The Telfair Museums will be hosting free family weekends beginning with the "Cut and Paste: Works of Paper" exhibit taking place Friday through Sunday.


The free family weekends have a dual purpose, particularly these days, according to Telfair Museums Senior Curator of Education Harry DeLorme. "We think it’s a good idea for kids that are spending even more time online these days to get out and do stuff with their hands while still learning," he said.


The hands-free exhibits along with the art kits are geared to highlight whatever current exhibit is in the museum. The "Cut and Paste: Works of Paper" reflects the many works of art that have been made of paper that are currently on exhibit at the museum.


"We have a lot of different paper craft activities families can at home," said DeLorme.


The hands-on exhibits, normally a highlight of the museum for kids and adults alike, are currently closed due to COVID-19 precautions. The art kits can be a way to take home the exhibits and be hands-on in the safety of one’s home. Asked if there will be enough art kits to give away with what is expected to be a large turnout with so many local families having to have changed vacation and weekend plans depending on the local COVID-19 numbers and general concerns, DeLorme wasn’t concerned.


"Last time we had a Free Family Weekend, we had a few leftovers," he said. "We want to make sure we can provide enough for all of our visitors."


The most recent Free Family Weekend took place in July and according to DeLorme was well attended. "Usually we’ll see up to 1,000 people at these events," he said.


Under normal circumstances, the museum holds six Free Family Weekends per year but this spring and summer has been anything but normal. The winter will have the museum host another Friday, Nov. 13 through Sunday, Nov. 15. The theme has yet to be decided.


Telfair Museums has also found ways to distribute the art kits throughout the summer and not only on Free Family Weekends. There have been 1,300 art kits delivered to local seniors and students at more than a dozen neighborhood centers, five parks and seven golden age centers as part of the museum’s partnership with the City of Savannah, according to a Telfair Museums press release.


This fall, there are plans to continue distributing the art kids which contain paints, brushes, tracing paper, among other items. "We do a lot of community programming [at the museum] during the summer months and at a number of different community centers as well, but this summer we couldn’t do that so we distributed the kits to where people live," said DeLorme.


In the press release, Telfair Museum’s acting Director Bob Faircloth said of the community program, "even before we officially reopened our museums’ doors in late June, our staff was working around the clock to ensure these important outreach programs could continue safely and effectively regardless of the pandemic."


There are also plans to extend the art kit program in 2021.


Free Family Weekend will take place at the Jepson Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will be free of charge for all Savannah and Chatham County residents – the honor system will be in effect with all who enter being asked to use their zip code in order to identify their residency.


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