Pedagogy and Practice

The RISD Museum was founded on the belief that art, artists, and the institutions that support them play pivotal roles in promoting broad civic engagement and creating more open societies. Working collaboratively and responsively, we aspire to reflect and support multiple perspectives, cross-cultural dialogues, and opportunities for free expression. We interpret our collection with the focus on the maker and we deeply engage with art and artists, presenting ideas and perspectives that can be inspiring and complex. We aspire to create an​​ accessible and inclusive environment that builds meaningful relationships across all communities.

At a time in our politico-social landscape when issues of racial identity, cultural difference, and social integration are at the forefront of public consciousness, institutions such as ours can create common spaces in which the community can productively encounter a diversity of perspectives. We recognize that museums are not neutral spaces and that our collections reflect power structures of exclusion.

We use a variety of instructional strategies that encourage the development of critical thinking and problem solving, inviting each participant to share personal experiences and examine their own perspectives, values and beliefs.

Learn more about our program areas or browse reflections on pedagogy and documentation of projects.


Our Partnerships

Working collaboratively and responsively, the RISD Museum seeks to cultivate a culture of creative learning with local communities.

Member Institutions 

Students, faculty, and staff from our academic partners receive free admission.

Learn more

Multidisciplinary Initiatives

Collaboration offers multiple perspectives, cross-cultural dialogues, and opportunities for free expression. Examples of ongoing and former partners include FirstWorks, Rhode Island Film Festival, Langston Hughes Community Poetry Reading, the Providence Art and Design Film Festival, Stages of Freedom, Community Music Works, Gallery Night ProvidenceProvidence Athenaeum, the Center for Reconciliation, and Providence Children’s Film Festival.

Pedagogy & Practice 

Using a variety of approaches we support topics and issues including multicultural practice, archeology, language learning, and more. Current and past partners include Trinity Repertory TheatreRI PhilharmonicHaffenreffer Museum of Anthropology & Joukowsky Institute of Archaeology and the Ancient World, the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown UniversityLeviton Dual Language School, Sheridan Center, New Urban Arts, !Providence CITYARTS!, Project Open Door, AS220, and VSA Arts.

Museum without Walls

Working beyond the Museum’s walls supports an open dialogue and build meaningful relationships with varied audiences and communities. Our off-site initiatives include  Community Preparatory School, Leviton Dual Language School, Providence Community Libraries, Providence Public Libraries, CrossRoads Rhode Island, Brown Refugee Youth Tutoring and Enrichment, Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island, and the Partnership for Providence Parks.