The Modlin Center for the Arts welcomed both University of Richmond students as well as the surrounding community for its Family Arts Day Celebration on Sunday afternoon.

The event included many activities, which were mainly geared toward young children and their families to get them interested in various forms of art.

The activities included visiting the museum exhibits, face painting, origami, an instrument “petting zoo” with members of UR’s music programs, a hands-on rhythm activity run by members of UR’s Off the Cuff acapella group, a performance by UR’s Choeur du Roi acapella group and a ticketed children's musical called “Click, Clack, Moo" to conclude the event. 

All activities were free except for the musical. There was also free food and drinks being served, such as popcorn, apple slices with toppings and corn dog nuggets. 

The main goal of the event was community outreach, Katreena Clark, operations manager at UR museums, said. The celebration usually happens twice a year and aims to bring nearby families to the university.

Angela Johns was at the event with her nonverbal son Alex.

“He’s a six-year-old with autism,” Johns said. “We have this little communication device here and we’re trying to practice it in the community a little bit.”

Alex loved running around in the courtyard, Johns said. He participated in the rhythm activity with Off the Cuff, a big smile on his face.

“We came and he’s had a great time,” Johns said, adding that she would absolutely come again.

Kacy Workman, first-year, helped set up for the event and took pictures throughout. She works as a program associate under Shannon Hooker, the assistant director of Modlin. Workman was very pleased with how the event was going.

“I just think it’s super cool that we can do things like this, get everyone in the Richmond area involved and bring the neighborhood and community together,” Workman said.

Involvement in the arts is something that Modlin administration is always looking to increase, Clark said. Modlin recently revised its student staff at the museums into a new ambassador program, in which students focus on education, marketing and communications, among other fields.

Art is a great way to express yourself, Workman said, and there are many connections to be made between the arts and different areas of life.

“I feel like if we would just be able to reach out to more people, then the arts would be so much more accessible to everyone,” Workman said.

Another way UR is trying to bring more students into Modlin is through their newly established “Meet @ the Museum!” happy hour where students are encouraged to come to the Harnett Museum of Art from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and enjoy the exhibits and each other’s company.

“This is an effort to be open to meet your guys' schedules,” Clark said. “We’re really trying to help the campus understand that we’re here.”

The next Family Arts Day Celebration will most likely take place toward the end of March or the beginning of April, Clark said. More dates for Meet @ the Museum! will be available in December.

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