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Metropolitan Museum Announces Fall/Winter Schedule of Programs for Children and Their Families

(New York, August 4, 2004) – The Metropolitan Museum of Art today announced its schedule of weekend and weekday programs for children and their families for the period October 2004 through January 2005. In addition to an extensive range of age-specific art programs, the Metropolitan's amenities for families include special greeters on weekends and on Holiday Mondays, family Audio Guide tours, free printed guides for independent activities within the Museum, family-friendly dining – including a special children's menu in the cafeteria – a MetKids catalogue, Children's Shop, and "MuseumKids" Web page.

Greeters in Red Aprons Weekend visitors to the Metropolitan Museum with young children will be welcomed by one of the Museum's special family greeters. Easily spotted in their bright red aprons, the greeters welcome families in the Great Hall, answer questions about the Museum, hand out printed self-conducted activity guides, and recommend art-related programs that the Museum offers free of charge for children and accompanying adults.

Family greeters are also on duty for the Museum's popular "Holiday Mondays" – when children are home from school. Now entering their second year, Holiday Mondays will be held during the upcoming school year on September 6 (Labor Day), October 11 (Columbus Day), and December 27 (Christmas-New Year's week), 2004, and January 17 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), February 21 (Presidents' Day), and May 30 (Memorial Day), 2005.

"MuseumKids" Web Page Prior to visiting the Museum, families can log onto the MuseumKids page of the Metropolitan Museum's Web site (www.metmuseum.org), which has the direct address http://www.metmuseum.org/explore/museumkids.htm. This easy-to-navigate Web page features a whole array of information and activities for children, under the headings "Things to Do When Visiting" and "For Kids to Try Right Now!" Online visitors can learn more about special family programs; create their own "My Met Calendar," a customized listing of events and subjects of special interest; sign up to receive weekly email notices of upcoming programs and events based on their preferences; or pre-plan an excursion to the Metropolitan Museum. In addition, children can play interactive art games and experience art firsthand through activities in the "Explore & Learn" section, or find the answers to such frequently asked questions as "How many pieces of art are in the Museum?" and "What are the colored buttons used for?"

Ongoing Weekend Programs

Weekend programs for kids and their adult companions, conducted by Museum instructors, are scheduled October 30-December 19, 2004, and January 2-30, 2005, as follows. (No programs will be offered December 25, 2004-January 1, 2005.)
 Start with Art at the Met, for youngsters ages three through seven, an hour of storytelling, sketching activities, and other ways of exploring art. A new addition to the Museum's Saturday schedule, this program is also offered on weekday afternoons. (Saturdays, 10:00-11:00 a.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:30-3:30 p.m.; Wednesdays and Fridays, 3:30-4:30 p.m.)
 Look Again!, for ages five through 12, an exploration of the history, meaning, and cross-cultural connections of works of art in the Museum through conversation and sketching. About once a month, the 90-minute program will be enhanced by a live performance – featuring musicians, dancers, actors, or a storyteller – related to the day's topic. (Saturdays, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 2:00-3:30 p.m.; Sundays, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.)

 Hello, Met, also for ages five through 12, a stimulating introduction to the Museum and its encyclopedic collections for new and first-time visitors through discussion and sketching of some of its masterpieces, sometimes preceded by a short film. (Sundays, 2:00-3:00 p.m.)
 Art Evenings for Families, for ages six through 12, an encounter with the Museum's collections through conversation and sketching. (Saturdays, 6:00-7:00 p.m.) For further information, call (212) 650-2833.
 The Charles H. Tally Lecture Series for Families, a program for ages six through 12 featuring an exploration of the Museum's collections through discussions and sketching in various galleries. (Fridays, November 19, December 3, and January 21, 6:00-7:00 p.m.)

Special Family Programs

Supplementing the morning Look Again! programs are two special family programs that demonstrate, through the handling of tools and materials, how a particular work of art was created: Royal Rooms: How Did They Do That?, 30-minute sessions running from 1:00-4:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, November 20 and 21, 2004, and Arms and Armor: How Did They Do That?, 30-minute sessions running from 1:00-4:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, January 8 and 9, 2005.

In Curator Contact: Discovering Impressionism with Kathryn Calley Galitz, for ages six through 12, Kathryn Calley Galitz of the Department of European Paintings, with Edith Watts from the Education Department, will guide families in an exploration of masterpieces of Impressionism from the Museum's collection through conversation and sketching. This program is part of the Charles H. Tally Lecture Series for Families. (Friday, December 3, 6:00-7:00 p.m.)

A fourth special family program, Holiday Films for Families, on Saturday, December 18, from 12:30 to 1:05 p.m., will feature short films from the Museum's unique family archive that celebrate the season.

Spanish-Language Programs

El primer contact con el arte, for Spanish-speaking families. Designed for ages six through 12, this program features discussion and sketching activities focusing on a different theme and area of the Museum each week. In addition, the following Metropolitan Museum activity guides are available free of charge in Spanish: Caras y Máscaras un Rastreo; Esfinge o Finge? Un Rastreo; and La vida en Egipto de lo pequeño á lo grande. (Saturdays, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.) For further information, call (212) 650-2833.

Family Programs at The Cloisters

At The Cloisters, the branch of the Metropolitan Museum devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe, located in upper Manhattan, special gallery tours and art-making activities for children ages four through 12 and their adult companions will be offered from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays, September 4, October 2, November 6 and December 4. In addition, on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 28 and 29, the special program Stone Marvels: How Did They Do That?, will illustrate, through the handling of tools and materials, how stone sculpture was carved in the Middle Ages. Presented in 30-minute sessions, 1:00-4:00 p.m. For further information, call (212) 650-2280.

Programs for Young Visitors with Disabilities

A variety of programs and services for young visitors with disabilities is available at all times. For those with visual impairments the Museum offers two Touch Tours: In Touch with Ancient Egypt, which may be taken by appointment with a guide or independently, with the use of a large print or Braille booklet, and American Architecture and Decorative Arts, available as a guided tour featuring American objects from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. The Touch Collection, made up of a wide range of works from the Museum's permanent collections, supplemented with casts and high-quality reproductions, is available by appointment. Verbal Imaging Tours are also offered, in which Museum guides describe in great detail paintings, sculpture, stained glass, textiles, and jewelry from the Museum's permanent collections, as well as special exhibitions. An innovative new book, Art & The Alphabet: A Tactile Experience, combines color reproductions, large print, Braille, and tactile pictures. The book introduces masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art's collections to children with visual impairments and their families, friends, and teachers. Some copies will be available free of charge to qualifying schools and organizations. For further information or to register for any of these programs, call (212) 879-5500, ext. 3561.

For families with hearing-impaired members the Museum offers Sign Language interpretation of one family program each month. These will take place on Saturdays, October 30, November 13, and December 6, 2004, and January 17, 2005, 2:00-3:30 p.m. This drop-in program is free with Museum admission. Reservations are not required. Sign Language interpretation can be requested for other Museum programs. For further information, call (212) 879-5500, ext. 3561, or TTY (212)-570-3828.

The Metropolitan Museum also provides complimentary Audio Guides for visitors with visual or hearing impairments on request at the Audio Guide desk in the Great Hall. For people who have hearing aids, neck loops are available for use with Audio Guides. Audio Guide scripts in standard and large print are also available on request.

For children and adults with developmental disabilities and accompanying family members or friends, the Museum offers Discoveries, a series of Sunday workshops focusing on a particular theme. Each workshop consists of a gallery tour incorporating creative art activities. These programs are free of charge, but advance reservations are necessary. For further information, call (212) 650-2304.

The galleries of The Metropolitan Museum of Art are wheelchair accessible. Wheelchair users should enter the Museum through the 81st Street entrance.

Access programs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art are made possible by MetLife Foundation.
Access programs are also made possible by the generous support of the Filomen M. D'Agostino Foundation.
Additional support for Access programs has been provided by the Renate, Hans & Maria Hofmann Trust, the Stella and Charles Guttman Foundation Inc., the Sunny and Abe Rosenberg Foundation, the Sarah K. deCoizart Article Tenth Perpetual Charitable Trust, Paul A. Wagner in honor of Jeanette Sarkisian Wagner, and The Ceil & Michael E. Pulitzer Foundation Inc.

Special Family Audio Guide Tour The Museum's Family Audio Guide, ideal for children ages six through 12 and their families, includes commentary for younger visitors about more than 100 works of art. Families can proceed at their own pace, listen in any order they choose, and keep the guide for the duration of their visit. In the galleries, families look next to works of art for audio stop labels beginning with the letter "F" and press the corresponding number on the audio player. Featured works are in the galleries of The American Wing, arms and armor, ancient Near Eastern art, Islamic art, arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas, Asian art (including Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and South and Southeast Asian), Egyptian art, European Old Masters, European sculpture and decorative arts, medieval and Byzantine art, 19th-century art, modern art, and musical instruments. The Audio Guide is priced at $6.00 for the general public, $5.00 for Metropolitan Museum members, and $4.00 for children under 12. Family Audio Guide maps are available free of charge at the Audio Guide desk in the Great Hall. The Audio Guide program is sponsored by Bloomberg.

Family-friendly Dining at the Metropolitan Museum

Every restaurant at the Museum welcomes children, but "the cafeteria", which opened in the summer of 2003, is particularly family friendly. Booster seats and high chairs are provided, and the menu features a selection of five special meals for children under 12 years of age – chicken fingers, pizza, pasta, tossed salad, or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, plus whole fruit and milk or juice – priced at $4.95 each and served in a unique, three-dimensional tray, designed to look like a New York City taxi.

A Catalogue Just for Kids

The special Children's Shop located on the second floor of the Museum is a noted resource for high-quality items for kids of all ages – including art activity kits, art supplies, stuffed toys, kids' jewelry, puppets, puzzles, games, play figures, books, CDs, and videos. A MetKids catalogue also offers an exciting array of products designed to help children of all ages learn, develop skills, and grow. Many of the items are based on works in the Museum's collections, opening a door to the world of art, ancient cultures, history, music, and even the Museum itself; others expand on the Museum's educational and outreach programs; and all are intended to help children discover their own creativity, individuality, and power of imagination.

Off-Site Programs for Family Groups

The Metropolitan Museum also presents slide talks accompanied by art and writing workshops to groups of families and young people in after-school programs, libraries, and community centers throughout New York City. This program, called Meet the Met: The Offsite Program for Families and Young People, will begin on January 5, 2004. These events are free and are offered in many languages. Sign Language interpretation can also be provided. For further information, call (212) 396-5051.

Family programs are free with Museum admission. All materials are provided, and registration is not required unless otherwise noted.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art offers a Dual/Family Membership for $175.00 that includes free admission for one year for two adults, as well as children of these members through the age of 16, to the Museum, The Cloisters, and all special exhibitions. It also includes a discount of 10% on Museum merchandise, announcements of exclusive subscription programs for children, members-only lectures and preview invitations, and summer weekend use of the Trustees Dining Room.

Family programs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art are supported by: Uris Brothers Foundation Endowment, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, Bloomberg, Mr. and Mrs. Marvin H. Schein, May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Inc., Pat and John Rosenwald Fund, the Aronson Endowment Fund, Staten Island Advance, The Roberta & Allan Weissglass Foundation, Inc., The Rotary Foundation of New York, and The Goodman Memorial Foundation.

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