The Walker Art Center is taking every precaution for the safety and care of all visitors, staff, and artists. To proactively protect the entire community, the museum will remain temporarily closed. This program has been affected by the closure. We hope to resume our activities and welcome you back soon. Learn more.
Calling all poets and poetry-lovers! Celebrate National Poetry Month with a special party at Free First Saturday. Join local writers and artists to hear, perform, and create poems inspired by the art on view and the world around us.
Free First Saturdays feature free gallery admission on the first Saturday of every month, plus performances, games, art-making, and kids’ films from 10 am to 3 pm. Family friendly food options are available or bring something from home to snack on in the museum’s public spaces.
Create: Get Live and Make a Hip-Hop Anthem
10:30 am, 11:15 am, 12 noon, 1 pm, 1:45 pm, and 2:30 pm
Collaborate to make a hip-hop anthem that can inspire, move, and entertain. With an emphasis on storytelling, content, and poetry, participants will draw inspiration from movement activities, creative writing, spoken word performance, and pop references. The workshop will cover ways we can make an impact through our words nurture dynamic writers and performers. Workshops are 30 minutes in length, no experience required.
Create: Where I’m From
10 am–3 pm
Join local writer Chavonn Williams Shen to either perform or draw poems about the places that matter to you. Participants will have the option to contribute their art to a public collage that will be compiled throughout the day.
Make: Poet On! La Luchadora Screenprinting and Zine Making
10 am–3 pm
Maya Angelou often said “Poet on!” to describe the energy and persistence required to live a joyful life. In this workshop participants will learn how to screenprint and make a zine based on the eminent poet’s message.
Watch: Me, by J-Money
10 am–3 pm
This short film follows a boy as he embraces a new day and a new name. Featuring the poem “Me” by Ja’Lantea (written and performed by Ja’Lantea, animation by Daniel Bruson, 2017, 1 min.). Part of Preschool Poets.
Make: Open Library
10 am–3 pm
Play with the letters of your name to create visual poetry or relax in the stacks.
Explore: Gallery Tours
Join Educator Billy on a participatory 45-minute tour for kids that will explore the different forms that poetry takes. Meet in the Main Lobby.
English, 11 am
Spanish, 12 noon
La Luchadora is an interactive mobile screenprinting cart designed to produce and circulate social justice art to the broader public created by Jessica Lopez Lyman. Lyman is an interdisciplinary performance artist and Xicana feminist scholar at the University of Minnesota in Chicano and Latino Studies. The workshop is facilitated by Luisa Armendariz, a queer Mexican American emerging visual artist whose broad work focuses on community and social change.
Tou SaiK Lee is a spoken word poet, storyteller, hip-hop recording artist, and community organizer from St. Paul, Minnesota. He collaborated with his late grandmother, Youa Chang, a practitioner of the traditional art of kwv txhiaj (Hmong poetry chanting), to form the duo Fresh Traditions. He is the founder of Street Stops and Mountain Tops, which connects teaching artists from the US to engage with Hmong students in Southeast Asia. Lee received the Bush Foundation Leadership Fellowship in 2016 to focus on utilizing creativity and arts to preserve cultural identity.
Chavonn Williams Shen is a Minneapolis-based educator and writer. A fellow at the Givens Foundation for African American Literature in 2016, her writing has been nominated for numerous awards. Her poetry and prose have appeared or are forthcoming in: Yemassee, Los Angeles Review, Permafrost Magazine, Cosmonauts Avenue, and elsewhere.
Preschool Poets is a program that creates films featuring poems recited by children and animated by artists from around the world. Artist and poetry teacher Nancy Kangas developed the project while working with preschoolers at the Columbus Early Learning Center, in Ohio. Kangas works with filmmaker Josh Kun to adapt students’ poems to film.