Online Learning

During these times of Covid-19 and museum closures, here are some interesting sites and links for art exhibits, classes and family activities, you can visit from the safety of your own home.

Portsmouth’s German Village

It is a pleasant spring day in 1916 Portsmouth, Virginia. Perhaps you are looking for a diversion with family or friends. Why not visit the German Village, the unique tourist attraction on the grounds of Norfolk Navy Yard?

In one of the more bizarre episodes of Hampton Roads history, interned German sailors constructed a “village” complete with a church, windmill, houses, shops, fences, and gardens on a stretch of riverfront property at the Navy Yard adjacent to their hulking ships. 

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Dynamic EarthDynamic Earth

On Thursday, April 22 people all over the world will take some time to show respect to their Mother Earth. One of our traditions at the Beazley Planetarium is to show the feature Dynamic Earth. This presentation is made in cooperation with our partner Spitz Incorporated. 

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ArchitectureRecycling and Adaptive Reuse of Existing Structures

Recycling and repurposing reduces construction costs and showcases the buildings aesthetics and cultural distinction.  The rehabilitated structure updates the building for current use without destroying its historic integrity.  

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MaterialsNano Days

The Children’s Museum of Virginia has partnered with Norfolk State University (NSU) staff and students to bring their expertise in Materials Science, Biology, Chemistry and more to make S.T.E.M. activities fun for our visitors.

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UniformsUniforms of the United States Army Infantryman From the Civil War to the Gulf

Take a visual journey through time to see how the average American Soldier was outfitted from the Civil War through the Gulf, with special glimpses at artifacts in our Collection not on public display.

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Bessie ColemanBessie Coleman

Bessie Coleman, 1892 – 1926, was a legendary aviation pioneer of mixed African and Native-American ancestry.

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Tuskagee AirmenTuskagee Airmen Pass “The Test”

The 99th Fighter Squadron Commander Major George “Spanky” Roberts reads a telegram of Congratulations” from General John Hawkins to eight Tuskegee Airmen pilots.

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Lt. Col. Howard Baugh and The Tuskegee Airmen

Tuskegee Airmen Lt. Col Howard L. Baugh was assigned to the 99th Fighter Squadron where he flew P-40 and P-51 aircraft. On January 27, 1944, he was part of a mission of 16 fighter aircraft over the Anzio beachhead when the group spotted 15 German FW190’s.

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Honor the Achievements of Black Artists

Black artists have provided insight, conversation starters, entertainment, and influence on our culture.  Here we are highlighting a few familiar names.

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Bright Star Touring Theatre Presents:
Jackie Robinson

The Children’s Museum of Virginia is continuing with “Black History Now” programming by bringing Bright Star Touring Theatre, a national professional touring theatre company, to you! The 45-minute play is targeted to audiences in Pre-K to 5th grade and family audiences. 

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Leonard_BuckFirst Baseman Buck Leonard

The “Classiest First Baseman in Organized Baseball” passed through Portsmouth twice on his way to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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Follow the Drinking Gourd

Winter’s story begins with a peg-leg sailor who aids slaves on their escape on the Underground Railroad. While working for plantation owners, Peg Leg Joe teaches the slaves a song about the drinking gourd (the Big Dipper). A couple, their son, and two others make their escape by following the song’s directions. Rich paintings interpret the strong story in a clean, primitive style enhanced by bold colors. The rhythmic compositions have an energetic presence that’s compelling.

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Songs for a DreamerSongs for a Dreamer

As part of the City of Norfolk’s tribute to Martin Luther King Jr., presented in collaboration with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and HARMONY Project partner churches, the annual “Songs for a Dreamer” concert will be presented virtually this year, including welcoming remarks by Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander. 

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Celebrate Black History’s Inventions

Black inventors are among history’s most revered geniuses, known for their relentless inquisition, passionate research and their desire to push the envelope.

Scientists, engineers, and inventors find the solutions to the world’s problems. 

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Golf paintingGeorge Grant Art Activity: Golf Ball Painting

The next time you reach into your pocket or the zippered lining of your golf bag for a wooden tee, think of Dr. George F. Grant, an African American dentist from Boston. He was born in Oswego, New York in 1847. Grant developed a love for golf but was unhappy with the mess that came with the tee shot.

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Granville WoodsGranville T. Woods Activity: Can You Hear Me Now?

 Granville T. Woods was born on April 23, 1856 and was sometimes referred to as “The Black Edison.” He dedicated his life’s work to developing a variety of inventions, many relating to the railroad industry. Woods’s most important invention was an apparatus that combined a telephone and a telegraph.

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Garrett Morgan Art Activity: Traffic Lights

Ages 3+years, adult assistance required

Garrett Morgan was born in Paris, Kentucky, on March 4, 1877, and was the seventh of 11 children. He invented the three position traffic signal. After witnessing an accident on a roadway, Morgan decided a device was needed to keep cars, buggies and pedestrians from colliding.

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Portsmouth libraryBlack History Book List

In honor of Black History month, Portsmouth Public Library created a book list. From famous men and women, STEM leaders, trail blazers and activists, this comprehensive list covers some of the best  fiction and non-fictional stories.

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PACC Early Aviators Charles Wesley Peters

Prior to World War II, opportunities in aviation and the dream of flight evolved separately for Blacks than it did for Whites. Due to segregation, lack of planes and access to aeronautical schools, aviation would take a great deal of effort on their part to achieve.

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Charles “Mule” Peete and Portsmouth’s Charles Peete Little League

He began his career in the Negro Leagues with the Indianapolis Clowns and played semi-professional baseball in Canada. Then in 1953 he signed on to play with Frank D. Lawrence’s Portsmouth Merrimacs of the racially integrated, mid-level Class B Piedmont League. He was the first African American to play in that league since baseball’s color line was broken in 1946.

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Walk Your Art OutWalk Your Art Out – A Portsmouth Public Art Scavenger Hunt

Looking for things to do? This art scavenger hunt for public art around Olde Towne Portsmouth provides exposure to fun and informative art installations as well as about a one mile walk to keep you healthy. There are over 20 pieces of public art located throughout the district and this hunt asks you to visit ten of them, but who knows how many you will see along the way.  

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Lisa Hartz, Author & Director of Seven Cities WritersOnline Micro-Memoir Creative Writing Class

Interested in saving your memories but daunted by writing a full-blown memoir? Begin here, with short-form autobiography –small flashes of memory that dig deep in just a page or two. Collect your stories in an inspiring, supportive (virtual) environment. Instructor, Lisa Beech Hartz, has been guiding writing workshops in the Seven Cities for over 15 years. The cost for this 8-session class for adults is $170 or $160 for members.

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Colemans NurseryRemembering Coleman’s Winter Wonderland

Coleman’s Winter Wonderland was an integral part of Christmas memories for hundreds of Hampton Roads families. Take a walk down memory lane with stories about the founder and all that went into creating the displays.

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Plant Sandwich Coloring activityPlant Sandwich Coloring Activity

(Ages 4 and up)

This plant sandwich is to be eaten only with your eyes. Using plant materials in art is a fun way to create and get outside. This activity is messy so if kids participate, adults need to supervise, and everyone needs to wear appropriate clothes.

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Fizzy Color PaintingFizzy Color Painting Art Activity

Sidewalk chalk is a great way to take artmaking outdoors. This activity gives you a recipe to make paints which look like chalk but act much different. The recipe takes advantage of a chemical reaction, adding more fun, as you will see. All ages can enjoy this project, but adults will need to be in charge. It is messy, so dress for the occasion.

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Painting Without BrushesPainting Without Brushes Art Activity

(Ages 4 and up)

This activity explores other ways to manipulate paint rather than the traditional method of using a brush. It is refreshing to try a new approach and create unique effects that result from using simple materials and different tools.

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Photoprint COLORING ART PROJECTPhotoprint COLORING Art Project

(Ages 11 and up)

Artists can manipulate photographs and images on computers in many ways. This project begins with a printed photograph that can be changed using simple drawing materials. To make it more fun, use a photograph of someone you know.

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Mobile ProjectMobile Art Project

(Ages 11 and up)

This project guides you to create a 3-D (three-dimensional) sculpture called a mobile. Mobile’s are suspended moving sculptures made of rods and objects, connected together with line. The rods and objects hang in balance based on position and weight. The equilibrium of weight makes objects appear light, as if they are floating. A slight air current can set them in motion.

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Scratch ArtD.I.Y Scratch Art Project

(Ages 4 and up)

Making your own scratch paper is a tried and true activity. For those unfamiliar, the idea is to create a surface of colors coated with black paint. After drying, use pointed tools to scratch through the painted surface, revealing the color beneath. The contrast of colors through the black paint makes the lines look luminescent, like they’re glowing. The technique and materials in this project are formulated to give you the best results.

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Spider Monster ProjectSpider Monster Sculpture Project

(Ages 11 and up)

This art project lets you create a 3-D (three-dimensional) sculpture on a small scale, while still working mostly on a two dimensional surface plane. To be truly sculptural, the art should visually change as you move around it.

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Tissue PaperHorizons Tissue Paper Collage Painting Project

This is a collage activity which requires no paints, yet resembles painting in the way materials are used. A solution of glue and water is made which can be applied on tissue with a brush. The tissue absorbs the glue mixture and adheres to the board.

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Tape it Down ProjectTape it Down Painting Project

(For all ages)

Painting expressive brushstrokes is fun and relaxing. Painters can also control strokes to achieve fine lines and details. This project combines both qualities by using blue painter’s tape, allowing for carefree brush- strokes while enabling defined lines and shapes. It might take a couple days as each coat of paint has to dry, but the end result is eye-catching.

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Diptych Project2-Faced Diptych Print Project

(For ages 11 and up)

This project uses a material found in most restaurants; Styrofoam to-go containers. Whether you clean and recycle one from a food order, or pick up extras, they make for a fun print-making activity. The goal here is to make two faces, creating a diptych. Diptychs are any drawing, painting, or print, with two images of equal size, featured side-by-side as one artwork.

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Art ProjectOpp-Art Project #1 – Under Handed

(For ages 11 and up)

Op-Art (short for Optical Art) is an abstract style where bright contrasting lines and patterns create an illusion. Typically these designs appear to be moving, flashing or vibrating, distorted, or three dimensional. The process can be a bit tedious but the out-come is well worth the effort.

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Opp ArtOpp-Art Project #2 – Outlying Object

(For ages 11 and up)

Here is an Optical Art project where bright lines and patterns create an illusion of movement and three-dimensional qualities. This design gives the impression of an object moving forward or backward in space.

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Puzzle ProjectPuzzle Design Collaborative Art Project

This activity involves teamwork. The directives here are for two-four participants. Materials are simple, and amazing results can be achieved.

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Ink ProjectPermanent Print Art Project

(Ages 11 and up) Permanent markers come in amazing colors these days. Markers are often used for more precise drawing and coloring, but this project is not precise or easily controlled. Take care to work in a well ventilated area as fumes from the materials here are strong.

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Land & Sky ProjectLand & Sky Mixed Media Art Project

This project combines a number of different media to create one work of art, starting with a printing process. You can achieve interesting effects with which to begin a landscape or cityscape, depending on what you choose. If you don’t have access to listed materials, they can be purchased at an art supply store or market.

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Origami Samuri Helmet Project

The Samurai were prestigious social classes reigning from 12th century Japan, to around 1877. Trained in Bushido “way of the warrior,” they focused on ethical self discipline, loyalty, and education. Women and men were trained in martial arts, and prepared to give their lives for family and community. Warriors wore elaborate, highly functional uniforms, with distinctive helmets, the subject matter for this art project. Origami is the technique used here, an art of paperfolding which also began in Japan. You can see what the Samurai helmet and uniform looked like in this 1870 photo of a Samurai Commander.

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The Test: The Tuskegee ProjectThe Test: The Tuskegee Project

“The Test: The Tuskegee Project”, scheduled to open in 2020, is an exhibition organized and toured by Jerry Taliaferro that contains additional exhibit content contributed by the Howard Baugh Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. and curated by Gayle Paul, PACC. The Test shares the story of the first African-American aviators to serve in the United States military, the challenges they faced while flying in aerial combat overseas, and contending with racial prejudice in the military and from the country for which they served.

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SmithsonianTalking About Race

Talking about race, although hard, is necessary. We are here to provide tools and guidance to empower your journey and inspire conversation.

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Bas ReliefPACC Pastel Relief – Resist Drawing Project 2020

This is an easy art project that requires some energy. Oil pastels are the key ingredient, and they can be messy. Yet they can also achieve wonderful effects with color, so keep some rags handy, and wear an apron or old clothes to tackle this drawing technique.

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Monoprint ProjectMonoprint Mixed Media Art Project

A monoprint is the result of one original impression rather than multiple copies like newspapers. There are many ways it can be made, some involving specialized materials. Here is a fun project using common materials to create an abstract work of art where things don’t have to look real.

Project Guide

Engineering Paper 101

POP-UPS: Engineering Paper 101

To make pop-ups, it is important to consider the paper, its weight and quality. Card stock is best, but you can experiment with lighter weight paper to get started. The paper should be foldable, but stiff enough to hold a crease while holding its own weight.

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Color Quest: Home Color Scavenger Hunt

Color Quest

Let your kids discover the world of shapes and color right inside their own home. This project challenges your kids to see how many animals, plants or other objects they can find in their house (inside or outside) that match the colors and shapes in the guide.

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AScavenger Huntrchitectural Scavenger Hunt: Olde Towne, Parkview & Port Norfolk

Talk a walk and learn about the structural details along the way. This scavenger hunt challenges young architects to find features in their own neighborhood.

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Kite ProjectKite Making Art Project

Countries around the world celebrate kite traditions, especially in Asia where kites were invented. If you have access to a park or field, you can fly a kite. Here is a simple project you can use to make your own kite.

Project Guide

Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art


Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art while remaining at home. 

  • Learn about the artist Gerhard Richter whose paintings are featured in their galleries.   Listen to Richter’s discussion on painting moving between realism and abstraction.
  • Join #MetKids made for and with kids.  Families can learn and create together in interactive programs.
  • Tap into the Audio Guides for tours geared to children ages 6 – 12 years and their families. 
  • Visitors with Disabilities: Take part in programs and services allowing accessibility to everyone.

Museum of Modern Art

MOVisit the galleries at the Museum of Modern Art, learn about contemporary art, and take art classes at the Museum of Modern Art.

  • Join the online tour in the Virtual Views Series to “museum from home”, and meet the artist Félix Fénéon, or review the exhibits and story on one of their other artists online. 
  • All online courses are offered free of charge or you can choose to pay for a certificate of completion.

National Gallery of Art

National Gallery of ArtExperience the National Gallery of Art through the virtual exhibit tours and online exhibitions.

  • Meet artists in “an eye for art”.  Explore masterpieces grouped around seven themes: Studying Nature; Exploring Places; Examining Portraits; Telling Stories; Observing Everyday Life; Questioning Traditions and Playing with Space.
  • Are you teaching your children at home?  There are interactives for kids to create their own original works of art.  In addition there are programs for teachers to help foster the understanding and connection to art.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art


  • Visit this site for in-depth collections on contemporary artists and issues that they grapple with, view an interactive update on the latest including some of these topics: Make Art at Home; Picturing the Environment and online-streaming.
  • Visit artist studios in the Artist Cribs series.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art


Stay at home and visit this sit this website for a tour through exhibits at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  Watch short films and experience exhibition walkthroughs and documentaries.

  • Experience the Rain Room
  • In the Make Art @home series on You tube, make your own finger paints with ingredients that are easily found in our homes.