For The Community


Outreach: Engaging Minds, Nurturing Growth

SBMA is the community’s Museum and endeavors to bring art to the community and the community to art. We are constantly working both inside and outside our walls, tailoring programming to the unique needs of individuals and groups.

Festival of Banners

Look up! Each August through October, downtown South Bend hosts an exhibition on its thoroughfares of artful banners created by community members in the SBMA studios around a specific theme. Since its inception in 2007, Festival of Banners has been a hit with the community, celebrating community spirit, enhancing the visual environment of downtown streets and spotlighting community artistic talent for residents and visitors. Adults and children over 8 are invited to participate.

Garden Totem

SBMA Summer 2014 Youth Clay Students (7-12 years old) created a unique garden totem which has been installed in the museum garden bed at the north end of the campus along St. Joseph Street.

This project was directed by Kathy Fodness, long-time SBMA ceramic student turned instructor. During SBMA’s Youth Clay classes, each group of students carved their own ceramic cylinder as part of a whole totem, culminating in four totems for the garden. Kathy encouraged interaction and class discussion by allowing each group to choose their own theme for the totem.

Each cylinder is a unique expression of the students’ ability with clay, and each totem its own piece of art, following a theme of Nature, Aquatic, Outer Space, or Seasons.As a set, the four diverse totems are viewable from both inside the Carmichael Gallery as well as outside on St. Joseph Street.

“I wanted them [the students] to experience the excitement and the pride of being part of a collaborative art installation that projects happy vibes out into our community.”

Mural Project


The South Bend Museum of Art and the Juvenile Justice Center partnered to create a unique mural entitled “Homeward Journey” during August 2013. The project was a part of SBMA’s summer outreach that introduces artists and art processes to the community. SBMA staff identified the artist, provided supplies and helped to facilitate instruction alongside the artist.

Bill Tourtillotte, a local artist and Professor at Holy Cross College, was selected as the lead artist. To initiate the creative design process, the students contributed to “Homeward Journey,” engaging in discussion on how we accomplish goals and wishes in our lives; they were then led through drawing exercises by Tourtillotte.

The overwhelming response to the question: “what would you wish for or what would your goals be?” was “HOME.” The suggested imagery was complied into a collage by Tourtillotte and enlarged onto the building wall, with the students painting the mural.

Homeward Journey “is a collection of the wishes of 48 teens and one artist.”

  • Sign up for e-news

  • Follow us:

    FacebookTwitterYouTubeRSS feed
  • The Dot Shop

  • Scholastics Art Awards