Jessica Sack

Art for All

Jessica Sack BA1996 believes that the arts are an indispensable part of life that everyone should experience. After graduating from UW–Madison with a triple major (and earning honors in each one), she is putting her beliefs into practice as senior associate curator of public education at the Yale University Art Gallery.

“I believe the arts are an integral part of our society and that people of all ages, abilities, and economic levels should have access to them,” she says. Sack has made it her life’s mission to provide this access.

During her sophomore year at UW–Madison, she taught middle-school students at the Elvehjem (now Chazen) Museum of Art under the mentorship of Anne Lambert, its curator of education. The program used the museum’s collection of ancient Greek and Roman art to explore the enduring impact of these cultures.

Sack, who received WAA’s Forward under 40 Award in 2014, went on to earn a master of philosophy degree from the University of Oxford and an MA in performance studies from New York University. Next came an appointment as senior museum educator and coordinator of teacher services at the Brooklyn Museum, where she created innovative programs in museum education.

At the Yale University Art Gallery, she works on programs to make art and the gallery accessible to everyone in the New Haven community. One program that trains graduate students as museum educators has allowed many children and adults to experience their very first visit to a museum.

Sack also works with local school administrators to incorporate art into the curriculum. She collaborates with reading specialists in a program to help sixth-graders with low reading levels to develop comprehension skills through art analysis. Similarly, Sack has pioneered numerous programs for adults, including one that uses art to stimulate the minds of seniors living with memory loss, and another that helps blind veterans to reintegrate into society. “I love my career and the way I have been able to connect with people through the arts,” she says.