While there are countless examples of community members pitching in to help education programs and teachers on the Mid-Shore, it’s hard to beat the recent story of the Avalon Foundation working with Daniel Weiss, the CEO of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, to offer a personal tour of that world-famous institution for Easton Elementary School art teacher Anna Madachik.
After three years of working with Easton Elementary School on both afterschool art classes and programming related to the Avalon’s annual Plein Air Easton festival, the Foundation’s Jessica Bellis, and Anna were brainstorming about what else could be done with this collaboration when the idea came up of connecting Anna with another one of the Avalon’s special friends, Daniel Weiss. And Dan just happens to call Oxford, Maryland home during his weekend breaks from running one of the largest museums in the world.
Dan had recently helped the Avalon by becoming the competition judge for Plein Aire in 2021. And He didn’t hesitate to set aside time for Anna and a crew from the Avalon’s community television station to visit the Met after closing hours and discuss and videotape her conservation on seven of Anna’s handpicked art objects that she could later share with her students for many years to come.
The Spy down with Anna last weekend to talk about this remarkable adventure, the generosity of Dan Weiss, and the impact this unique kind of art education has on young children.