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Press Releases Walker Art Center’s Raising Creative Kids Program in September and October Feature Children’s Book Author Nancy Carlson, Glorious Movement, and Arty Pants: Your Tuesday Playdate


Minneapolis, August 28, 2012—Walker Art Center’s Raising Creative Kids programs in September and October include the Free First Saturday family events Get Up and Read (Saturday, September 1, 10 am–3 pm), a day with children’s book author/illustrator and local talent Nancy Carlson, and Glorious Movement (Saturday, October 6, 10 am–3 pm), a day to get families moving through the galleries in creative ways. Also in September and October, the Walker presents Arty Pants: Your Tuesday Playdate, the popular program designed to nurture creativity and engage a child’s mind. Arty Pants programs are presented on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month and feature art projects, films, gallery activities, and story readings.


A complete listing of Raising Creative Kids programs in July and August follows.


Free First Saturdays Are for Families
Activities are free and available on a first-come, first-served basis from 10 am–3 pm. Gallery admission is free from 10 am–5 pm on Free First Saturday.


Families can enjoy live performances, films, gallery adventures, and hands-on art-making from 10 am–3 pm. Activities recommended for ages 6–12.


September Free First Saturday: Get Up and Read
Saturday, September 1, 10 am–3 pm


Join us for a day with children’s book author/illustrator and local talent Nancy Carlson, whose endearing characters—bunnies, mice, pigs, frogs, and dogs, to name a few—tickle the funny bone of children and their parents while teaching about honesty, determination, and self-confidence. Discover paths through the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden designed to have you reading and exercising along the way. Visit Optum at Open Field to learn a few tips for healthy living.


Garden Activity: Get Up and Read
10 am–3 pm, Minneapolis Sculpture Garden


Kids can take a walk through the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Along the way they will read a book by Nancy Carlson and find drawings and doodles that suggest physical activities ranging from jumping rope to dancing to wandering in the woods.

Art Activity: Book Making
Open Field, 10 am–3 pm


Join guest artist from Minnesota Center for the Book Arts and learn how to bind and create your own sketchbook to capture your doodles.


Story Time with Nancy Carlson
Open Field, 10:30, 11:30 and 12:30


Join the local author and illustrator Nancy Carlson for some laughs and giggles as she reads some of her favorite books and shares the secrets of drawing animal characters.


Nancy Carlson
Nancy Carlson is an accomplished children’s book author and illustrator who has published more than 60 books. She is one of the few people who knew even back in kindergarten what she wanted to do for a living: “Make pictures and tell stories!”


Carlson is a life-long Minnesotan. Born and raised in Edina, Minnesota, she had a happy and fulfilling childhood surrounded by an outgoing family. Her parents read to her and her brother and sister every night. The comic books she loved to read as a child have influenced her style of drawing and use of color. Many of Carlson’s stories are taken from her own childhood experiences.


Carlson graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design with a major in printmaking, and shortly afterward became fascinated with children’s books while working at the Walker Art Center. She began to write her own stories and created accompanying drawings. It wasn’t long before she found herself approaching publishers with her own ideas for children’s books. Carlson had numerous art exhibitions before getting into the publishing world and her artwork is held in many private and public collections. Recognition for her published work includes several Reading Rainbow selections, the Children’s Choice Award from the International Reading Association and Children’s Book Council, the Minnesota Children’s Museum Great Friends to Kids Award and several others.


Carlson believes that life should be fun for everyone, but especially for children. This optimistic message permeates her picture books and provides a positive counterpoint to much of what children are influenced by in today’s society. Her characters aren’t always perfect. They often have fears, anxieties, and disabilities. Through her books, kids learn to cope with different challenges. They can learn that they don’t have to be perfect to be a good person. Her characters also convey positive messages without being “preachy”. They gently remind children what is right.


Carlson is also a guest author and illustrator at over 150 school classrooms each year, and has touched the lives of thousands of children across the country.


Today, Carlson lives in Minnesota with her husband, three children, and her dog named Lily. Her entire family is into sports and enjoys the outdoors. Carlson herself enjoys running, hiking, biking, swimming, skiing and golf.


Optum Health at Open Field
10 am–1 pm
Learn how to make a healthy snack mix using nutritionally beneficial food with nutritionists from Optum Health.


The Abundant Harvest: A Swatch Team Giveaway
Open Field, 1 pm–5 pm


Imagine a garden sprouting hand crafted bags full of food, fresh harvest, and seeds to grow your own garden! Participants are welcome to take home a beautiful bag of abundance made by volunteers from the artists of the Swatch Team, as well as contribute artwork, poetry or performance. Art supplies will be provided.


The Abundant Harvest will be a celebration of creativity, performance, and generosity!


About the Swatch Team
The Swatch Team is a gang of creative fiber artists that enjoy displaying artwork in surprising places. These installations offer a contrast to the cold, hard, mechanized world of fences, concrete, and blacktop that we survive in daily. All of our installations are titled with a message and include beautiful hand-knit and hand-crocheted items that are useful and free for the taking. We hope to inspire those around us to take back their creativity, as well as experience the joy of gift-giving and receiving!


October free First Saturday: Glorious Movement
Saturday, October 6, 10 am–3 pm


Come along on a tour that will get everyone moving in the galleries. Step into the Art Lab to investigate various ways that art can be dynamic. The day is inspired by the upcoming Walker exhibition Dance Works III’s featured artist Rei Kawakubo, a Japanese fashion designer, and the legendary choreographer Merce Cunningham.


Arty Pants: Your Tuesday Playdate
Tuesdays, September 11 and 25; October 9 and 23, 11 am–1 pm

For kids ages 3–5 and adults
Free with gallery admission; Walker members and kids ages 12 and under are always free


What do hip kids and their (possibly) cooler parents do to spark creativity? Attend Arty Pants: Your Tuesday Playdate, featuring programs for adults and youngsters ages 3–5. Join us each month on the second and fourth Tuesdays for art projects, films, gallery activities, and story time.


Art-making Activities
Star Tribune Art Lab

Join us each Arty Pants week for a new and exciting way to explore the nonsense nature of art.


WAC Packs for the Galleries
Enhance your artistic escapade with these hands-on activity packs. Games, story-telling, and art-making will enliven artworks for the whole family.

Image Courtesy of Nancy Carlson