Art'scool (Guided School Tours)
For K–12 Groups
(Include Free Admission and a Bus Subsidy)
The Albright-Knox Art Gallery and BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York are delighted to present Art'scool, a school tour program designed to create the critical and creative thinkers of tomorrow.
Educators can bring their students for a one-time introductory tour, or choose the two-visit program for a more in-depth view of the museum and a curriculum-focused selection. All guided school tours are free, include a transportation subsidy, and are guided by a specially trained docent.
Mondays - Closed
Tuesdays - 9:30 am, 10:45 am
Wednesdays - 9:30 am, 10:45 am, 12:30 pm
Thursdays - 9:30 am, 10:45 am, 12:30 pm
Fridays - 9:30 am, 10:45 am, 12:30 pm
Talk to a Museum Educator
Schools who have visited for two consecutive school years with entire grade levels can consult with Education Department staff to craft a custom designed experience. This option is available for a limited number of schools each year. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and request a curriculum consultation.
- A minimum of twelve students is required for a guided tour.
- A maximum of 120 students can be accommodated at one time slot.
- One adult chaperone is required and admitted free for every twelve students.
- Additional chaperones are required to pay the group admission rate of $8 per person.
- We ask that you review our Museum Guidelines and share this information with your chaperones and students before arriving at the museum.
Reservations must be made by the twenty-first of the month prior to the month you would like to visit. (For example, reservations must be made by October 21 for a November tour.) Space is limited; we encourage you to request your dates as early as possible.
To request a tour, please fill out our online tour request form. This form must be filled out before your tour can be confirmed.
Please have the following information available when you fill out the online tour request form:
- School name, address, school district, and contact information
- Your selected tour option
- Several potential visit dates and times
- Grade level of students
- Number of students and chaperones attending
- Any special needs your group may have
For more information, please contact 716.270.8276 or email@example.com. Communication by email is preferred, and will facilitate a timely response.
A tour confirmation packet will be sent to you upon scheduling a tour. Please note, your tour IS NOT officially SCHEDULED until you return the confirmation included in your packet.
- For everyone’s safety, please remain on the bus until you are greeted by our Group Tour Coordinator. You will only be allowed entrance to the museum fifteen minutes prior to your visit.
- Before entering the museum, please divide your group into the number of groups specified in your confirmation letter. For school tours, at least one adult chaperone must accompany each group of students.
- Please use the Education Department Entrance only. (View Map)
Other Important Information
- There are no luncheon facilities for school groups.
- Chaperones must stay with their individual groups.
- Please review Museum Guidelines and Chaperone Guidelines with your chaperones. Chaperones can enhance the success of the tour, and the amount of learning that can take place by showing active interest in the works of art along with supervising student behavior. When students see adults interested and engaged, they are more likely to respond themselves. We ask that chaperones refrain from chatting among themselves or wandering off, and that cell phones be turned off during the visit.
What is the cancellation policy?
You can cancel up to the twenty-first of the month prior to the month of your visit with no penalty. If you provide less notice, your school will be invoiced for a cancellation fee of $75. This invoice must be paid before you or another teacher from your school can register for the program again.
How do I cancel?
If you need to cancel, please call us at 716.270.8276 as soon as possible. The sooner you call, the more likely it will be that we can find you another date for your visit. If you must cancel your tour due to weather, please try to call before 9 am.
What happens in the event of a school weather cancellation or emergency cancellation on the tour day?
There is no penalty for cancellation if school is cancelled for any reason. We will do our best to schedule you for an alternate date. Please try to call before 9 am to report any cancellation.
What is the late arrival policy?
Please make every effort to arrive 5-10 minutes before your scheduled tour time. If you are going to be late, please call us at 716.270.8276 as soon as possible. The museum is unable to extend tour times to accommodate late arrivals. Your tour will end at the scheduled end time. A group arriving more than 20 minutes past the start time of their tour cannot be given a guided tour. Instead, your chaperones may lead a scavenger hunt available in the Group Tours office upon your arrival. The Group Tour Coordinator will provide instructions if she is available.
Who gives your tours?
Our tours are given by specially trained docents. These wonderful people volunteer their time on a weekly basis to give our school tours. Some of them drive from as far away as Niagara Falls or even Canada to fulfill their tour commitments. They undergo an intensive six-month training period where they learn about art history, our collection, and interactive tour techniques at age-appropriate levels. They receive ongoing training about our continually growing collection and other pertinent topics. Without them, we could not run our school programs!
We want our volunteers to feel appreciated—that is how we keep them active and enthusiastic. Your consideration for their commitment is an important part of that appreciation. Cards or thank-you letters are posted in our docent lounge for everyone to see.
Why is your group size limited to twelve students?
If a group is larger than twelve students, some spaces in the museum are difficult to enter. When viewing works of art, it is difficult both to see and to hear if your group has more than twelve students with chaperones. As a result, we take your total group size and divide by twelve to arrive at the number of docents we will need to schedule for your visit. If you arrive with far more students than you indicated, your group size will be too large. If you arrive with a far lower number of students, docents may have traveled quite a distance for nothing.
What should I do if I have students with special needs, such as wheelchairs?
When scheduling your tour with the online tour request form, please notify us in the form about any students who have special needs so we can better accommodate your group.
Can I visit from far away?
You can be subsidized up to $140 per bus for visits as far away as you like! We urge Canadian groups to allow enough time for going through customs at the international bridges.
How many chaperones are required for school group tours?
School groups will be admitted to the museum ONLY if they have the required number of chaperones: one adult per twelve students for grades K through 12.
How should I prepare my chaperones?
Please review the Museum Guidelines and Chaperone Guidelines with your chaperones and tell them they can enhance the success of the tour, and thus the amount of learning that can take place, if they show active interest in the works of art, and keep their eyes on the students as well. When students see adults modeling appropriate museum behavior, they are more likely to behave well themselves. It is NOT helpful if chaperones chat amongst themselves, wander off, use cell phones during the tour, or look bored and unhappy.
What facilities for lunch are there at the museum?
The museum has NO LUNCH FACILITIES. In good weather, Delaware Park is a nice place for a bagged lunch and is very close to the museum.
Directions for using First Student (formerly Laidlaw)
We encourage you to use First Student.
- Schedule and book your bus through First Student by calling 716.897.5798.
- Each bus trip scheduled for three hours, beginning at pick up and ending at drop off, will be paid in full for Buffalo and the surrounding areas.
- First Student will invoice the Albright-Knox Art Gallery after the date of your tour and will receive payment for your buses.
Directions for Other Bus Scheduling
Schedule your bus through your district or a private bus company.
Your district or bus company must invoice the Albright-Knox Art Gallery after the date of your tour in order to receive payment for your buses up to $140 per bus. Any additional costs are the responsibility of the school or district.
Please advise your district or bus company to send all invoices to:
Albright-Knox Art Gallery
1285 Elmwood Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14222-1096
Your district or bus company will receive payment for your buses up to $140 per bus (American funds). For questions about invoices or reimbursements, please call 716.270.8253.
The Art’scool program is presented by BlueCross Blue Shield of Western New York; additional support is provided by KeyBank, the Robert J. & Martha B. Fierle Foundation, and Karen and Richard Penfold.
The Gallery is closed. Please visit us tomorrow between 10 am and 5 pm.
The Albright-Knox Education team has developed lesson plans that correspond to the museum’s Collection and special exhibitions.
View Lesson Plans