Launching a new family initiative, Ringling Museum in Sarasota is reaching out to parents and children, welcoming their participation in hands-on, themed art and science projects Saturdays throughout the fall.
The inaugural workshops kick off this Saturday, Sept. 27th at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., and are free and open to children ages 4-10 and their parents. This week's theme, "Mythological Creatures,'' will allow participants to explore the Museum's galleries in search of mythological creatures and create their own in a pop-up book they can take home. For this event, there is no registration or fee.
Families and children ''are a priority for the museum,'' says Leigh Dale, Ringling's Youth and Family Programs Coordinator and a recent hire out of Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dale says that executive director Steven High wants to make the Ringling “a resource available to the whole community, including the families that live here year-round and younger children,” and notes the unique playspace opened last year to that end.
The Saturday Family Workshops intentionally showcase different aspects of the museum -- from its gardens and art to its circus foundations. Dale is casting a wide net with this initial pilot program, hoping to see what age groups and themes hold the most resonance with children and families and plans to build on this going forward.
"My position here is to provide families with programs that make them feel comfortable at The Ringling, and also trigger a sense of curiosity that extends past The Ringling.''
This Fall’s workshop themes include guerilla gardening, a study of individuality and transportation, designing sculpture gardens with clay, experiments with air cannons fashioned after the Human Cannonball Act, printmaking and statue design. There is a $5 fee for these subsequent sessions and registration is encouraged, as classes will be capped.
"It's been exciting to plan,'' says Dale. "I am really excited to see where it goes.''
Follow this link to register for the Ringling Family Workshops