The Daily Hampshire Gazette spoke with Elizabeth Barker, director of the Mead Art Museum, about news that the museum is receiving a $1,000,000 Endowment Challenge Grant from Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This grant will allow Amherst to endow its Coordinator of College Programs position, which is dedicated to best integrating the college's art collection with curriculum. As a condition of the grant, Amherst College has committed to raise a minimum of $1,000,000 within three years. The college seeks to raise an additional $500,000 to underwrite the museum-based academic programs, which engage 90 percent of Amherst's student body each year. "Making visual literacy part of the learning experience really brings a new dimension to the classroom," Barker said. "It has a way of sticking in students' minds that goes beyond a lecture or a traditional seminar ... and the questions students come up when they look at a piece of art can really give us a new way of looking at our own collection."