UMFA Educator Wins State and National Awards


We’ve got some exciting news we’re proud to share: one of our talented educators is being recognized for her dedication, creativity, and resourcefulness in bringing meaningful art experiences to students and teachers across our state.

Annie Burbidge Ream, UMFA assistant curator of education and public school programs, was named 2016 Utah Museum Educator of the Year by the Utah Art Education Association (UAEA) last month. This weekend she will be awarded the 2016 Pacific Region Museum Education Art Educator Award from the National Art Education Association (NAEA).

“Annie is one of the anchors of our talented team of educators—dedicated, highly creative, and deeply passionate about making art matter in the lives of everyone she encounters. She is very deserving of these honors.” —Jorge Rojas, UMFA director of education and engagement


Annie is a Utah native, a graduate of Brighton High School and the University of Utah. She joined the UMFA in 2008 as tour coordinator before moving into school outreach in 2010. After a few years of traveling and teaching across the state, she began to rethink the program to emphasize the importance of museums as community spaces for everyone.

In her current role Annie oversees museum outreach programs for schools and communities that bring arts education annually to nearly 150 schools and more than 21,000 students in every corner of the state. These programs help students and teachers make connections between objects and their own lived experience, and they give underserved populations some of their only opportunities to experience the visual arts.

“Art is for everyone” is Annie’s philosophy.


“This idea that art is a luxury—that you have to know something to enjoy it, or you have to be in the club—I don’t believe that. . . . Your first experience walking up to a work of art is so powerful. I really want students to use art to learn about themselves and the world they live in.” —Annie Burbidge Ream, 2016 Utah Museum Educator of the Year

In 2014 Annie developed an innovative new program, the Traveling Museum Project, which installs temporary exhibitions in schools and community spaces throughout Utah using objects from the UMFA’s Education Collection.

In the classroom Annie uses UMFA objects and resources to create hands-on, question-based experiences for students and teachers. She also designs curriculum for docents, teachers, and students aimed at developing visual literacy and cultivating critical thinking, creativity, and curiosity.

Annie is especially passionate about Land art and recently began helping AP art history teachers around the state integrate Land art curriculum into their classrooms.

James Barton, who teaches AP art history at Bingham High School, says Annie’s tireless efforts to provide resources, experiences, and opportunities has made him a better teacher and created indelible experiences for his students (pictured above during a Spiral Jetty field trip last year).

Annie’s work “not only enriches my students’ understanding of the objects we study and of art generally, but it increases their quality of life, giving them more opportunity to pass AP tests and to succeed in college.” —James Barton, AP art history teacher, Bingham High School

Congratulations to Annie Burbidge Ream, a sparkling and inspiring presence wherever she goes!