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Release Date: June 10, 2011

Summer Brings Films for Children and Teens, Stories in Art, and More Family-Friendly Programming to the National Gallery of Art

Washington, DC—The National Gallery of Art welcomes the summer season with a variety of programs for children and young adults, including its popular Film Program for Children and Teens in July and August. Admission is free of charge.

The Film Program presents domestic and foreign films from countries such as France, Germany, and Hungary in an array of different genres including animation, live action, and classics. This summer, join some fine feathered friends on their animated adventures in Sweet Tweets, a film series about birds, and enjoy a modern-day fable about two brothers, in love with the same fairy, in Azur and Asmar.

These innovative films enhance enjoyment of the Gallery's collections and exhibitions and foster an understanding of film as an art form. The Film Program represents a broad range of recently produced films, specially selected for their appeal to youth and adult audiences. Age recommendations are intended to guide parents in selecting emotionally and intellectually stimulating films for their children.

The Gallery also offers families a variety of ways to explore the collection together. The art-focused storytelling program Stories in Art—designed for children ages four to seven and their adult companions—returns this summer with a series highlighting Dutch masterpieces on view in the galleries. Families may also explore the galleries together using the children's audio and video tour, which highlights masterpieces from the West Building's Main Floor galleries. A children's video tour, now available online, brings kids virtually face-to-face with 50 renowned paintings from the Gallery's West Building.

With an ongoing schedule of family-friendly activities and shopping—including family workshops, special family weekends, storytelling programs, teen studios, exhibition discovery guides, the Children's Shop, the Sculpture Garden, and casual dining in the Cascade Café—the National Gallery of Art offers something for everyone, at every age.

For more information about family programming, visit

Film Program for Children and Teens

All film programs are shown in the East Building Auditorium. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Groups are welcome. Food and drink are not permitted. Programs are free and subject to change without notice. For up-to-date information on the current month's films, please call (202) 789-3030. Feature films are in English, unless otherwise noted.

Sweet Tweets
Saturday, July 16, and Wednesday, July 20, 10:30 a.m.
Sunday, July 17, 11:30 a.m.
ages 4 and up
(approximately 55 minutes)

This humorous and gentle program is dedicated to our feathered friends in their infinite variety. Some sing, most fly, and in this collection of animated films from around the world, the avian protagonists have big personalities guaranteed to make you smile. Films include Canary Beat (Germany, 2006), Maestro (Hungary, 2005), Birds of a Feather (U.S., 2010), Pingu Goes Fishing (Switzerland, 1986), Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (U.S., 2009), The Tender Tale of Cinderella Penguin (Canada, 1986), and Philadelphia Chickens (U.S., 2010).

Azur and Asmar
Saturday, August 6, and Wednesday, August 10, 10:30 a.m.
Sunday, August 7,11:30 a.m.
ages 6 and up
(Michel Ocelot, France, 2006/2008, 99 minutes)

Celebrated animation master Michel Ocelot delivers an awe-inspiring and exquisitely crafted epic tale in Azur and Asmar. Azur, a nobleman's son, is raised by a nurse alongside her son Asmar. Both boys adore the nurse's whimsical tales of the beautiful Djinn Fairy who, captive within the black mountain, awaits a loving prince. Growing and living together as brothers, Azur and Asmar share the dream of one day marrying the mystical nymph, but it becomes a cause of sibling rivalry. When Azur's father sends him to boarding school and dismisses the nurse and Asmar, the once-inseparable boys doubt they will ever see each other again. Years later, however, Azur and Asmar reunite as competitors, each determined to locate the Djinn Fairy first. Celebrating multiculturalism, loyalty, and honesty, Azur and Asmar is a dazzling modern-day fable for all ages. A treat for the eyes, Ocelot's animation style was influenced by the illuminated manuscripts of medieval France, Persian miniatures, and the Islamic architecture of Spain and North Africa. English-language version.

Stories in Art

This series of programs uses storytelling to introduce children ages four to seven to works of art from the Gallery's collection. Museum educators lead workshops that include reading a children's book, viewing an artwork, and completing a simple hands-on project. The summer series is presented in a four-year cycle—Explore Italy, Discover Dutch Art, Tour de France, and American Adventure—where each topic highlights a different part of the permanent collection.

These free drop-in programs are designed for individual families, and the Gallery cannot accommodate groups. Space is limited to 70 children per session. There is no advance registration; participation is on a first-come, first-served basis. Sign-in for Stories in Art will take place in the West Building Rotunda, beginning at 10:00 a.m. on weekdays and at 11:00 a.m. on Sundays, and will continue until all spaces are filled.

Each program lasts approximately 60 minutes and departs from the East Building Atrium at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. on the dates listed below. For information, call (202) 789-3030.

Summer Story Series: Discover Dutch Art

Pack your imagination and travel to the Netherlands this summer at the National Gallery of Art. Visit a windmill, sail the seas, discover mince pie, and join a party. Participants learn about landscapes, still lifes, seascapes, and genre scenes by reading children's books, looking at 17th-century Dutch paintings, and making a souvenir to document each adventure. You will receive a passport to the summer story series and a stamp for each program attended. Collect three or more stamps at the end of the summer and receive a prize!

Landscape: Visit a Windmill
Sundays, July 10 and August 7
Mondays, July 11 and August 8
Tuesdays, July 12 and August 9
The Hole in the Dike, retold by Anne Norma Green, illustrated by Eric Carle
Visit the windmills and canals of the Netherlands through this classic tale and the Gallery's Dutch landscape paintings.

Still Life: Enjoy a Feast
Sunday, July 17
Monday, July 18
Tuesday, July 19
Still Life Stew by Helen Clare Pittman, illustrated by Victoria Raymond
Discover new foods in Dutch still-life paintings, and then create a delicious collage.

Seascape: Sail the Seas
Sunday, July 24
Monday, July 25
Tuesday, July 26
Sheep on a Ship by Nancy Shaw, illustrated by Margot Apple
Sail the high seas with some adventurous sheep, then explore Dutch seascapes.

Everyday Life: Join a Party
Sunday, July 31
Monday, August 1
Tuesday, August 2
All in a Day by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Nikki McClure
Step into a country scene and learn about everyday life in the Netherlands, then make a favorite children's toy to take home.

Children's Video and Audio Tour: West Building Highlights
Explore 50 paintings in the West Building with a video and audio tour designed especially for children ages 7 to 12. This tour allows children to explore works of art on display in the Gallery's West Building through an online tour featuring one video for each painting masterpiece. The tour is also available onsite, with handheld digital audio players that allow children the freedom to move through the galleries at their own pace and choose from a list of works that includes Leonardo, Rembrandt, Rubens, Degas, Monet, and Homer. The audio tour is available free of charge at the Acoustiguide desk located in the West Building Rotunda. For group reservations for audio tours (10 or more), call (202) 842-6592.The Children's Audio Tour at the National Gallery of Art is made possible through the generous support of the MSST Foundation.

Find the Children's Video Tour at

Family Guide: Italian and Dutch Art at the National Gallery of Art

Pick up a free family booklet at one of the Gallery's information desks. Designed for families with children ages six and up, the booklet features activities to help visitors navigate the Gallery's Italian and Dutch collections, as well as questions to encourage group discussion. Explore a portrait by Leonardo, paintings by Raphael, and Dutch landscapes and still lifes—even make a sketch of your own! The guide is available to download at This family guide is made possible through the generous support of the MSST Foundation.

NGAkids Online

An entertaining and informative introduction to art and art history, NGAkids online ( offers a variety of art-making tools, games, and narratives suitable for children of all ages. Featuring highlights of the Gallery's permanent collection, content related to special exhibitions, and Art Zone interactive features that encourage artistic exploration and creativity, this Web site, created especially for kids, provides hours of online enjoyment.

The Children's Shop

The Children's Shop on the Concourse offers an array of art-inspired items for children, including books, games and puzzles, toys, artists' supplies, and DVDs. To browse a small selection online, visit

Cascade Café

With a view of the cascade waterfall on the East Building Concourse, the Cascade Café offers a variety of soups, salads, specialty entrées, wood-fired pizzas, sandwiches, daily Chef's Table specials, and a selection of fresh pastries and desserts. A selection of value meals is available, including sandwiches, pizza, hamburgers, and chicken tenders. For those with limited time, the Café offers boxed lunches containing a sandwich, chips, cookie, and a beverage, which may be ordered in advance. For information about boxed lunches and group lunch vouchers, please call (202) 712-7458. Hours of operation are Monday–Saturday, 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m., and Sunday, 11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

Espresso & Gelato Bar

A full espresso bar on the East Building Concourse offers 19 flavors of house-made gelato and a selection of fresh sandwiches, salads, pastries, and desserts. Hours of operation are Monday–Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m., and Sunday, 11:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

General Information

For additional press information please call or send inquiries to:
Department of Communications
National Gallery of Art
2000 South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785
phone: (202) 842-6353
e-mail: [email protected]
Anabeth Guthrie
Chief of Communications
(202) 842-6804
[email protected]

The Gallery also offers a broad range of newsletters for various interests. Follow this link to view the complete list.

Press Release