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The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden has announced a new and expanded season of the free kids’ series Maker Morning, following three successful years of the museum’s revitalized art-education programming initiative. The national museum of modern and contemporary art has served over 20,000 children and their caregivers since 2016. Maker Morning invites kids to experience contemporary art through interactive art-making. Starting Nov. 2, the program will occur on the first Saturday of every month, 10 a.m.–1 p.m., each monthly edition introducing a theme tied to the museum’s artworks and exhibitions.
As a monthly program, Maker Morning will activate the entire museum, including the galleries, with activities and moments that encourage creativity, making and play, tailored to children of a variety of ages and learning types. Kids will be able to experience contemporary art through hands-on activities, innovative digital tools, kid-led tours, take-home projects and collaborative play. The overarching theme for the season is “Colorful Characters,” inspired by the museum’s current and upcoming exhibitions, including “Pat Steir: Color Wheel,” “Marcel Duchamp: The Barbara and Aaron Levine Collection” and “Feel the Sun in Your Mouth: Recent Acquisitions.” All Maker Mornings are free and open to the public; no reservations are needed.
The Hirshhorn has widened its programming for children, from infants to teens, to reflect the museum’s growing collection and its dedication to visitor experience. Since this initiative began in 2016, attendance to the Hirshhorn’s kids’ programs has increased by over 400%. Storytime, the Hirshhorn’s free early-childhood program for visitors ages birth to preschool and their caregivers, has been enjoyed by more than 5,000 people so far in 2019, including Cuenta-Cuentos, Storytime in Spanish and Eye-to-Eye, Storytime in American Sign Language editions. By expanding Maker Morning, the Hirshhorn continues to cultivate a bridge between Storytime and ARTLAB, the museum’s radically inclusive digital art studio for teens, so that the museum can be part of a child’s life through adolescence and into adulthood.
Maker Morning Schedule
Maker Morning: Colorful Characters
Nov. 2; 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Participants can dress up and join a costume parade. Activities include a make-your-own-costume station, circuitry challenges and an interactive, kid-friendly tour of “Pat Steir: Color Wheel.”
Maker Morning: Out of the Box
Dec. 7; 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Kids can dive into Marcel Duchamp’s world and construct a “readymade” to take home, challenge a professional chess player and create a collaborative sculpture.
Maker Morning: New Year, New Color
Jan. 4; 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Participants can ring in the new year with a musical color parade through the museum. Activities include noise-maker-building and cyanotype-making inspired by artists Harold Ancart and Takashi Arai.
Maker Morning: Color of Love
Feb. 1; 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Valentine’s Day-themed activities will include writing a love letter inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s word play, painting with light, making a valentine and joining a special kids’ tour of the Hirshhorn’s most-loved artworks.
Maker Morning: (Bonus) Leap Year!
Feb. 29; 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
What are the chances? Kids will explore art and games of chance in this extra-special Maker Morning Leap Year pop-up.
Maker Morning: Transform
March 7; 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Participants will marvel at the transformative power of art by remaking everyday materials into something new, discover the possibilities of a simple piece of paper and take a kids’ tour of nature-inspired artworks.
Maker Morning: April Fools
April 4; 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Knock! Knock! Participants will explore humor in art by putting a unique spin on a famous portrait, take a silly selfie in a photo booth, try out jokes in a magician-led tour of the Hirshhorn’s funniest artworks and catch a special performance.
Maker Morning: Color Quest
May 2; 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Kids will embark on a color quest in the Sculpture Garden, form a collaborative human color wheel around the Hirshhorn fountain and play with cardboard to construct large-scale outdoor sculptures.
Maker Morning: Rainbows and Radicals
June 6; 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Kids can celebrate all the colors of the rainbow and create a bold accessory, dance in the Hirshhorn Kids Pride Parade and make a rainbow color wheel to take home.
Maker Morning: Splash
Aug. 1; 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Participants will gather in the galleries for a family-friendly tour to find the Hirshhorn’s coolest artworks and make refreshing water-inspired art to take home.
About the Hirshhorn
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is the national museum of modern and contemporary art and a leading voice for 21st-century art and culture. Part of the Smithsonian, the Hirshhorn is located prominently on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. With nearly 12,000 paintings, sculptures, photographs, mixed-media installations, works on paper and new media works, its holdings encompass one of the most important collections of postwar American and European art in the world. The Hirshhorn presents diverse exhibitions and offers an array of public programs on the art of our time—free to all, 364 days a year (closed Dec. 25). For more information, visit hirshhorn.si.edu.
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