-demanding society.
Students who attend a field trip to an art museum experience an increase in critical thinking skills of 9 percent of a standard deviation, an increase in historical empathy of 6 percent of a standard deviation, and an improvement in tolerance of 7 percent of a standard deviation. Students from rural or high-poverty regions had even larger gains, of 18 percent of a standard deviation in critical thinking, 15 percent in historical empathy, and 13 percent in tolerance. – Results of a 2001 study titled “The Educational Value of Field Trips” by University of Arkansas researchers Jay Greene, Brian Kisida, and Daniel Bowen.
Schools and student groups from our community and throughout our region schedule visits to SAM during the school year and summer. School visits are uniquely customized to make connections between our current exhibitions and the students’ existing curricular goals.
What constitutes a School Visit?
• A docent-led tour of the museum with a focus at least one of the exhibitions on view
• A hands-on art educational activity which reflects a technique, style or concept that derives from the exhibition(s) visited
How long does a School Visit last?
• Between 80 – 120 minutes, depending on the age, development or number of students visiting. However, the length of the visit is also adaptable to accommodate the school’s schedule
• Midtown destinations that are within walking distance, including the Broad Street Market, provide groups with lunchtime options. When available, the Education Center may be used to eat bag lunches (for a fee which includes set up, breakdown and trash removal).
Schedule Your Visit
School Visits are scheduled with preference for Thursdays and Fridays.
1. All School Visits must be scheduled with the Director of Education in advance. Please have more than one potential date in mind. Unscheduled groups may be turned away at the door if there is a conflict with a scheduled visit.
2. Buses may drop off and pick up students at the front entrance on Third Street, no earlier than 10:00 am. All school vehicles may park in the free lot behind the museum on James and Calder Streets for the entirety of the visit.
3. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 717-233-8668 ext. 2002.
4. Rescheduling visits require at least 48-hour notice.
Fee Schedule for School Visits
The cost of a school visit is $5 per student. Teachers are not charged during school visits.
1. Deposit: In order to secure the date of your visit, you must pay a 50% deposit when you schedule the visit. This deposit is NON-refundable; however, it is transferrable towards a rescheduled visit.
2. The remainder of your admission is due upon arrival. When you arrive, please check in at the front desk. The attendant will accept cash, credit, or check.
3. Any additional rental fees are also due upon arrival. These include fees for venue usage or additional programmatic components, such as the VanGo! Musuem on Wheels!
Advanced Payment by invoice: the museum can provide an invoice to a school district for the total cost of the visit. (Refunds cannot be issued on the day of visit.)
Schedule a Group Tour
Group Tours (for 10 or more visitors) must be scheduled in advance to ensure that a trained docent is available to provide a customized 35-55 minute visit of our current exhibitions.
The Group Rate for 10 or more visitors is $4 per person. Groups with less than 10 visitors must pay the regular admission price, which is $8 for adults and $5 for Military, Educators, Students 13+ years old, and Seniors. Members enjoy free admission, so they cannot be counted as part of your group, in order to receive the group rate.
If you are interested in scheduling a group tour email tsell@SusquehannaArtMuseum.org. *Please note, we ask that group organizers inform the museum of your planned arrival time, even if you do NOT wish to have a docent-led tour. For the safety of the artwork and to optimize the experience of all our visitors, the museum would prefer to schedule all groups visits.
Approximately three to four times a year, the main gallery will be temporarily closed for installation when staff is transitioning from one exhibition to another. Installation can last between 2 – 3 weeks to safely handle artwork and prepare the main gallery. Please check our website or social media (or email info@SusquehannaArtMuseum.org) to ensure that the main gallery is not closed during your visit.