Virtual Family Day

Every second Sunday of the month, Mia hosts a free monthly event for families, kids, and the young at heart featuring virtual hands-on art activities, music, dance performances, artist demonstrations, and more — all inspired by Mia’s incredible collection. 

Family Day Major Sponsor:  

Virtual Family Day: Black is Beautiful

Kwame Brathwaite (American, born 1938), designer: Bob Gumbs, Untitled (Black is Beautiful), 1970 (printed 2018), archival pigment print. The Shared Fund, 2019.67

Celebrate Black History Month by learning more about the extraordinary Black artists who created art to document and honor the beauty, struggle, and resilience of Black people. Create portraits of people who inspire you using various techniques drawn from African American artists like Wadsworth Jarrell and Elizabeth Catlett. Watch a shadow-puppet show by local artist and activist Ty Chapman, and make your own shadow puppet. Sing along and hear tales affirming love from Nothando Zulu, founder of the African Storyteller’s Alliance, and create your own love letter for Black Lives this Valentine’s Day.

Free Family Day Artist Totes

February Family Day Artist Tote and Materials.

During the Family Day weekend (February 13-14) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., you can pick up a free Family Day Artist Tote at Mia’s Third Avenue entrance. You’ll find materials to make a shadow puppet, colorful portraits, and collages to celebrate Family Day. Family Day Artist Totes are available until supplies last.

The materials in the kit complement the Virtual Family Day program’s activities but are not essential to enjoying the activities. Click here to learn more about the items and activities featured in this month’s tote.

Songs and Stories by Nothando Zulu

February Virtual Family Day — Storytelling by Nothando Zulu from Black Storytellers Alliance. Nothando works to carry out its mission of perpetuating, preserving and promoting the oral tradition of Black storytelling.

Closer Look: Black is Beautiful

Try this short quiz “Closer Look: Black is Beautiful” to explore the artworks by visionary Black artists who captured the beauty and strength of Black people using various mediums like photography, printmaking, and painting. Click here to view the quiz.

Create a Portrait of a Revolutionary

Create a Portrait of a Revolutionary Activity for Virtual Family Day: Black is Beautiful

Art can be a powerful way to honor and draw attention to important ideas and people. Click here for instructions on how to create a portrait of an inspirational figure in your life in the style of Wadsworth Jarrell

Try Line Drawing inspired by “All the People”

Click here for instructions to try a line drawing portrait inspired by the artwork called “All the People” by African American printmaker, sculptor, and painter Elizabeth Catlett. The important part about line drawing is to not take your drawing utensil off the page while drawing the face!

Shadow Puppet Show: The Lonely Half King

Watch The Lonely Half King, a shadow puppet show by Ty Chapman about an outcast searching for a place to belong in the African Savannah. Ty is a Twin Cities based author, poet, puppeteer, and playwright of Nigerian and European descent. He has been creating art with social justice themes for many years, and is passionate about creating art that speaks to the Black experience in America. Visit for updates on his art, or to follow him on Twitter or Instagram.

Make your own shadow puppet using simple materials like paper, popsicle sticks, and paper fasteners.

Click here for instructions on how to make a shadow puppet using simple materials like paper, popsicle sticks, and paper fasteners.

Love Letters for Black Lives

How did the Black Lives Matter movement start? With a love letter: “We need to love ourselves and fight for a world where Black lives matter,” Alicia Garza wrote on her Facebook page one night, after a man who admitted shooting and killing a Black boy named Trayvon Martin was allowed to go free. “Black people, I love you. I love us. We matter.” Love letters for justice can do powerful things.

In June 2020, when Minneapolis was grieving from the tragic loss of George Floyd, families from around the US sent love letters to Minneapolis affirming Black Lives. The action was called “To Minneapolis With Love: #LoveLetters4BlackLives” and was coordinated by five family-centered racial justice organizations and networks that include: Wee The People, Philly Children’s Movement, Revolutionary Humans, MassArt’s Center for Art and Community Partnerships, and Raising Luminaries.

It is important for everyone no matter their age to continue to learn about racial justice and share love for Black Lives everyday. Watch the video to see a small selection of some of the beautiful letters received and be inspired to create your own Love Letter for Black Lives. Click here for more resources on how to guide your family conversations and actions about racial justice.

We encourage you to follow the organizations mentioned above online to learn more about how you can get involved locking arms with families and activists around the world in the fight for racial justice.

Share Your Thoughts

We’d love to hear more about your experience and how we can continue to share activities that are meaningful and fun for your family. Click here to take our brief survey. Three responses selected randomly will receive a $10 gift card to the Store at Mia!

Family Day Program by Natalia Choi

More Virtual Family Day Activities

Virtual Family Day: F is for Family

Start the new year reflecting on the people you love and call family. Hear tales of love and friendship from Nothando Zulu, founder of the African Storytellers Alliance. Be inspired to make your own “quilt,” learning about the amazing textile-upcycling tradition passed down through generations in Gee’s Bend, Alabama.

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Virtual Family Day: Beautiful Letters

Is writing an art form? Yes! Many cultures around the world consider calligraphy, the art of handwriting, one of the most important forms of artistic expression. Explore beautiful penmanship with activities related to two exhibitions at Mia: “Khatt Islami: Sacred Scripts from Islamic Africa,” and “20 Dances: Japanese Calligraphy Then and Now.” Try writing in new alphabets and characters, guided by local artists like Wenwen Liao and Ayan Ahmed.

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Virtual Family Day: Foot in the Door

Celebrate community love and joy during this Family Day, inspired by “Foot in the Door,” an open exhibition for Minnesota artists of all ages held once every 10 years. Hear thoughts on the all-virtual exhibition from Chappal, a talking slipper from the Indian subcontinent, and be inspired to make your own “foot” wear.
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Virtual Family Day: Mapping Your World

How can maps tell us more about our past, present, and future? Explore many kinds of maps from Mia’s collection and be inspired to create a map of your own world! Learn how stars helped people navigate and make your own constellation projector. Listen to the story “A Map into the World” by local author Kao Kalia Yang, deepen your knowledge about Asia and the Asian diaspora.

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Virtual Family Day: Shine On!

Be dazzled by the strength and brilliance of metal arts in Mia’s collection, some made thousands of years ago. Hear music played on metal gongs and cymbals by the Sumunar Gamelan Ensemble, and learn how to shine together through complicated times from therapist parents Jamil and Sara from Creative Kuponya. Quiz yourself about metal arts, and use household items to make your own mirror inspired by ancient bronze mirrors.

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Virtual Family Day: Open Books, Open Hearts

Celebrate National Book Lovers Day by joining virtual Family Day: Open Books Open Hearts. Fall in love with books of all kinds listening to stories by local authors and artists, making your own book and printmaking, and watching a virtual puppet show featuring a huge pop up book!

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Virtual Family Day: Making Home

Thank you for joining us for a virtual Family Day! Inspired by the special exhibit “When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Art and Migration”, this month we’re asking: What is a home? And how do you make one? Share stories of migration and home making through art and storytelling.

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Virtual Family Day(s) of Action: Yes Justice Yes Peace!

To shift focus to the most pressing needs of rebuilding our communities with love, join us for “Family Day(s) for Action: Yes Justice Yes Peace!” which will share family-friendly resources and activities centering Black Lives Matter throughout the month of June.

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Virtual Family Day: Stories of Resilience

Celebrate and learn more about Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with puppetry by Oanh Vu and Denise Hanh Hyunh, collage making, and pickling. In addition, hear stories from indigenous artists Julie Buffalohead and children’s book author Teresa Peterson, be inspired to dance outside with Kenna Camara-Cottman, and connect with nature with Sidewalk Plant Lab to find strength and joy!

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Virtual Family Day: Just Kids

Inspired by the special photography exhibition “Just Kids,” we’ll celebrate the creative visions and talents of young people with activities made by and for kids. Let’s have fun making portraits, dancing, and listening to music together—virtually!

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