American Express Foundation Expands Partnership with the National Gallery of Canada to Build Phase II of CyberMuse Online information and Education Programs
Ottawa, Canada - January 7, 2002
«La Fondation American Express élargit la portée de son partenariat avec le Musée des beaux-arts du Canada en vue de la deuxième étape du projet d'information et d'éducation virtuelles CyberMuse »
The National Gallery of Canada today announced that the American Express Foundation is extending its partnership agreement with the Gallery to build Phase II of CyberMuse, an online portal to more than 9,500 of the 36,000 works of art in the Gallery's collection. The sponsorship contribution of $350,000 CDN over three years will enable the Gallery to focus on developing content for youth and re-launching an improved CyberMuse Web site in September 2002.
CyberMuse is already regarded as one of the world's most advanced online sources of information and education about the visual arts. With the new funding, the National Gallery will progress further into the virtual world of using advanced technologies to instruct and give pleasure to people interested in the arts. Phase II funding will enable the development of rich, new content for children and youth. As well, an educational program for teachers and schools will be created to attract and sustain interest by younger audiences.
"We are delighted to have the American Express Foundation renew its partnership with us," said Pierre Théberge, Director of the National Gallery. "This is another milestone in their longstanding commitment both to the National Gallery and to making the arts more accessible to broader audiences in Canada and throughout the world."
"Combining technology with art is a powerful way to reach young people and help them understand who we are as human beings and what we aspire to be," said Alan Stark, President and General Manager of Amex Canada Inc. "The National Gallery is leading the world in the innovative use of the Internet to make the treasures and knowledge housed in the Gallery available to all Canadians and to virtual visitors from around the world."
When the partnership with the National Gallery was first announced in 1996, the American Express Foundation committed an initial $500,000 CDN to seed the interactive project, which consists of computer terminals in the Gallery and online access to the Gallery's collection. This additional support brings the American Express Foundation's total contribution to $850,000 CDN.
The online portion of the CyberMuse project was launched in May 1998 as an interactive education tool for the Gallery's "virtual" visitors. Today, people from all over the world have access to the growing online art collection. They can click from room to room, see high quality reproductions of works of art, learn more about periods and artists, and even watch video and audio commentary from artists and curators. People can even go behind the scenes at the Gallery and see works that are currently not on general display.The National Gallery's Web site home page provides the gateway to the CyberMuse site, which receives about 80,000 hits per month, with visitors staying on the site for an average of 20 minutes. The National Gallery of Canada Web Site receives 850,000 individual visits per month.
About the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada, a visual arts museum of international stature, holds its collection of art in trust for all Canadians. Located in Ottawa, the nation's capital, the mandate of the National Gallery is to develop, maintain and make known throughout Canada and internationally its collection of more than 36,000 works of art. With a focus on both historic and contemporary art, with a special but not exclusive focus on Canadian works, the National Gallery is also committed to further knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of art in general among all Canadians.
About the American Express Foundation
The American Express Foundation was established in 1954. It has supported more than 300 charitable and non-profit organizations across Canada under three key areas: arts and culture; education and training; and, employee volunteerism and community involvement. The American Express Foundation has been a valued partner with the National Gallery for more than a decade, supporting exhibitions like Emily Carr (1990), the Queen's Pictures: Masterpieces from the Royal Collection (1995), Ottawa Museum's Day (1999) and, since 1996, the CyberMuse project.
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