The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art planned to launch a new strand of free monthly programming for local family audiences in the summer of 2020 — a free program that would offer tactile art-making opportunities framed around underrepresented artists whose work is in the museum’s collection. In March 2020, after the museum shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the museum’s education department quickly reframed the project to work in a virtual setting. Called “Second Sundays for Families,” this recurring virtual program debuted in October and takes place on the second Sunday of each month. Each installment features an art-making activity, as well as a story reading with the San Francisco Public Library, accessible via SFMOMA.org/SecondSundays and on various social media channels.
On the second Sunday of each month at 11 a.m., families can log onto the Second Sunday streaming page and join a librarian for a virtual story reading about an artist, then watch an animated, easy-to-follow video that guides them through making an art project inspired by that artist’s process. So far, young learners have made self-portraits inspired by Frida Kahlo, “salt dough frescos” inspired by Diego Rivera, landscapes inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe, and collages inspired by Romare Bearden, among other activities. These projects focus on key concepts and encourage students to “think” like the artist who made the original work. Each Streaming Page features an artwork guide and other relevant materials specifically designed for young learners that they can download for offline use or enjoy in-page. These videos stay accessible after the program, ensuring this resource becomes an evergreen tool for learning and creativity in both family and classroom contexts.
Although the art projects make use of common and low-cost materials, SFMOMA’s education staff hand-assembled more than 9,000 art supply kits and counting — including construction paper, pencils, glue sticks, an artwork guide, and instructions — to complement the program and keep it accessible. These kits were distributed to local families through the San Francisco Public Library’s Bookmobile sites and to local students through collaborations with San Francisco Unified School District and the city’s Community Hubs Initiative. The distribution of the kits was targeted to reach low-income families and to help ensure young learners had basic materials that could be re-used for classes in remote learning. To keep the program accessible beyond our city, the core components of each kit are available on SFMOMA’s website for free download. By February, the kits reached approximately the same number of students who would have typically visited the museum on guided tours each year, while the videos have amassed more than 30,000 views across platforms and continue to find new audiences daily.
We are so proud of this program; in addition to receiving comments from teachers, parents, and young learners who have enjoyed these programs.