Community Partner: Envision Lead Grow
The Chrysler Museum of Art belongs to all of us. As a longtime member of the community, our mission is to bring art and people together through experiences that inform, delight, and inspire. We open our doors to everyone and invite them to use our expansive collection and evocative exhibitions to educate and empower members of our community. For three years, Envision Lead Grow (ELG), an organization that caters to middle school girls, has turned to the Chrysler to achieve that very goal. “Visits to museums like the Chrysler allow girls to see beyond their cities, states, and countries,” said Dr. Angela Reddix, Envision Lead Grow’s founder and CEO. “Through active public participation, engagement, and sharing collections and knowledge, these visits are transforming lives.”
Reddix created the nonprofit organization to empower girls from underserved communities. She strives to help them chart a path to economic prosperity through education, training, and applied learning programs that steer participants toward entrepreneurship with a focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) opportunities. ELG offers summer camps, webinars, app-a-thons, and mentorship. All programs are available to the participants and their families free of charge. The Chrysler is proud to partner with ELG to inspire the next generation of leaders.
Each year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Envision Lead Grow’s participants, called Girl Bosses, visited the Chrysler as part of their Summer Immersion camp that challenges them to think bigger; apply entrepreneurial, STEAM-based skills to everyday life; and monetize their business ideas. Cody Long, Museum Educator for School Programs and Curriculum, leads their experience at the Chrysler. Last summer, the participants toured Eric Carle: Moonlit Nights & Other Illustrations and explored Carle’s role as a storyteller, artist, and innovator. They also learned to use single sheets of paper to make ‘zines, short-form magazines or books. “Envision Lead Grow encourages every girl to dream and plan for her future. We enjoyed helping them achieve those goals by teaching them to make ‘zines that are great for sketching out ideas, keeping track of notes, and imagining future projects. It’s the perfect tool for a future leader,” Long said. Each girl leaves the camp with at least two things: a Passion Pitch they can use to sell their idea to others and the confidence to take their company—and community—to the next level. Equipped with these tools, the girls are poised to break the cycle of poverty.
Because COVID-19 moved many Chrysler activities online this summer, the Girl Bosses did not visit the Museum for their annual camp. However, we encouraged them to #ChryslerFromHome and shared activities to prompt the girls to explore different themes in the collection. This fall, Kimberli Gant, PhD, the Chrysler’s McKinnon Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art, will share insight with the Girl Bosses during ELG 2.0: Virtual Immersion. The program will allow the girls to connect and continue to learn about entrepreneurship without leaving home.
At the end of the year, we hope to welcome ELG to the Museum—as in-person gatherings are permitted—for their annual holiday party. At the end of each year, the Girl Bosses, their families, and mentors come together to celebrate the year’s achievements and encourage future success. Last year, those who gathered for the celebration were treated to a collection tour that highlighted some of the Museum’s greatest treasures. It is truly an honor to host this annual tradition in the Chrysler’s galleries. “As our communities and organizations evolve, the value of partnerships like the one between the Chrysler Museum of Art and Envision Lead Grow becomes more apparent. Our missions intersect and, therefore, our responsibility to leverage our resources to serve each other through collaboration. We hope our partnership with Envision Lead Grow helps to demonstrate the possibilities of how to apply entrepreneurship in the arts, business, and everyday life,” said Museum Director Erik H. Neil.
Partnerships like the one forged between the Chrysler and Envision Lead Grow further inform the role museums and cultural institutions can play in our lives. Whether you are an emerging business, community leader, student, or artist, there is always something for you to enjoy at the Chrysler. It is a space for education and enjoyment. Reddix sees our partnership with ELG as a chance to give girls the opportunity to benefit from a rich, cultural experience. “The impact of summer visits and the holiday program at the Chrysler has been immeasurable. It has demonstrated to the Girl Bosses that hope, possibility, and opportunity are limitless. Participants have gained a deeper understanding of authentic cultural and natural heritage. They have come to realize that others are cheering for them. It has encouraged our girls to see the world differently and to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that there is no substitute for hard work.”
We look forward to continuing to work with our friends at Envision Lead Grow, and we strive to always be a place where art and people connect to inform, inspire, and delight—and where Girl Bosses thrive.
Learn more about our partner, Envision Lead Grow, at envisionleadgrow.org.
If you would like to explore a partnership with the Chrysler Museum of Art and a nonprofit or community organization you support, please contact Michael Berlucchi, Community and Government Relations Manager, at 757-664-6217 or firstname.lastname@example.org.