2017-2018 Annual Report

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Public Programs and Events

Alongside our galleries and exhibitions, the Penn Museum activates discovery through a wide range of public programs and events. These family activities, lecture series, performances, and workshops offer opportunities to dig deeper into the Museum’s resources, learn more about our collections, and explore the cultures represented in our galleries.

The Museum is a place that brings people, ideas, and artifacts together to discuss contemporary ideas and build civil society.

Museum event attendee

mother, daughter, son, and father with painted faces in front of a mummy statue young adults learning to play the kettle drums from a man woman in a hat with a painted face and jewelry people watching a skeleton puppet show girl holding a foil sculpture

Bringing the Galleries to Life

mother, daughter, son, and father with painted faces in front of a mummy statue

The Museum’s signature galleries and special exhibitions showcase objects from the Museum’s global collections. Programming around these exhibitions brings them to life, inviting visitors to delve deeper into the stories and cultures these objects represent. In 2017–2018, special events related to Cultures in the Crossfire: Stories from Syria and Iraq, the new Middle East Galleries, and Bearing Witness: Four Days in West Kingston shed new light on the exhibitions.

Issam Kourbaj lighting a fire on a stage children playing Iraqi football people dancing in a line

Cultural Exploration for Families

colorful offerings for the Day of the Deadd

The Museum’s programs and events are designed to encourage curiosity and discovery through ongoing series, annual celebrations, craft workshops, and one-time special events. Some of this programming is designed with families in mind. The World Culture Series, for example, introduces visitors of all ages to the rich cultural traditions found throughout the world—and illuminated in the Museum’s galleries—through celebrations including Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), Chinese New Year, and African Cultures Day. More activities and performances happen throughout the year with Second Saturdays and World Wonders. And for some of our youngest visitors, Storytime Expeditions lets them hear a story surrounded by artifacts from that culture.

tall skeleton and short boy woman taking a girl's photo in front of the sphinx statue women in African garb singing and playing drums

Public Discussions and Performances

three women and a man doing crafts

The Museum promotes community engagement through a wide range of public discussions, performances, and gatherings. Using its spaces as performance spaces and public classrooms, the Museum’s programs invite discovery and dialogue on a range of contemporary issues. Theatrical workshops, concert, film, and lecture series, and symposia encourage visitors to explore the Museum’s collections and beyond.

large puppet performance CultureTrack forum slide with male presenter young adults sitting and drinking in the atrium