Free First Saturday: 10,000+ Lakes
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Free First Saturday: 10,000+ Lakes

A child and adult making art with beads
Free First Saturday, 2022. Photo: Carina Lofgren for Walker Art Center.

With more than 14,000 lakes statewide—not to mention rivers, streams, ponds, and wetlands—Minnesota is a freshwater haven. Join us outside in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden for art-making and interactive activities inspired by Minnesota’s ultimate natural resource.

Free First Saturday also features free gallery admission on the first Saturday of every month. Gallery admission tickets are available on-site on the event day from the Main Lobby desk; quantities are limited. Free admission 10 am–5 pm; activities 10 am–3 pm.

This event may be filmed, photographed, or recorded. By attending, you consent to appear in this documentation and its future use by the Walker.

The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is a project of the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board.

Art-making Activity: Water Webs, 10 am–3 pm
Imagine you are a bird flying high in the sky as you create an artwork inspired by the web of rivers and lakes below.

Art-making Activity: Wonderful Wetlands, 10 am–3 pm
Did you know one-fifth of Minnesota is wetland? Our swaps, marshes, and bogs create essential habitat and provide flood control by temporarily holding storm water runoff. Join teaching artist Alexis Schramel to learn more about these important ecosystems and create your own wonderful wetland postcard to mail to a friend or family member.

Movement Workshop: Yalla! Dancing Bodies of Water, 11:15 am and 1:15 pm
What does it feel like to flow like a river? To sway like a lake wave? This dance workshop hosted by Leila Awadallah welcomes people of all ages and abilities to join together and move in creative, exploratory, and fluid ways. Yalla! (which means, “let’s go!” in Arabic) will move us across the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden as a collective, dancing body of water. No previous movement experience is necessary to participate.

Language and Story Workshop: Mní Wičóni, 10:30 am and 12:30 pm
Join Dakota language educator Brenda Toscano for an interactive language and storytelling session inspired by mní wičóni, the Dakota teaching that water is life. Toscano will share the Dakota names of creatures who make their home in water and discuss bdote, a name for the sacred place of creation where two waters meet.

Family Tour of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, 11:30 am
Tour of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden for General Audiences, 1 pm
Join a Walker educator for a family-friendly guided tour of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden at 11:30 am (40 min.), or take a guided tour for general audiences at 1 pm (60 min.). To participate, meet outside the Walker’s Main Entrance five minutes before the tour start time. Tours explore a selection of artworks and include interactive discussion.

The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is wheelchair accessible. Some activities may take place on grass and gravel surfaces.

For visitors who need to plan accessible transportation to the Walker, please email or call 612-375-7564 to inquire about reserving timed admission.

To request accommodations for this program or for more information about accessibility, call 612-375-7564 or email

For more information about accessibility at the Walker, visit our Access page.

Leila Awadallah is a dancer, choreographer, and film wanderer living in the Twin Cities and often Beirut, Lebanon. She collaborates with her sister Noelle on a dance project called Body Watani. The word watani means “homeland” in Arabic, and in this practice they explore how physical gestures, dances, songs, and stories can be found in choreographies that come from our body-as-our-home. As a dancer and teacher, Awadallah has been researching Arabic folk and social dance forms and ways that Arabic music and language invite the body to move. Her work contemplates the responsibility of living as a Palestinian artist born on stolen land/occupied Turtle Island; her questions of home center contemplations around belonging, ancestries, settler colonial violence, stolen land, and how to love and honor and interrogate the complexities in our relationships to place and to one another. Awadallah is a McKnight Dancer (2022), Jerome Hill (2021), and Springboard 20/20 (2019) fellow. She danced with Ananya Dance Theatre for six seasons, and graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BFA in dance and minor in Arabic language and literature.

Alexis Schramel is a queer bio-artist, educator, and collaborator based in the Twin Cities. She grew up in rural farming communities of the Driftless Area along the Mississippi River. Influenced by this region, she explores themes of community health, ecological resilience, and public art. Schramel is fascinated by the transformative processes found in nature, such as growth and decay, and the ability of subtle changes like weather to drastically transform an ecosystem. She is a committee member and youth art director at Art in the Park in Elkader, Iowa. This summer she is also the teaching artist for youth summer camps at Franconia Sculpture Park. Recently, she facilitated educational social justice workshops with Mississippi Watershed Management Organization and Art to Change the World.

Brenda Toscano (White Face) was born and raised in the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and is a first language Lakota/Dakota speaker. She has taught the Dakota language in an immersion setting for many years, and is honored to teach and revitalize a dying language. She currently serves as the lead teacher at the Dakota Language Nest at the University of Minnesota, and plans to attend the University of Minnesota to earn her teaching degree so that she may continue teaching the Dakota language to future generations in a classroom setting.

Free First Saturday is sponsored by

  • Logo: Ameriprise Financial

Family Programs are supported by the Manitou Fund, thanks to Rosemary and Kevin McNeely.

  • Logo: Manitou Fund