Educational Impact

Collage of several Wexner programs representing educational impact

The Wexner Center’s free educational programs and contextual materials enhance audience experience and provide insights into the ideas behind the art. Through programming led by the center’s Department of Learning & Public Practice, we encourage critical thinking, dialogue, and debate among diverse audiences at Ohio State, in Columbus, and across the globe. We offer a robust array of on-site, off-site, and virtual/hybrid educational programs that use the arts as a springboard for deep discussion and connection, as well as playfulness and fun.

"The art sparks insight, ideas, creativity, and wonder in the hearts and minds of my students."
—Rachel C. Barkeloo, Columbus Alternative High School visual arts teacher

Each year, the Wex serves hundreds of diverse students from nearly 20 school districts across more than a dozen Ohio counties, including urban, rural, and suburban areas. Two signature and ongoing programs for schools were launched in 2005: the yearlong, internationally noted Pages program, which engages high school students in writing, critical thinking, and self-expression; and WorldView, designed to help middle school and high school students explore the intersections of art, current events, and social justice. Both programs foster cross-cultural understanding as students from different backgrounds and schools interact and exchange ideas—whether in person or via video conferencing. Teachers are provided with robust learning guides that bring greater context to the work and are invited to attend workshops and trainings related to arts-integrated, equitable learning during the year.

Family-focused programs engage visitors of all ages through free, innovative workshops and events held at the Wex, in neighborhoods, and online. From Zoom: Family Film Festival to master classes for Ohio State students and educational offerings for lifelong learners, we strive to bring people together and spur conversation about pressing social issues through the lens of contemporary art. Neighborhood-based opportunities—including art classes offered at the Linden Community Center—bring the arts to residents around the city, right where they live.