McColl Center for Visual Art believes contemporary art and artists can be a catalyst for positive change.  An integral part of our mission is to advance the understanding and appreciation of the creative process and artists’ roles by providing educational programming and outreach projects that impact our community.  The mission of our educational programs is to deliver educational programs, led by professional and trained teaching artists, for both children and adults that are of the highest quality, innovative, creative and content-based.

The primary goal of the Center’s education initiative is to develop well-grounded educational programs that integrate with the Center’s residency and exhibition programs.  Educational Programs are designed to build bridges between the contemporary art-based activities of the Center and community.

The Education Program consists of the following five tenets:

McColl Center for Visual Art's core values include a belief that artists add immeasurable value to community and can help shape community. The Center sees its Outreach Program as a way to extend its reach into the community thereby extending its mission and core values beyond the Center itself. Each Artist-in-Residence and Affiliate Artist provides two artist/Center-developed outreaches. The type and scope of these outreaches are mutually designed and agreed upon by the artist and the Center's Director of Education and Outreach. Typical outreaches consist of community projects, lectures, demonstrations, or other special programming. Community partners include Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, UNC Charlotte, Carolinas Healthcare, Right Moves for Youth, Winthrop University, Davidson University, The Mint Museums, Urban Ministries, Hope Junction and The Light Factory, to name a few.

The primary focus of Curriculum Based Programming is to design programs and activities based on the North Carolina Standard Course of Study, providing an interactive, experiential learning experience facilitated by our ‘staff’ of professional and trained teaching artists.  The goal is to help K-12 students become more motivated and engaged in their own learning in and through the arts by participating in hands-on activities surrounding tours, exhibitions, and artists in the classroom.  Learning in this way develops creative and critical thinking skills that can serve as tools for students during their school years and throughout life.

Arts in Communities involve local and current artists at the Center in community based programming.  Open Studio Saturdays provides an opportunity for the public to visit the Center, meet working artists and have one-on-one conversations about their work, the creative process and what inspires an artist.  Building community-based programs such as Community Day around Open Studio Saturdays is attracting new and growing audiences.  Arts in Communities also provide an opportunity for an artist to work with specific populations.  

Arts in Schools are primarily grant funded projects that allow artists to work with a variety of schools/students on permanent installations and integrated work with classroom curriculum – mainly literacy.  Students explore traditional and experimental techniques while teachers learn new methods for employing the curriculum in their classrooms.