Virtual Family Day: Beautiful Letters

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: 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. Create noteworthy letters with your fancy script to send to loved ones this season.

Free Family Day Artist Totes

During the Family Day weekend (December 12–13) 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, like rice paper, scratchboard, and unique brushes, to try your hand at the art of calligraphy. In addition, you’ll also get a specially designed postcard by Wenwen Liao.

The materials in the kit complement the Virtual Family Day program’s activities but are not essential to enjoying the activities.


Quiz and Guide: Calligraphy

Click the photo above or click here to view the quiz.

What is calligraphy? Have fun learning more about calligraphy from various cultures in this short interactive quiz “A Closer Look: Calligraphy.”

Fonts and Feelings

The same word can have so many looks depending on how you write it! All you need for this activity is a piece of paper and some writing utensils.

Pick three adjectives (for example: “Cool,” “scary,” and “historic”) and try writing your name in three different fonts reflecting your chosen adjectives. Try using various writing utensils and colors for different effects.

You can also look closely at logos from various organizations and companies for inspiration and think about what kind of feeling the logos’ fonts carry.

Poem “Say What” by Bao Phi

How you say a word is as important as the word itself. Listen to local spoken word artist Bao Phi and learn more about the beautiful and poetic language of Vietnamese.

Tote-Essential Activities

You’ll need to pick up a Family Day Artist Tote to get the supplies necessary to try the following activities: Chinese Painting and Arabic Calligraphy.

Create a Chinese Painting

Do you want to know what it feels like to use one of the oldest painting techniques in the world?
Click here for instructions on how to use traditional Chinese painting materials and techniques to create a painting of red fruits for your home! The activity has been designed by Wenwen Liao, a local artist who loves to create tranquil moments of childhood innocence through her paintings. You can check out more of Wenwen’s art on Instagram @Wenwenliao_art

Arabic Calligraphy

Dive into the world of Arabic calligraphy and learn how to write words in Arabic with Ayan Ahmed, a local Arabic calligrapher.

Click here to print a template to try Arabic calligraphy at home with instructions by Ayan. We recommend using an Expo marker with a chisel tip to trace the calligraphy. You can check out more of Ayan’s art on Instagram

If you’d like some music accompaniment while you create, click here to listen to some Sufi Singing from across Africa!