Darkness doesn’t always mean dormancy. Embrace the long night and get curious about deep rest, winter skies, and stories best told after dark during this Free First Saturday.
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.
Activities are subject to change or cancellation. Please check back for updates, details, and COVID-19 guidelines as the program approaches.
Nighttime Stories with Beverly Cottman, 10:30 am and 12:30 pm
Gather together and listen in as storyteller Auntie Beverly shares folktales and fables to inspire and guide you through cold, dark nights. Storytelling sessions are offered at 10:30 am and 12:30 pm and will last approximately 30 minutes. Sessions will have ASL interpretation, and assistive listening devices are available from the Main Lobby desk.
Seeing the Winter Sky with the Bell Museum, 11:30 am and 1:30 pm
Join experts from the Bell Museum to learn about the stars and planets keeping us company through long winter nights at a pop-up planetarium in the Walker Cinema. Then, visit the lobby to design your own constellation! Shows will be offered at 11:30 am and 1:30 pm and will last approximately 30 minutes. Shows will have ASL interpretation, and assistive listening devices are available from the Main Lobby desk.
Art-making Activity: Rest Is Resist, 10 am–3 pm
How have you been sleeping lately? In a world so busy and restless, sometimes sleep won’t come. Join teaching artist Peng Wu to create your own unique paper dream mask—a disguise to help release worries held in the waking world and enter sleep. Through this family-friendly activity, participants will explore the potential of art to provide space for reflection and resistance in the face of constant stimuli and the demands of contemporary life.
Art-making Activity: Small Sleepers, 10 am–3 pm
Do animals dream? Create a cast of finger puppets inspired by hibernating animals, then use your new creations to imagine and act out the dreams of a bear, a frog, or other winter sleepers.
Visit the Walker Art Center Library, 10 am–3 pm
The Walker’s library is open! Follow a trail of stars hidden throughout the library to discover a special constellation and win a prize. The library entrance is through the Art Lab.
Watch a Short Film, 10 am–3 pm
Stop by the Bentson Mediatheque to watch a short film. The film will loop between 10 am–3 pm. Capacity is limited to 10 people at a time. This is a relaxed screening appropriate for all ages.
ASL interpretation is planned for storytelling sessions and pop-up planetarium presentations. Assistive-listening devices are available at the Main Lobby desk.
The film will be captioned.
For visitors who need to plan accessible transportation to the Walker, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 612-375-7564 to inquire about reserving timed admission.
For more information about accessibility at the Walker, visit our Access page.
Beverly Cottman is an interdisciplinary artist creating at the intersections of literary, visual, and performance art. As storyteller Auntie Beverly, she delivers wisdom of the ages by telling stories, folktales, and fables rooted in African and African American traditions as well as cultural tales from around the world. Auntie Beverly presents an enthusiastic and interactive storytelling program suitable and adaptable for any age or setting. Her sessions pass on values, celebrate culture, and invite listeners to participate in the telling. Her workshop sessions support and encourage participants to create compelling narratives and stories that educate, enlighten, and entertain.
Peng Wu is a social practice artist. Born and raised in China, he creates public art installations and participatory events to reflect on societal yet personal struggles, including immigration, sleep deprivation, and mental health issues. Wu has lived and worked in Minneapolis since 2011 as a temporary foreign worker, as defined by his visa status. His art of searching for a sense of home and rest is deeply informed by this decade-long experience of impermanence. To earn legal status to stay in this country, he has to work day and night restlessly. At one point he suddenly found that he couldn’t fall into sleep at night. “How’s your sleep?” became the way he often greeted his immigrant friends. With no health insurance coverage, he couldn’t afford the expensive hospitals here, so he proposed an art project to cure his sleep disorder during a residency at the Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota. In collaboration with sleep researchers and doctors, he created large architectural installations to facilitate numerous public events examining the cultures and politics of sleep.