The first time I took my kids to the Michener Museum, I think they were about 3 years old, the woman at the front desk asked me, “Are their hands sticky?” What? Are you asking me if they just got finished climbing a tree, raiding an unattended beehive, scooping large handfuls of delicious honey and licking theirs paws clean…but not entirely clean? And then as soon as they finished their snack, decided they would very much like to explore some local art?

Whenever I return to this local cultural gem, I think of that woman. And I wonder, why do people think art isn’t for kids? Not only do I believe it’s a great experience for them, but I think they “get it” in a pure, simple, true way that many adults don’t or can’t or forgot how to. I pay for an annual membership and we only go a few times a year, but it’s worth it. I believe in supporting the arts. They say only 5% of Americans have ever been to an art museum.

I grew up in DC where the museums are amazing and free. My parents took me to them a lot when I was young. I still remember being around 5 or 6 and saying that the Mary Cassatt paintings were my favorites. Then, a few years later, explaining that I liked them when I was little but had outgrown them. I moved on to new faves—Surrealists, Pop Artists, Abstract Expressionists.

So I take my “little ones” to art museums, and ask them which are their favorites, and why. They get it.