Kids' Fall Culture Guide
Most likely, your kid’s not growing up to be a sculptor, ballerina, opera singer or Broadway star. So why should you work to involve them in the arts?
“Art’s a powerful thing,” says Marty Arvizu, director of Marketing at Kansas City Young Audiences, the largest provider of art for education programs in KC. “Kids who participate in the arts build 21st century skills like creativity, character development, critical thinking, communication and collaboration. It’s a way to help them develop into well rounded individuals.”
Sounds good. So how to start? What can parents do to raise culturally engaged kids?
“Exposure is probably the most important,” according to Lauren Park, museum educator of school and family programs at the Kemper Museum. She says parents can set an example by being open to the arts. “Think of it as a new experience for the whole family.”
Most important, says Arvizu: “Give kids the opportunity to see and try things. And have patience while they’re learning.”
More ways to boost your kids’ arts quotient:
Add art to your daily life in fun ways – make a puppet show while folding the socks or sing the dinner menu. Instead of a nightly book, try creative story telling one evening.
Think beyond buying arts and crafts; look around your home or office. Try yarn, aluminum foil or paper clips. “Open up your child’s life to exploring,” said Angel Mercier, arts education program director at the Johnson County Community College Performing Arts Series. “Go beyond what they can see.”
Get messy! Whether it’s water, paint or scraps of paper, give kids a chance to go wild. “When you take away the parameters, you allow for spontaneity, imagination and curiosity,” said Mercier.
Don’t forget to share your own artistic skills and interests with your child. Notice that art is all around you — in parks, cities, signs, buildings or open spaces — and take every opportunity to point it out and enjoy it.
Most events have a cost, unless otherwise indicated. Call ahead for times, prices and reservation information. Always check the website for latest information.
For further information, check out the Kansas City Arts Council.
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Oct. 15 Youth Studio Workshop (ages 8-12)
Oct. 21 Adult-Youth Workshop “Imagination + Ink” (ages 6-12)
Nov. 19 Holiday Gift Making (ages 9-12)
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
Scavenger Saturdays: Family activities 1-4 p.m. third Saturday of the month. Oct. 15, Nov. 19, Dec. 17 Children receive a take-home art-making activity kit.
Oct. 14-23 Tom Sawyer: a ballet in 3 acts: The timeless and classic coming-of-age story of Tom and his friends on their many adventures. (all ages)
Dec. 3-24 The Nutcracker: The holiday tradition of a nutcracker come to life in a land of sweets. (all ages)
Oct. 21 National Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China: The National Acrobats perform high-flying acrobatics, martial arts, illusions and traditional Chinese dance and music. (all ages)
Oct. 29 The Intergalactic Nemesis: This period-sci-fi-horror-suspense-comedy-romance is performed in an innovative, multimedia presentation, with voices, sound effects, music and comic book images. (all ages)
Kansas City Repertory Theater
Nov. 19 – Dec. 26 A Christmas Carol: The Classical Dickens Christmas tale (all ages)
Sept. 13 - Oct. 9 The Outsiders: Young adult series - 2 rival teen gangs in 60’s Oklahoma. (7th grade and up)
Nov. 1-Dec. 31 Seussical: Horton Hears a Who and Horton Hatches the Egg are interwoven into one celebration of Dr. Seuss. (all ages)
Paul Mesner Puppets
Nov. 2-27 Go, Dog. Go!: A retelling of favorite children’s book about dogs on the move headed for a mystery party.
Dec. 9-11 The Nativity: Classic Christmas story of Mary and Joseph. (all ages)
Kansas City Symphony
Dec. 18 Christmas Festival: Traditional holiday concert includes the Symphony and Chorus presenting musical arrangements of Christmas carols and songs of the season, plus guest singers, musicians and a visit from Santa. (all ages)
Johnson County Community College Performing Arts Series
Oct. 15 The Makaha Sons: Hawaiian music and hula dancing. (all ages)
Nov. 3 Bella Gaia: “Beautiful Earth;” a fusion of art and science (4th grade and up)
Nov. 11 69 degrees South – The Shackleton Project: Unique puppet theater re-enacts Shackleton’s Antarctica trek (4th grade and up)
Nov. 18 ArcAttack Science: An electrifying performance of science and art (middle school and up)
The Folly Kids’ Series features programming with lots of family appeal, at kid-friendly times (mornings, afternoons) and parent-friendly prices (all kid tickets are $6).
Oct. 17 Beakman on the Brain!: Learn about science with eccentric scientist Professor Beakman
Nov. 9 If You Give a Moose a Muffin: Staging of Laura Numeroff’s popular children’s storybook.