Where you “art” Matters!

Author: admin

For me, some of the greatest joys of parenthood are experiencing the arts with my children. I love those shared moments – dancing in the kitchen to favorite songs, curiously eyeing an interesting sculpture, awaiting a play in a darkened theater …

As parents who love art, with children aged 4 and 7, the approach we are taking with our children is to be broad in our thinking about what art is and can be, and to go early and often!

We are still finding ways to connect through artistic experiences, but here are some ideas that work in our family:

We talk about what something looks or sounds like.
We find some words to describe how it makes us feel or maybe how the person who created it felt.
We wonder how they got the idea for their creation. Was it a sunny day or a gray day? Were they feeling left out and lonely or making plans for a celebration?
We talk about the memories it stirs inside us and realize that we are making a new one together in that moment.
Most importantly, we talk about how two or more people can see and hear the same painting, play or song and think and feel completely different things… and that there is no wrong answer!

Virginia Chance School offers robust opportunities for our children to create and appreciate art, and we also like to supplement the school experience by seeking out artistic work in our community. One of the biggest challenges may be finding options that are age-appropriate that you can explore and experience as a family. Fortunately, Louisville has a long history of strong support for the arts that offers rich opportunities throughout our community. In fact, Louisville is one of only ten cities in the country that supports all five major arts organizations – theatre, orchestra, ballet, opera, and art museum. Additionally, there are smaller groups all over the city offering creative educational options.

These are some great resources:

Stage One Family Theatre has programming for children as young as age two, starting with the Storytellers program. You may have enjoyed a bit of that offering during our Fall Festival. Stage One produces four plays throughout the year that appeal to children and youth. They also have family-friendly movies a few time throughout the season. A family membership allows you access to any show, any time, as often as you wish.

Louisville Orchestra Family Series offers morning performances of one-hour (or less) of music for children 3 and up. There are craft activities in the lobby beforehand and often opportunities for the children to meet the musicians and see the instruments up close. The Halloween Spooktacular is a great way to kick off a day of trick-or-treating and fun.

J.B.Speed Art Museum will be re-opening to the public in March 2016 after a massive renovation. The museum’s collection will be displayed in new gallery space in a completely new way. Get excited for Art Sparks Interactive Gallery, as a place where the whole family can create art together.

Waterfront Wednesdays held at Waterfront Park on the last Wednesday of each month (April-Oct.). It is a fun, family-friendly way to get out and enjoy live music, while still being able to let kids enjoy the playground and bring snacks from home (and earplugs, just in case) .

Squallis Puppeteers offers shows on Saturday mornings and opportunities to see how they create their larger-than-life and wildly-imaginative puppets.

Derby Dinner Playhouse is just across the river. These fun musical productions also include breakfast or lunch. The theatre-in-the-round set-up lets children see all the action on stage.

Actors Theatre of Louisville, though geared toward adults, stages a wonderful production of “A Christmas Carol” each year that appeals to young and old. And this year they will have a play, “Peter and the Starcatcher” that is appropriate for children 8 and up.

The case for art in children’s lives is undeniable, though sometimes difficult to quantify. Below are some articles that begin to explore that topic.

I hope you will make plans to experience art with you family in some way every day!

~ Jamie Paradis, mom of two and Director of Admissions