As much as I love the museum, I don’t get to the National Gallery of Art with the kids very much. Aside from Calder’s mobiles, some of the pop art, the sculpture garden, and the concourse between the East and West Buildings, there hasn’t been much that really captures their tiny attention spans right now. But, admittedly, that might be because I don’t quite know how to present it to them.
That’s why I’m excited about the new Summer Drop-In Program. Starting this Sunday, July 11, the National Gallery of Art will offer special sessions designed to engage kids with works of art from the galleries. The program is divided into two series—Stories in Art for ages 4-7 and Artful Conversations for ages 8-11.
In the Stories of Art series, children can learn about different works of art through storytelling—museum staff read a children’s book related to a specific work of art, then take a look at that piece, followed by a hands-on activity related to the art. The series will explore art from different countries every week, so check the schedule for details and times (which vary by date). Sign-in for Stories in Art begins at 10am on weekdays and 11am on weekends in the West Building Rotunda. Space is limited, so be sure to get there in time to reserve one.
Kids and adults are encouraged to participate in the Artful Conversations series together. Led by museum staff, the group will explore a different work of 19th- and 20th- century American or European art every week. Discussion and a creative writing activity will follow. The first Artful Conversations session begins July 18 and continues weekly through the summer. The one-hour sessions take place at 1pm and 2:30, and sign-up for both begin at 12:30pm in the East Building Atrium.
For more details on both programs, visit the National Gallery of Art website.