Wacky Wednesdays: Free, fun, family-friendly summer event series

Child playing in the interactive gallery.

Child playing in the interactive gallery. (Source: Memphis Brooks Museum of Art)

Are you looking for something to get your kids out of the house during the summer break? Join us at Memphis Brooks Museum of Art for a free, fun, family-friendly summer of art and film in our Wacky Wednesday Summer Series.

Every Wednesday from 10 am until 12 pm in June and July, independent and international children’s short films and animated versions of beloved classics are shown in the Brooks auditorium. Families also have the opportunity to make art together in our drop-in studio.

Several of the films are made by independent animators and directors from all over the world and are movies children rarely get to see.

The children’s short films July schedule:

  • Wednesday, July 1
    • Morningbird and Murmelton on Winter Holiday (Norway), One Cool Friend (USA), Wild About Books (USA), Walkin’ the Dog (Hungary), The Dot (USA), Bitseller (Spain).
  • Wednesday, July 8
    • Planting a Rainbow (USA), My Garden (USA), Linnea in Monet’s Garden (USA).
  • Wednesday, July 15
    • The Curious Garden (USA), Pet Show! (USA), Tumble Leaf: Shiny Coins and Tumble Leaf: Fig Finds a Shadow, Relax (USA), Hooray for Amanda and Her Alligator (USA).
  • Wednesday, July 22
    • Giraffes Can’t Dance (USA), Elizabeti’s Doll (USA), The Trompeteer (Mexico), Ada and Otto (Estonia).
  • Wednesday, July 29
    • The Elephant and the Bicycle (Belgium/France), The Present (Germany), Fresh Out of School (France), Silent (USA), A Picture for Harold’s Room (USA),The Trip (USA), Extra Yarn (USA).

Previouly shown films:

  • Wednesday, June 3
    • Cloudette (USA, 2013), The Mobile (Mexico), Zebra (Germany), Art (USA), Harold and the Purple Crayon (USA), Sandra Boynton’s Alligator Stroll (USA), Super Spiny Shiny Grocey Store (Taiwan).
  • Wednesday, June 10
    • Little Matryoshka (Turkey), Where the Wild Things Are (USA), Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (USA), Crazy Hair Day (USA), Leonardo the Terrible Monster (USA).
  • Wednesday, June 17
    • The Ant and the Grasshopper (USA), Antarctic Antics (USA), The Pink Helmet Posse (USA), Decorations (Japan).
  • Wednesday, June 24
    • The Magic Ferret (Canada), How Shammies Were Getting Married (Latvia), Birdwatching (Portugal), All the Colors of the Earth (USA), Little Ruddy (Latvia).

This summer is really special as we explore play and art and celebrate our special exhibition the Art of Video Games. There is an interactive gallery space just for kids!

Families in the interactive gallery during a Wacky Wednesday event.

Families in the interactive gallery during a Wacky Wednesday event. (Source: Memphis Brooks Museum of Art)

Wacky Wednesdays are very popular and usually bring in a large crowd, so keep that in mind!

Our Wacky Wednesday series provides a creative outlet during the summer for families, as well as, day camps and child care centers.

As a reminder, if you are part of a daycare center for school, every visit to Brooks Museum is free as long as you make reservations. Click here for more information.

Wacky Wednesdays are open for groups of up to 60 students, and one chaperone is required for every eight students. All our galleries are open for kids to explore during and after the events happening downstairs.

Kids at the Art of Video Games exhibition.

Kids at the Art of Video Games exhibition. (Source: Memphis Brooks Museum of Art)

Your family is always welcome at The Brushmark Restaurant, but we are asking you to help us preserve the artwork by not bringing in outside food and drinks. Click here to see the children’s menu. 

Click here to learn more about Brooks Museum’s events for kids and families.

Wacky Wednesdays Summer Series is sponsored by Thomas & Betts.

The Art of Video Games is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum with generous support from the Entertainment Software Association Foundation; Sheila Duignan and Mike Wilkins; Shelby and Frederick Gans; Mark Lamia; Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk; Rose Family Foundation; Betty and Lloyd Schermer; and Neil Young. The C.F. Foundation in Atlanta supports the museum’s traveling exhibition program, Treasures to Go.


Last Two Weeks of Wacky Wednesdays!

Get hyped up for Wacky Wednesdays at the Brooks with our Brooks Kids page! We also offer tons of family friendly events, which you can check out here!

Make sure you unwind from all of the wacky fun with our 3 new exhibitions: The Soul of a City: Memphis Collects African American Art, Elvis is in the Building, and Early Quilts from Southern Collections.

Education Department: Art Therapy

Through the Art Therapy Access Program, the Brooks recently partnered with the Shelby County Relative Caregiver Program (SCRCP), a program of the Department of Child Services at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. SCRP supports children who are not living with their parents by providing therapeutic activities, family advocacy, educational workshops, and caregiver respite. The Brooks’ collaboration included sessions with a registered art therapist, Karen Peacock, as well as interactive gallery tours of the museum’s permanent collection. A selection of the resulting artworks is featured in an exhibition now on view, MeTV: The Identity Channel.

The Brooks is one of only a few museums in the country that is integrating Art Therapy with the museum experience. Art Therapy is a mental health profession that uses the creative process of art-making to improve and enhance the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages. It is based on the belief that the process involved in artistic self-expression helps people resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight. Utilizing the creative process of art making and interactive gallery discussions as a forum for self-exploration and self-expression, this collaborative provided a supportive environment in which participants could develop and explore their personal narratives and increase their self-confidence.

MeTV: The Identity Channel
Inspired by Vide-O-belisk by Nam June Paik, located in the rotunda of the Brooks, each participant was asked to create his or her own television, and to choose a scene to display on the screen. The scenes were selected by the participants from one of several art directives: paint a scene from your past, present, or future; paint a time when you were happy or sad; and paint a picture of you and your caregiver. Each television is also adorned with unique hieroglyphs or symbols that communicate an aspect of the participant’s identity.

Allowing the participant to be the creator and “director” in this manner helped form a personal narrative in a creative way, which supported the formation of a positive self-image and increased self-confidence.

Self-Advertisement Billboard
Each participant was asked to describe him or herself with one adjective with the idea that together these adjectives would help “advertise” and “promote” the MeTV Channel. Working as a group to create the billboard helped improve social skills. By being more conscious of how they present themselves to others, participants’ self-awareness grew and developed.

For more information about this program or other educational programs at the Brooks, click here.

Who Shot Rock & Roll! It’s Almost Here! 

There’s been a strong buzz inside and outside of the Brooks with the museum’s newest exhibition, Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present, and now we finally get to see it!

Working at the museum has its obvious benefits. I am allowed to express myself through my clothing, which is oftentimes vintage and weird. I get to talk about art all day, be creative and imaginative, and walk the halls of our beautiful galleries at my leisure.

However, whenever a new exhibition is being set up, no one can venture into the gallery space. I found this out the hard way when I wandered into a closed exhibition, only to be caught by our Exhibitions Director! She was very nice while I was very apologetic (and embarrassed)! Apparently, only exhibitions staff is allowed inside, leaving the rest of the museum staff just as anxious to see the new art as our visitors.

As the Brooks’ Visitor Services Manager, I am excited to welcome each guest with the same giddiness as they have when they come to see this exhibition. I love all of the exhibitions we’ve had here since I’ve started, but Who Shot Rock & Roll takes the cake for me. As a born and raised Memphian, I love and truly appreciate music — especially the history. I’ve gone on late night bicycle rides to Graceland with friends, driven to Mississippi at 2 a.m. to experience Graceland Too (my boyfriend, an honorary member, has been there four times), and gleefully taken my Nashville friends to eat Dyer’s burgers. Now when our friends visit us, I can bring them to the Brooks to learn and feel the Memphis music experience.

To learn more about the Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present exhibition, click here.

To schedule a group tour or to learn about docent-led tours, email Brenda Burgess at brenda.burgess@brooksmuseum.org.

To find out about all of the events scheduled during this exhibition, email andria.lisle@brooksmuseum.org or click here.

Film:Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas followed by the Light Festival!

FILM: Sunday, December 13 | 3pm

Directed by Jim Henson of The Muppets, Emmet Otter’s Jug band Christmas is a light-hearted movie that is family friendly with great moral lessons.

Emmet Otter is the son of a single mother and both are desperate to gift eachother with something nice this Christmas. Down on their luck, the Otter family has little money.

However, there is a talent competition with a monetary prize that could save Christmas! Come see this 1977 classic in our Dorothy K. Hohenberg auditorium!

Light Festival: Sunday, December 13 | 4 – 6pm

After the movie, come up to the rotunda where you’ll be greeted by carolers! Play the dreidel game, make a paper snowflake and a handmade holiday card with your kids! Next, have your facepainted for the festive holiday season! Listen to the Last Chance Jug Band and reminisce about the movie!

Then, take a picture with santa by the Christmas tree, have your portrait made by either a caricature or silhouette artists-all for only $5 each! After you and your family have recorded your memories, go through an adventurous scavenger hunt in the galleries!

Enjoy Lex Bonner in the Brushmark as he plays piano into the night while munching on complimentary holiday goodies like cookies and hot cocoa. When you’re all finished, grab a free candy cane as you walk out and head to the Levitt Shell for a free Light Festival or take a relaxing carriage ride!

Check Out theEuropean Vacation Family Day Re-Cap!!

Last Saturday, the Brooks celebrated another successful Family Day!

Kids and parents came from all over the city to particpate in FREE art activities including a gallery scavenger hunt, personalized passport-making, frame building and more!

Everyone also enjoyed a complimentary performance of Narnia presented by Playhouse on the Square! You should have seen the kids’ faces as the actors and actresses entered the museum, in full costume, right though the front door!

We were honored to have great and enthusiastic volunteers from Central High School and we thank them a thousand times for all of their help!

For more information about the Education Department or family events at the Brooks, email emily.greenberg@brooksmuseum.org!

To see if we took your picture, check out our Flickr roll on the right!

FREE:European VacationFamily Day at the Brooks!

Saturday, November 14 | 10 am – 1 pm
Enjoy Free Admisson and Activities! Open to the public!

Masterpieces family day 009

Set off on a wonderful European vacation that’s both relaxing for the parents and exhilarating for your children! Travel all over Europe and see the wonderful Masterpieces from Spain, France, and more!

Create your own passport and take an adventurous journey through the galleries! Then, enjoy a scavenger hunt as you search for clues in the artwork to take you to your next destination. Relax and take in a show in our auditorium as Playhouse on the Square performs several excerpts from Narnia!

Henderson family

Make memories and have your photo taken in front of ancient Roman ruins, eating in a French café, or lounging in an Impressionist landscape. Then, decorate a personalized frame with gemstones and sparkles to preserve your fun trip!

Make a postcard to mail to your grandparents, teachers, or even a pen pal! Your kids can draw whatever they want on a pre-prepared card! There’s something for everyone…there will be complimentary family guides for anyone who wants to go on their own through the galleries!

Schedule of Events
10 am -1 pm Activities in the Rotunda and Gallery
11:30 pm Narnia in the Auditorium presented by Playhouse on the Square