President’s Letter

Friday, January 6, 2023

Dear Friends, 

On behalf of Cranbrook Educational Community, I wish you a happy and healthy 2023! 

As the new year unfolds, I am pleased to reinvigorate this President’s quarterly newsletter, sharing reflections as well as news of exciting initiatives that are underway at Cranbrook.

If you walk Cranbrook’s campus in the spring, summer, and fall, you are familiar with and, we hope, inspired by the beautiful statuary on campus. Walking the campus in winter, you notice that most of the statues are covered by tarps. A great portion of this art is the work of Swedish artist Carl Milles who served as Cranbrook’s Sculptor-in-Residence from 1931-1951, and this winter, our youngest Cranbrook Schools students – those in the Vlasic Early Childhood Center at our Brookside School for grades Pre-K through five – paid special attention to these important cultural properties. 

Throughout the school year, students in Cranbrook’s Pre-kindergarten, Junior, and Multi-Age Kindergarten classes learn about seasonal changes. This fall, armed with information about the upcoming winter season, our young students were ready to put this knowledge to work for their community, specifically honoring the care of Cranbrook’s outdoor sculptures. 
Colleagues from Cranbrook Art Museum and Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research met five Early Childhood classes at designated sculptures where, with the guidance of their teachers, children learned about the impact of cold weather on outdoor art. Together they decided that, much like winter coats, blankets, and other layers protect us from the cold, sculptures also benefit from a warm cover!
Children felt the sculptures for cracks, wiped away moisture, and joined in covering the precious artwork, putting the sculptures to bed for the winter; they learned about moisture, ice expansion, and seasonal changes. Most important, these youngest students took responsibility to care for their community. Each session ended with young voices singing a “good-night” song to their newly blanketed sculpture and calling out well wishes for a warm winter! 

As these lullabies for these artworks floated across campus, I was reminded of the educational philosophy that is embedded not only in our Schools but in all Cranbrook’s programs: that any setting – a studio, archive, museum, garden or campus pathway – where curiosity thrives is a classroom; how much more meaningful education is, at any age, when we put theoretical knowledge to real-world use; and how early in our lives — and how creatively — we can instill and support a lifelong habit of community care and stewardship.

Remember that countless opportunities for learning and meaningful, curious engagement await you on Cranbrook’s campus and through programs at our Art Museum, Science Institute, Center for Collections and Research, House and Gardens, as well as at Cranbrook Schools, Cranbrook Academy of Art and Cranbrook Horizons-Upward Bound. For more details about events and programs during January and February, please click here

Bundle up! We welcome your visit this winter! 


Aimeclaire Roche, President
Cranbrook Educational Community
248.645.3100 |

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