For nearly 60 years, The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, located in Greensburg, Westmoreland County, has told the unique and varied stories of this country through an extraordinary permanent collection and changing exhibition schedule, as well as a wide variety of educational programs for children and adults. The Museum’s ambitious two-year renovation and expansion project resulted in a new building that was recently included in a “top 10” list by the Urban Land Institute of museum designs that are intentionally focused on being community-centric. The list included the Design Museum in London, The National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington D.C., and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. Most importantly, the new building has provided more capacity for educational programming, exhibition installations, and public events to engage a greater audience.
The mission of The Westmoreland is to stimulate imagination and innovation through great experiences with art. The Museum aims to be a model of institutional excellence and a vital part of the community it serves. A new strategic plan has resulted in a commitment to remain relevant, aware of and responsive to current issues by providing platforms for different voices to be shared, and taking a leadership role in promoting the value of the arts while nurturing diversity and accessibility.
The Westmoreland is an educational organization at its core and offers a signature program that integrates classroom learning resources and museum tours with the Pennsylvania History curriculum for public schools. This program explores The Westmoreland’s southwestern Pennsylvania landscapes and Scenes of Industry works to teach elementary students about their state’s history, including the changing of the landscape from agricultural to industrial. School tours often incorporate music and writing to help encourage creative expression and make meaningful connections to the artwork. The Museum continues to cover the costs of school buses, tour materials and substitute teachers, allowing over 3,600 students to participate each year. The Museum is also in the second year of working with the Adelphoi Schools, within their workforce development department, for an arts education program called Discovering What Moves You. This social service partnership has allowed The Westmoreland to reach underrepresented youth to explore the arts through other subjects, such as science, engineering and math. Studio components offer hands-on methods to investigate the creative processes behind constructing a variety of art works in disparate media.