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New Art Kids programs offer creative art-making experiences for families all summer long

As Philadelphia reopens, the Philadelphia Museum of Art offers new programs for kids and families on-site, online, and in the community

Beginning Friday, June 25, kids and their grown-ups can once again experience a variety of creative and engaging art activities on-site at the museum as well as online. Art Kids offers families more ways to connect and experience art together than ever before, with a new Art Kids Studio in the atrium of the South Vaulted Walkway, activities in the new classrooms off the North Vaulted Walkway, outdoor programs in the Anne d’Harnoncourt Sculpture Garden, virtual Art Playdates at Home on Zoom, and free art-making kits that the museum is making available at local camp sites throughout the city. Art Kids is sponsored through PNC Arts Alive, an initiative of the PNC Foundation.

Caitlin Deutsch, Manager of Family Programs, said: “As we finally return to hosting programs on-site at the museum this summer, we’re also meeting families where they are in terms of COVID comfort levels and offering a range of art-oriented opportunities to explore. We’ve designed activities that can be held in-person indoors, in-person outdoors, as well as virtual programs that families can join from the comfort of their homes. And we’re particularly excited to extend our reach in the community and provide art resources—thanks to CraftNow and PNC—to kids taking part in the City’s Summer Camp program so that they can experience Art Kids even if they’re not at the museum. Our offer is all encompassing this summer.” 

On-Site Programs

Art Kids Studio

South Vaulted Walkway, Ground Floor, Main Building 
June: Fridays through Sundays, 10:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m.; until 7:00 p.m. on Fridays
July and August: Thursday through Sundays, 10:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m.; until 7:00 p.m. on Fridays
The Art Kids Studio is where families can invent and experiment in a relaxed setting. Long tables with art-making supplies will aid artists of all ages to create work out of various materials, with works in the collection as their guiding inspiration. This summer, the activities will be centered on looking at works by contemporary female artists such as Lynda Benglis, Howardena Pindell, and Faith Ringgold. One colorful print by Ringgold titled The Sunflower Quilting Bee at Arles invites kids to think about composition and color, line, shape, and story. Art Kids Studio is open to all ages. Drop in and stay as long as you’d like. No reservations required. 

Art Playdate in the Garden
Anne d’Harnoncourt Sculpture Garden
Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
Beginning on Thursday, July 8, kids can discover art in the Sculpture Garden and participate in looking and art-making activities. Best for ages 4–8. Capacity is set for twelve families.
Pre-registration is required.

Kids Art Classes 
North Vaulted Walkway, Education Classrooms, Main Building
Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. for ages 5–6 and 7–9
Explore the galleries and get creative in the new studio classrooms. The classes are capped at twelve students.
Pre-registration is required.

In the Galleries 
Third Floor galleries, Main Building
A printed “Time Travel” Family Guide takes families on self-guided tours of the Arms and Armor galleries, the Japanese Teahouse, and other favorite spaces on the third floor. 

Health & Safety Protocols
Children ages 12 and under must be always accompanied by an adult. All staff and visitors are required to wear a mask when participating in an Art Kids program at the museum. Visit the website for all the information needed to plan a safe visit to the museum. 

Virtual Programs

Art Playdate at Home

Fridays on Zoom at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
This virtual program will continue to be held every other Friday. On screen, kids can engage in playful conversations, sketching challenges, and other hands-on activities from the comfort of home.
Each month presents a new theme. In June, kids can learn about the Summer Solstice; in July, seascapes are front and center; and in August, fashion takes the stage. Art Playdate at Home is best for ages 4–7 and has a capacity of fifteen families. Pre-registration is required.

Art Club at Home
Fridays on Zoom at 3:30 p.m.
This virtual program takes place every other Friday and is best suited for ages 6–10. Kids create abstract works that explore line, shape, and color. The theme changes each month; in June, kids can learn about Op artist Bridget Riley; In July, they will experience the work of Howardena Pindell and learn about her process of making art using texture and color; In August, they can experiment with abstract shapes and patterns found in nature by looking at colorful compositions by the artist Alma Thomas.
Pre-registration is required.

In the Community 

Summer Camp Program with the City and Free Family Pass 
Through the support of PNC Arts Alive, the museum is partnering with CraftNow to provide 3,000 art-making kits to Philadelphia Parks and Recreation camp sites. Inside the kits, campers will find a sketchbook inspired by works of art on view at the museum as well as colored pencils, collage materials and a glue stick as well as Family Pass to visit the museum. Participants can bring six family members to the museum for a free visit through the end of 2021. Passes can be redeemed online using the individualized code or at an admissions desk. For every six people, at least two people in the group must be 21 years old or older.

The museum offers accessible services to meet the needs of our visitors. For questions regarding accessible offerings or need assistance email accessprog@philamuseum.org.

Retail for Kids

New Children’s Books
The museum has recently co-published two children’s books with Princeton Architectural Press, the leading publisher of books on architecture, design, and visual culture. Under the series name Explore Art, two picture books: Armor & Animals and What Can Colors Do? draw on the museum’s collection and encourage young readers and their grown-ups to talk about what they see. Written by Liz Yohlin Baill, Collections Interpreter for Youth and Families at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the books are geared toward children ages 4–8. Both titles are available for purchase in the Main Store, the new Design Store, and online.

In the Stores
The museum stores offers a variety of fun and art-inspired items for kids including games, puzzles, books, and toys selected in conjunction with museum educators. The Design Store features favorite finds for modern kids, while the American Gallery Store has a selection of gifts inspired by the early American art galleries. An expanded assortment of books and art-making for kids can be found in our Main Store as well as online.

All Art Kids programs are included in the price of admission, and museum admission is always free for ages 18 and under. Admission will be Pay What You Wish on Sunday, July 4; Sunday, August 1. Art Kids summer programming will end on Saturday, September 4. 

Art Kids is sponsored by

About PNC Arts Alive
PNC Arts Alive is a multi-year initiative of PNC and the PNC Foundation dedicated to supporting visual and performing arts groups with the goal of increasing arts access and engagement in new and innovative ways. The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group, actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture. For more information, visit www.pncartsalive.com.

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We are Philadelphia’s art museum. A world-renowned collection. A landmark building. A place that welcomes everyone. We bring the arts to life, inspiring visitors—through scholarly study and creative play—to discover the spirit of imagination that lies in everyone. We connect people with the arts in rich and varied ways, making the experience of the Museum surprising, lively, and always memorable. We are committed to inviting visitors to see the world—and themselves—anew through the beauty and expressive power of the arts.

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