CMA field trips engage students with art in the galleries through a discussion-based approach that sparks curiosity, creating a personal connection that helps participants to retain the information.

School programs at the Columbia Museum of Art are nationally recognized for their excellence in providing innovative cross-curricular learning experiences for all ages based on state and national standards.

Each in-person field trip program includes a guided tour of the galleries. It can also include a hands-on art making experience in the studios. Visits including both a guided tours and studio time typically last approximately two hours.

The cost for field trips (apart from Title I schools) is $5 per student and $11 per adult beyond the 1:10 chaperone ratio.

Title I Schools

The Art for All program is designed to offer Title I schools the opportunity to enjoy a field trip to the Columbia Museum of Art free of charge, whether in-person or virtually. Title I schools are eligible to take advantage of this opportunity while funds remain. Funding stipends for transportation are provided for any school in South Carolina.

The program is supported by Bank of America, the Coles Family Foundation of Central Carolina Community Foundation, the Lipscomb Family Foundation, and the Sonoco Foundation.


How do I book a field trip to the CMA?

Please note that our capacity is 80 students per visit. We ask that you book your trip at least four weeks in advance. Please contact tours@columbiamuseum.org for more information.

Book a Tour


School Programs

Programs based on the collection or current exhibitions
Preschool – Kindergarten Programs

Sense-ational Art
In this tour we’ll be using our senses to make discoveries about the art we see and the world around us. Join us as we explore texture, sound, and smell throughout the galleries and create multimedia masterpieces in the studios.
Download Pre-Visit Guide

Animal Nature
Come with us on an animal safari! We’ll be on the lookout for creatures of all kinds and learning about the natural environments they inhabit. In the studios we’ll make our own artful animals and habitats.
Download Pre-Visit Guide

1st – 3rd Grade Programs

Rock, Paper, Silver
In this tour we’ll explore natural resources and how they make up the materials used in works of art. We’ll use scientific and mathematical skills to discuss three-dimensional works of art from sculpture to architecture. In the studios we’ll create our own 3D creations.
Download Pre-Visit Guide

Show Me a Story
Art can tell all sorts of stories. Join us in the galleries to unravel these tales, discovering stories about famous figures and everyday events. Along the way we’ll explore ways artists use shape, color, and other elements of art to create new worlds before creating our own in the studios.
Download Pre-Visit Guide

4th – 5th Grade Programs

How Art Works
From a hammer and chisel to a well-oiled machine, art can be created with all sorts of things. In the studios we’ll learn the ins and outs of how art is made and the impact that art has in society.
Download Pre-Visit Guide

Visions of the United States
American life has been shaped by so many forces, from Native American tribes and African cultures to European fashions and popular culture. In the galleries we will discuss how art reflects American values and changing ways of life. In the studios students will create their own interpretation of Americana.
Download Pre-Visit Guide

6th – 8th Grade Programs

Ways of Life
Art doesn’t just tell us about the artist’s own ideas; it can tell us about what life is like in a certain time and place. In this tour we’ll explore art spanning from ancient Mesopotamia to the modern-day United States as we discuss how art shapes our understanding of cultures around the world.
Download Pre-Visit Guide

All Around Our State
While art can tell us about cultures around the world, it can also give vital information about our own region. In this tour we’ll span centuries of South Carolina history and culture, from one of the first Colonial artists to Native American art all the way up to the 21st century. In the studios students will explore how art and the written word intersect to inform historical understanding by creating their own periodicals. Supported by the South Carolina Arts Commission.
Download Pre-Visit Guide

9th – 12th Grade Programs

Making a Modern World
Being modern has meant different things in different eras. In this tour we’ll explore the notion of modernity through both history and art, from the Renaissance up to the present day. In the studios students will explore modernity and what it means in their daily lives through their own creations.
Download Pre-Visit Guide

Balance of Power
Art is one of many ways people have demonstrated prestige and privilege over time. In the galleries we’ll examine figures and symbols in works of art from the powerful to the powerless, discussing who is and is not being depicted.
Download Pre-Visit Guide