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Free First Sunday: Shine the Light

Free / Family / Music / Social / Performance

Sunday, February 4, 10am – 5pm

Musician and educator Dr. Ysaye Barnwell will lead an interactive workshop on singing in the African American tradition.

Free. Tickets are available on-site at 10am. 

About the Event

It’s the first Sunday of the month, which means free admission at the Barnes! Visitors have access to the collection, our special exhibition Kiefer Rodin, and all our family activities and performances.

Today, we're shining a light on the power of unity, with songs of freedom, reflections on the past, and a drive to make a positive impact right here in Philly.

Did you know? ACCESS cardholders get in free every day.

What's Happening Today

10 - 10:45am (9:45am sign-ups/check-in) Gallery Stroller Tours

Join us for a guided journey designed for families with young tots on wheels or in baby wraps. Visit select works of art in our collection galleries, and finish just in time to join our Storytime activities in the Light Court!

Tour capacity: 10 strollers (Because some of our galleries are small, we can accommodate single and tandem strollers on this tour but not side-by-side ones.)

Infant–18 mos.

10:30am - 2:30pm Open Studio, art making

Make it yours! Draw inspiration from the paintings in the Barnes collection, and create your own miniature canvas with pencils, watercolors, collage, and your own joie de vivre!

All ages.

10:30am - 2:30pm Pop-Up Stations, art making

Valentines: Master artists often create portraits as gifts to express their love. Make your own valentine at our station for “portrait” cards, hearts, and treasure boxes.

Winter Blues: From Picasso to Pippin, art helps to lift the soul. Engage in activities that are designed to bring joy and positive energy through mark making and body movement!

Bookmaking: Artists and writers need a place to put down their ideas. Using simple materials, learn how to assemble your own journal or sketchbook!  

Ages 7 and up.

11 – 11:30am, 11:45am – 12:15pm Storytime in the Light Court, storytelling

Bring your ears and imagination to Storytime with our Art Team and storyteller! Listen to stories that connect you to the lives and inspirations of master artists.  

Ages 1–7.

11am – 4pm ArtSee, visual art exercises

Light, Line, Shape, and Color: Explore the building blocks of art. Each month, ArtSee will highlight hands-on exercises that engage us in careful looking at art.

Ages 7 and up.

noon – 2pm Mural Arts' Restorative Justice, open studio

Join the Mural Arts’ Restorative Justice team at the Barnes as they work to unite neighbors who have been affected by crime through shared creative expression. Meet Mural Arts staff, participating artists, and members of the Guild—Mural Arts’ paid apprenticeship program, which gives formerly incarcerated individuals and young adults on probation the chance to reconnect with their community while developing job skills.

In the Mural Arts Studio at the Barnes, near 20th Street 


1:30 – 1:45pm The Lincoln University Concert Choir

Members of the Lincoln University Concert Choir hail from around the globe and are pursuing degrees in a variety of disciplines. They include officers of the student government as well as members of the athletic department and royal court. Choir members serve as ambassadors for the university by building relationships with communities and touring extensively, with performances nationwide at schools and churches of all denominations. The choir recently sang in Los Angeles and Atlanta and made its international debut in South Africa.


2 – 4 pm Community Sing-In, led by Dr. Ysaye Barnwell, interactive

Share your voice and the experience of learning in the oral tradition in this energizing workshop led by Dr. Ysaye Barnwell. Spend the afternoon immersed in African American worldview and history, and join the pop-up choir to sing a variety of songs from African American culture, including spirituals, ring shouts, hymns, and gospels.

Dr. Ysaye Barnwell

An educator and performer, Dr. Barnwell joined the a capella group Sweet Honey in the Rock in 1979 and appears as a vocalist and instrumentalist on more than 30 recordings with the group and other artists. For the past 30 years, she has spent much of her time off-stage working as a master teacher and choral clinician in African American cultural performance. Her workshop “Building a Vocal Community: Singing in the African American Tradition” has been conducted on three continents, inspiring singers and non-singers alike and serving as a teaching model for educators, cultural activists, and historians.

2:30 - 4 pm Art Is for Everyone!, art making

Art Games: Come and play in our arcade of interactive creative art games!

Group Project: Help us make a giant quilt that expresses our collective diversity and creativity! Using inspiration from the collection or your own artistic flair, design a 12-inch square to add to our tapestry of love.

Lend a Creative Hand: Help ease the challenge of hunger this month by designing original art labels for “Donation Cans for Hunger.” Cans will be distributed to food banks to help raise awareness and support.

All ages.

Get Tickets

Free tickets to the collection are available on-site at 10am and are limited to four per person. These go fast, but you don’t need a ticket to enjoy our free family activities and performances. Just drop by anytime during the day! 


Free First Sundays are generously sponsored by: