Fundación Cisneros announces major educational collaboration with United Way of Miami-Dade


The Fundación Cisneros and United Way of Miami-Dade (United Way) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on an initiative designed to improve early-childhood education in Miami-Dade County and nationally. The agreement was signed by Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, co-founder of the Fundación Cisneros and founder of the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, and Harve Mogul, president and CEO, United Way of Miami-Dade. The ceremony took place at the United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education.

The Memorandum of Understanding represents the first step in what will be a long-term relationship between the foundation and United Way of Miami-Dade. The cornerstone of the present phase of the partnership is a program to bring Piensa en Arte, the foundation’s visual-arts-in-education program, to United Way’s Center for Excellence in Early Education (CFE), an innovative facility located in Miami.

Developed and administered by the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC), one of the Fundación Cisneros Phelps’ core cultural and educational initiatives, Piensa en Arte provides teachers with a methodology that is used to guide students in the exploration of artworks. This helps to develop children’s appreciation of art and ability to think creatively, while also enabling them to build key skills needed for lifelong learning.

For this collaboration, educators from the foundation will work with professionals from the United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education, an innovative learning and training facility in Miami, to implement Piensa en Arte and develop original programs and materials based on its methodology. For example, the team of educators will create special early-childhood versions of the program’s didactic materials. They will then conduct professional-development courses and workshops that enable educators, parents, and caretakers to utilize the materials at both the Center and other selected educational and cultural centers throughout Miami-Dade County and beyond.

Mrs. Cisneros states, “We believe that it is essential to use the works in the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros to improve education, which is why we established and continue to develop Piensa en Arte. We are delighted to be working with United Way to create new curricula specially designed for young children in the Miami-Dade area. It is our hope that these will be replicated in schools, museums, and other educational organizations throughout the county, fostering creative thinking and the development of important learning skills. We look forward to continuing to build our relationship with United Way of Miami-Dade.”

Mr. Mogul adds, “This agreement with the Fundación Cisneros amplifies United Way’s efforts to enhance early-childhood education in Miami-Dade and beyond by providing the kind of enriching arts experiences that open children’s minds and promote development. We are thrilled to be working with the distinguished Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, and are confident that this joint effort will not only flourish, but also lead to still more opportunities to improve education and promote appreciation of the visual arts not only in the Miami area but across the country.”


Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros and Piensa en Arte

The internationally acclaimed Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC) is the basis for a constellation of educational programs and activities, including international exhibitions, publications, and programs in visual-arts education. The nucleus of the CPPC is modern and contemporary art from Latin America; other strengths include Latin American landscapes from the seventeenth century to the present day, and Colonial art from Venezuela and elsewhere in Latin America.

Piensa en Arte, a CPPC program devoted to improving education, provides teachers and other educators with a carefully developed methodology that encourages art appreciation and uses guided exploration of artworks to build students’ observational, expressive-language, and thinking skills. To date, Piensa en Arte has been implemented in Argentina, Costa Rica—where it has been adopted as part of the national curriculum, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, Venezuela, and the United States. The program has reached more than a thousand educators, who in turn have brought it to hundreds of thousands of students.

Director of the CPPC is Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro. Maria del Carmen Gonzalez is the CPPC’s curator of international education programs.