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February 24, 2023

New Monthly “First Saturdays” Program Offers Immersive, Multigenerational Experiences

Visitors enjoy drop-in art making during a First Saturday program, offered on the first Saturday of each month. National Gallery of Art, Washington

Visitors enjoy drop-in art making during a First Saturday program, offered on the first Saturday of each month. National Gallery of Art, Washington

Washington, DC—The National Gallery of Art has launched a new monthly program designed to serve a range of audiences on the first Saturday of each month. While activities will vary based on theme and the time of year, visitors can expect films, art making, talks, tours, and pop-up performances. For ease of access, most programs will not require registration.

“We hope to make the East Building the place to be the first Saturday of each month—whether you’re looking for activities for your child, a space to gather with friends, or an outlet to create art on your own,” said Grace Murray, head of public programs. “Our aim is to replicate some of the highlights from our most popular programs, such as National Gallery Nights, and offer them in a relaxed daytime setting.”  

Upcoming First Saturdays include a celebration of the exhibition Called to Create on March 4 and an ode to spring and cherry blossoms on April 1, an official event of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Upcoming First Saturdays

Saturday, March 4
Celebrating Called to Create: Black Artists of the American South, this First Saturday program begins with kids’ films from the New York International Children's Film Festival at 10:30 a.m. followed by drop-in art making inspired by works in Called to Create from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. At 1:00 and 3:00 p.m., visitors can join special exhibition tours of Called to Create led by National Gallery educators. Throughout the day, our pop-up library will display rare books and art images from our collection. See the program page.

Saturday, April 1
Celebrate the spring season and cherry blossoms in this official National Cherry Blossom Festival event. Check out kids’ films at 10:30 a.m. and make flower collages from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. From noon to 3:00 p.m., create a custom cherry blossom print with Soul & Ink and enjoy pop-up performances from violinist Peter Shepard Skaerved. At 1:00 p.m., we’re joined by renowned plant specialist and designer Hilton Carter, who will talk about his new book, Living Wild (registration required.) And at 3:00 p.m., join director Jem Cohen for a discussion and screening of his film The Ballad of Philip Guston (registration required), programmed with our special exhibition Philip Guston Now. See the program page.

Saturday, May 6
Join us for drawing activities inspired by East Building architecture from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. At noon and 3:00 p.m., immerse yourself in 32 Sounds, a documentary and sensory experience from filmmaker Sam Green (registration required). And at 2:00 p.m., join National Gallery educator Nathalie Ryan for a tour of Philip Guston NowSee the program page.

For the latest information on First Saturday programs, visit and sign up for our weekly newsletter.

About the National Cherry Blossom Festival
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is one of the world’s great celebrations of springtime. The 2023 festival, March 20–April 16, includes four weeks of diverse and creative programming promoting traditional and contemporary arts and culture, natural beauty, and community spirit. Leadership Circle Sponsors for the 2023 National Cherry Blossom Festival are Events DC and Amazon. Add the 2023 festival dates and signature event dates to your calendar and visit or call 877.44.BLOOM for more information. Get the latest updates via email and follow the festival on Facebook (@CherryBlossomFestival), Instagram (@CherryBlossFest), Twitter (@CherryBlossFest), and YouTube (@CherryBlossFest).

Contact Information

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]

Chief of Communications
Anabeth Guthrie
phone: (202) 842-6804
e-mail: [email protected]

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

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