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Introduce Kids to the Arts in Philadelphia

by Felicity Long

Apr 11, 2018

© Americanspirit | Dreamstime.com

Age Specific / Kids

Looking for a fun way to expose the kids to the arts? Philadelphia’s Barnes Foundation, home to a notable collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and early modern paintings, offers Free First Sunday Family Days this year in partnership with Pennsylvania’s PECO energy company. The new, monthly program streamlines access to the event for families, with priority entry for those with children under 18, and serves up a menu of child-friendly activities that touch on everything from dance and art to science, technology, engineering and math.

The original program, which didn’t specifically target families, kicked off in 2012 and has enabled the foundation to offer free admission and public programing on the first Sunday of each month to a wide range of audiences. In 2017 alone, more than 16,000 people visited the Barnes on Free First Sundays, and this year’s family version is expected to bring even more.

“As the Barnes enters its sixth year on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia, one of our key priorities is engaging local communities and welcoming new and diverse audiences,” says Thom Collins, executive director and president, Barnes Foundation. “Through Free First Sunday Family Day, we are able to continue prioritizing diversity and inclusion, remove the barrier of cost, and offer impactful and enjoyable cultural experiences for all families.”

The revamped PECO Free First Sunday Family Day program offers kid-friendly activities designed to target multigenerational families that will not only appeal to all ages, but to people from a mix of cultures.

Forested path through Barnes Museum Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

© Americanspirit | Dreamstime.com

A key component of the program is free access to the Barnes collection and exhibitions, but Family Days will also showcase the talents of young and emerging artists and performers and offer hands-on experiences and lectures talks.

“We are thrilled to kick off PECO Free First Sunday Family Day. By introducing priority access for families with children under 18, we hope to make it easy for families from across the city and beyond to visit us,” says Barbara Wong, director of community engagement, Barnes Foundation.

“We have developed a slate of new family-focused programs, including more hands-on art-making experiences to encourage connection among intergenerational audiences, and with the collection. Plus, through our work with over 40 dynamic community partner organizations — Art Sanctuary, Taller Puertorriqueño, and Big Brothers Big Sisters, to name a few — we are able to offer such a variety of quality, entertaining programming for visitors of all ages, that every visit will be a new, creative and unique experience.”

Free First Sunday Family Day will feature the work of local illustrator Lauren West, who created an illustration of Dr. Barnes’s dog, Fidele, which will appear on site and on program materials.

Free tickets for Free First Sunday Family Day are available on site at 10 a.m., include collection access and are limited to four per person.


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