The Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Division of Education presents a new schedule of Family and Children’s Programs from September 1 through December 29, 2002. Games, craft workshops or storytelling, and gallery tours designed specifically for families are offered every Sunday. Monthly special events combine children’s activities with performances that highlight cultural traditions and special exhibitions. Weekly fall art classes for children ages 3-12 begin in October. Many of the programs contain themes highlighting such Museum exhibitions as Munakata Shikō: Japanese Master of the Modern Print (through November 10, 2002), Giorgio de Chirico and the Myth of Ariadne (November 3 – January 5, 2002) as well as the sculpture of Alexander Calder now gracing the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the Rodin Museum courtyard.
The award-winning Something Every Sunday programs offer imaginative ways for families to explore the galleries together and to engage in hands-on workshops in the Museum’s art studios. The Early Bird Read and Look program invites preschoolers and parents to a storytelling session followed by a related craft workshop. Gallery Games, for ages 6-12, enables groups to set their own pace as they tour the Museum solving puzzles along the way, while the Explorer's Tour, for ages 6-12, guides young visitors and their families through the galleries with a Museum teacher. One favorite for all ages is Drawing Together, during which an artist provides materials and assistance in the galleries, encouraging children and grown-ups to follow the example of master artists in honing their observation and drawing skills. Meet the Artist workshops, led by such Philadelphia artists as painter Scott Williams (December 8), introduce children to art techniques. In celebration of the Munakata exhibition, three workshops focus on Japanese calligraphy, tea bowls, or prints (September 8, 15, and 22).
The fall special family events begin with Celebrate: Calder!, a free outdoor program featuring sculpture projects led by Museum teachers and performances by the Give and Take Jugglers. It is held in the Rodin Museum courtyard, 22nd Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway, where three elegant black stabiles by Alexander Calder were recently installed (September 29). Celebrate: Japan! features the modern movements of the Saeko Ichinohe Dance Company and workshops showing children how to make carp windsocks and paper kimonos (October 27). Celebrate: Mythology! presents an original theatrical performance created by Sebastienne Mundeim in conjunction with the de Chirico exhibition and a mythological puppet-making workshop (November 3 & November 10). Museum admission is pay what you wish on Sundays. Family performances held in the Van Pelt Auditorium are at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. for an additional $5 per person, $3 for Members (tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis on the day of the program in the West Lobby). Family programs that include a studio session are an additional $3 for children, $2 for Member’s children. Parents attend all regular programs free.
Fostering observation skills and creative thinking, weekly art classes for preschoolers ages 3-5 and children ages 6-8 and 9-12 are offered at the Museum, for a ten-week term, beginning in October. Open registration for fall art classes is Thursday, September 12, 2002 from 5:15-6:30 p.m. in the West Lobby of the Museum. To register by phone, call (215) 235-SHOW. For additional information about enrolling in children’s art classes call (215) 684-7605.