Free Fun at Milwaukee Art Museum: Celebrate Vel Phillips’s Legacy

This Sunday, February 18, 2024, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, the Milwaukee Art Museum is the place to be for families looking to dive into a day full of creativity, music, and a slice of local history. 

Photo: Milwaukee Art Museum

Celebrating the 100th birthday of Milwaukee’s very own Vel Phillips, the museum is opening its doors for free, inviting everyone to join in on the festivities.

Here’s What’s Happening:

  • Art Projects Galore (10 AM–4 PM): Kids (and parents!) can get their hands dirty with special art-making sessions in the Kohl’s Art Studio. With local artists from BrushBox leading the way, it’s a chance to spark that artistic flair.
  • A Walk Through Time (10 AM–5 PM):The museum’s galleries will take you on a journey from ancient artifacts to contemporary masterpieces. Don’t miss the “On Site: Derrick Adams: Our Time Together” exhibition, where Vel Phillips’s story is woven into the broader narrative of Black voices in Milwaukee.
  • Bingo! (10 AM–4 PM): Who said museums can’t be a playground? Embark on a museum-wide bingo adventure with the kiddos for a chance to win cool prizes, including memberships and treats from local Black women–owned businesses.
  • Connect with Community Leaders (10 AM–4 PM): The Community Engagement Fair is your family’s chance to meet the people shaping Milwaukee’s future and learn about organizations driving change in housing, law, and civic engagement.
  • Storytime (10:30–11:30 AM): Gather ’round for a story in the galleries with Ashley Valentine of Rooted MKE, a cozy break that promises to be both educational and entertaining.
  • Music to Your Ears: DJ LoLo will be setting the vibe with live music that’s sure to get toes tapping in Windhover Hall.
  • Learn and Reflect: Screenings of the PBS documentary “Vel Phillips: Dream Big Dreams” and insightful panel discussions offer a deeper dive into the legacy of one of Milwaukee’s most influential figures.

Why Celebrate Vel Phillips?

Vel Phillips was a local hero whose fight for social justice reshaped Milwaukee and beyond. 

This event, part of the Year of Vel Phillips celebration, is a fantastic opportunity for parents to introduce their children to a real-life superheroine and national treasure. 

Photo: Journal Sentinel-USA TODAY NETWORK

Through art, discussion, and interactive fun, Vel Phillips’s spirit of change and community is alive and well at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

A Few Friendly Tips:

  • Remember, art likes its personal space, so keep a little distance.
  • Large bags and umbrellas can take a nap in the museum lockers.
  • Strollers are gallery-friendly, but wagons need to take a break in the coatroom.
  • Cameras are welcome—just no flash, please! It’s a great chance to capture family memories.
  • Hungry? The Museum Café is your go-to for bites and sips (just remember, galleries are snack-free zones).

For more information about this event, head to

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