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Museum Of Art

Annual MOA Family Arts Festival Connects Community With Creativity

BYU Museum of Art Provides Enriching and Engaging Experiences for Local Children and Families at Annual Festival

Festival Attendees as They Entered the Museum of Art
Photo by Kirra Eddington/CFAC External Relations

With school out for the summer, parents are on the lookout for fun, edifying activities. Each summer, the BYU Museum of Art (MOA) invites families and children to the Family Arts Festival, an event that encourages creativity and enriches the minds.

“The MOA has been hosting the festival for several years and each year it attracts more and more people within the community,” said Riley Lewis, public relations manager for the MOA.

“I think particularly in the summer, parents often search for fun, educational and enriching activities for their kids,” said Lewis. The Family Arts Festival fills the gap with an opportunity for families to play, create, explore and have fun together. “Altogether, everybody goes home from the festival having learned a lot and also having had a great time.”

The Family Arts Festival has become a hit within the community. “This is the first time my family and I have come to the festival,” said festival attendee Julia Sharp. “I have heard a lot about it and I want my children to have the chance to experience other cultures and learn more about the world around them. I love to include art in their education and we come to the museum to look at the exhibits often, but it is fun for them to be able to create here, too.”

Families in Line for the Face Paint Booth at the Festival
Photo by Kirra Eddington/CFAC External Relations

The event also provides experiential learning opportunities for BYU students working at the MOA. “The student employees bring lots of energy, clever ideas and intelligence with them when they start working here,” said Lewis. “Each year, they get to put those skills to use here at the festival.”

Recent graduate Cheynie Wray had the opportunity to work on the past two festivals, each one giving her experiential learning opportunities that prepared her for her first job after graduating. “There is a lot of prep work that goes into Family Arts Festival,” said Wray. “Working here the past few years has taught me that there are so many avenues for kids to learn in a museum setting. After I graduated I started working at the Springville Museum of Art and we just had a very similar children's art festival. It was amazing to get to see the different ways in which they did similar activities and events and also utilize the skills that I had developed from my past experience.”

Every MOA festival features booths and attractions unique to the exhibits that year. This year, families had the chance to participate in a scavenger hunt that took them inside a gallery where they created mosaics, added color to murals and learned the art of printmaking. “Most years we have booths with paints and markers, but my favorite thing about the festival is that we introduce them to other mediums that they might not be familiar with,” said full-time MOA educator Liz Donakey.

Donakey has worked at the MOA for the past three years, but has attended and participated in the festival for years, including during her time as an art student at BYU. “Often, as people get older, they feel like they are not good at art or they don’t know what to look for in an art museum,” said Donakey. “The Family Arts Festival is great because it helps children engage with art and learn about artistic processes, so they are breaking down those barriers before they're even put up.”