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Ezra Jack Keats Family Day Held at The Jewish Museum 11/13

The Jewish Museum will present a fun-filled, multi-generational family day celebrating the work of award-winning author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats on Sunday, November 13 from 12 noon to 4 pm. Activities include two concerts by Aaron Nigel Smith, a huge drop-in collage workshop, a Snowy Day photo opportunity, and self-guided family gallery hunts. Families will also be able to enjoy a large-scale mural project and Keats storybook readings offered in collaboration with the Harlem School for the Arts. The Ezra Jack Keats Family Day is inspired by the exhibition, The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats, on view through January 29, 2011

This event is free with Museum admission. Adults are asked to accompany their children. For further information, the public may call 212.423.3337 or visit the Museum's website at

The Ezra Jack Keats Family Day is made possible by New York City Council Member Daniel R. Garodnick and funded under contract with the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development.


Aaron Nigel Smith

12:30 pm and 2 pm
Parents and kids alike will enjoy Aaron Nigel Smith's original rock and reggae songs as well as funky new arrangements of popular classics from his Parents' Choice Award winning CD, Everyone Loves to Dance. Smith will play guitar and several other instruments, and use music, movement, drama and improvisation to bring the stories of Ezra Jack Keats to life.

Each concert will also feature drama students from the Harlem School for the Arts retelling favorite tales by Ezra Jack Keats such as The Snowy Day and Whistle for Willie, using props to bring the books to life.

Aaron Nigel Smith is the founder of FUNdamentals of Music and Movement, an arts program featured in over 100 early education centers in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and Boston. His 2005 debut CD release, Let's Pretend, received NAPPA and IParenting Media awards. In 2008 he collaborated with Ziggy Marley on B is for Bob, a CD for children of Bob Marley's music. In 2009 Smith joined the cast of PBS Kids' Emmy Award winning show, Between the Lions. Smith is also featured on several new Music for Little People releases including Buckwheat Zydeco's Bayou Boogie and World Travels.

12:00 noon to 4:00 pm
Families will create colorful collages inspired by the art of Ezra Jack Keats, designing and personalizing works that playfully depict their neighborhoods. Art materials similar to those used by Keats, such as marbleized paper, newspapers and found cut-outs, will be provided.

1:00 to 3:00 pm
Families can contribute to a large-scale mural designed by Jewish Museum educators and students from the Visual Arts department of the Harlem School for the Arts. The mural will depict a New York City scene with apartment buildings, people, pets, billboards, traffic signals, lamp posts, and other collage elements.

12:30 to 3:30 pm
Children and their families will be able to pose behind a cut out scene from The Snowy Day and become characters from the book. These photos will be posted to The Jewish Museum's Flickr page and be available to download after the event.

All day
A specialized printEd Gallery hunt for The Snowy and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats exhibition will be available.

The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats is the first major United States exhibition to pay tribute to author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats (1916-1983), whose beloved children's books include Whistle for Willie (1964), Peter's Chair (1967), and The Snowy Day (1962). Published at the height of the American civil-rights movement and winner of the prestigious Caldecott Medal, The Snowy Day became a milestone, featuring the first African-American protagonist in a full-color picture book. The Snowy Day went on to become an inspiration for generations of readers, and paved the way for multiracial representation in American children's literature. The dilapidated urban settings of Keats's stories are also pioneering - picture books had rarely featured such gritty landscapes before. The exhibition features over 80 original works by the artist, from preliminary sketches and dummy books, to final paintings and collages, including examples of Keats's most introspective but less-known output inspired by Asian art and haiku poetry. Documentary material and photographs is also on view. The author and illustrator was born Jacob (Jack) Ezra Katz in Brooklyn. His parents were Eastern European Jewish immigrants and very poor. Primarily self-taught, he drew upon memories of growing up in East New York, one of the most deprived neighborhoods in New York City. Yet his work transcends the personal and reflects the universal concerns of children. Keats used lush color in his paintings and collages and strove for simplicity in his texts. Following its New York City showing at The Jewish Museum, The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats will travel to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA (June 26-October 14, 2012); the Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco, CA (November 15, 2012-February 24, 2013); and the Akron Art Museum (March-June 2013). The Jewish Museum exhibition is part of a wide-scale celebration of the 50th anniversary of the publication of The Snowy Day.
The Edgar M. Bronfman Center for Education's school and family programs are supported by endowed funds established by the Bronfman Family, the Muriel and William Rand Fund, the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, the Helena Rubinstein Foundation, Rosalie Klein Adolf, the Kekst Family, and Mrs. Ida C. Schwartz in memory of Mr. Bernard S. Schwartz. We thank the following for their generosity: The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, the Kekst Family, Capital One, MetLife Foundation, J.E. and Z.B. Butler Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Inc., Alpern Family Foundation, The Pumpkin Foundation at the request of Joseph H. and Carol F. Reich, Newman's Own Foundation, Epstein Teicher Philanthropies, Rose M. Badgeley Residuary Charitable Trust, Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, The Jewish Museum Volunteer Organization, and other donors. We gratefully acknowledge public support from: New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Council Member Daniel R. Garodnick, Council Member Brad Lander, Council Member Mark Weprin, and other City Council Members. Access programming is made possible through the generosity of the J.E. and Z.B. Butler Foundation and Newman's Own Foundation.

About The Jewish Museum

Widely admired for its exhibitions and collections that inspire people of all backgrounds, The Jewish Museum is one of the world's preeminent institutions devoted to exploring the intersection of art and Jewish culture from ancient to modern times. The Jewish Museum was established in 1904, when Judge Mayer Sulzberger donated 26 ceremonial art objects to The Jewish Theological Seminary of America as the core of a museum collection. Today, the Museum maintains a collection of 26,000 objects - paintings, sculpture, works on paper, photographs, archaeological artifacts, ceremonial objects, and broadcast media. The Jewish Museum organizes a diverse schedule of internationally acclaimed and award-winning temporary exhibitions as well as broad-based programs for families, adults, and school groups.

The Jewish Museum is located at 1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street, New York City. Museum hours are Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, 11am to 5:45pm; Thursday, 11am to 8pm; and Friday, 11am to 4pm. Museum admission is $12.00 for adults, $10.00 for senior citizens, $7.50 for students, free for children under 12 and Jewish Museum members. Admission is free on Saturdays. For information on The Jewish Museum, the public may call 212.423.3200 or visit the website at

About the Harlem School for the Arts

Since its founding by internationally-acclaimed soprano Dorothy Maynor in 1964, the Harlem School of the Arts has transformed the lives of tens of thousands of young people ages 4 to 18 through world-class training in the arts. Its goal is to empower young people, mainly from under-served communities in Harlem, to find and develop the artist and citizen within themselves. HSA stands unique among community arts institutions in New York City, as the sole provider of arts education, in four disciplines (music, dance, theater and visual arts), under one roof, in an award-winning 37,000 square foot facility. The School's reputation for artistic rigor and excellence attracts constituents from all five New York City boroughs, Westchester County and New Jersey.

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