Chapter Three- Milwaukee Art Museum (Two Parts: Play Date With Art & MAM After Dark)

On Friday I went to the Milwaukee Art Museum TWICE!  This is the annual membership we’ve gotten the most out of, hands down.



In the morning, from 10-noon in the main hall, was the Play Date with Art.  This program is offered once a month (I think!) and it’s free for members.  Typically we arrive, meet up with friends and family, and madness ensues.  My three year old heads straight for the art/craft tables, and is usually greeted by one of the amazing staff who gets her started on some wonderful project.  Jen, Shannon and Emily are getting to know our family (it’s hard to miss us), and are so patient and welcoming.  Even when one of the twins dumped 50 sharpies all over the marble floor.

MAMam2  MAMam23

Two times throughout the Play Date, there is a story/sing along time.  This time, Jen and Emily did some legit improv with a ukulele and the kids adored it.  In the past, they’ve have authors come and read books, other staff lead dances and songs, and lots of other ways to get kids engaged.  The format of the Play Date with Art is very relaxed and easy-going.  You can participate in whatever you’d like whenever you’d like.


Around noon things start to wind down (or up in the case of my kids) and we head down to the HEATED GARAGE.  If you have kids, a stroller, or big and bulky coats, it’s absolutely worth parking there.



MAM After Dark.  Another event I’d heard about on Radio Milwaukee for three years, but never had the motivation to attend.  Until now.  This after hours party gave me a few first impressions.  1) I was surprised at how many people were there!  2) The crowd was diverse, funky, sexy, and definitely included some costumes in the Carnival theme.  For me, this scene was way more interesting than 90% of the bars I’ve been to in the area.  3) High Schoolers create some damn fine art.

MAMpm12  MAMpm13

When we arrived around 8:30, the whole main lobby was full of people, some getting drinks, some dancing in front of the stage listening to DJ Marcus Doucette, and some getting their photo taken by Front Room Photographers.  We headed right for the photo op cause I was dressed in something other than jeans and a sweatshirt and need to document it.  We got drinks and walked around the lobby and two main hallways (called Gallerias I think).  After Dark goers were sitting on steps munching on free appetizers, milling around, making crafts at the DIY studio, wearing interesting costumes and tattoos, and browsing through the gift shop.  The theme of the night was Carnival, in honor of Mardi Gras, and included some traditions of vaudeville.  We didn’t stay long enough to see much of the stage performance, but did see a great version of St. James Infirmary by a band I didn’t catch the name of.  The acoustics were a little on the hard-to-hear-the-lyrics side, but I’m not sure you can get around that in this space.

In the West Galleria was the Annual Scholastic Art Awards Exhibition, where we got to view some really powerful artwork by high school students.  I kept thinking how much of an honor it would be to say “yeah, my artwork is on display at the Milwaukee Art Museum”, which runs through March 17th.  Pictured below (last) is one of my favorites of the evening by a 12th grader in Shorewood.

MAMpm17 MAMpm15  MAMpm16  MAMpm19

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  1. Nancy M. says:

    Cool post – I’d really like to attend MAM After Dark. A good place to both Art and People watch!


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