Family and Educational Programs

In 2023, Millicent Rogers Museum welcomed 658 youth visitors through family visits and school field trips. The Annual Holiday Fiesta: A Holiday Community Day and the Taos Unite pop-up exhibition offered families additional opportunities to enjoy the museum together around holiday and cultural themes.
The museum would like to share some highlights as we encourage you to support and experience the museum through the lens of early childhood and K-12 programs. Whether family visitors are looking to enhance homeschool curriculums, supplement classroom learning with free-choice learning environments, or have fun on a Saturday visit to the museum, there is something for everyone to connect with the exhibitions and gallery spaces at MRM.

Image Treasure Hunt

The MRM Image Treasure Hunt, a beloved activity for all ages, is a testament to our commitment to family engagement. Available as a hand-out at the front desk upon arrival to the museum, the Image Treasure Hunt provides a focal point for young visitors to find the elements in the images throughout their visit. Some current images include Navajo (Diné) silversmithing tools, a detail of one of Millicent Rogers' Mermaid Story drawings, and even a skunk. The Image Treasure Hunt also has a vocabulary-matching activity on the back for those who want a more challenging experience. The Image Treasure Hunt vocabulary reflects a 2.8-grade level, ensuring that it is accessible and engaging for all age groups. This activity mirrors the familiar aesthetic of an Instagram feed, making it a fun and interactive way for families to explore the museum together.

Museum Mondays: Stories near the Mountain

Museum Mondays is an early childhood program aligned with New Mexico's Early Learning Guidelines while supporting social-emotional learning (SEL) and pre-literacy skills for children aged 2-4 (older and younger siblings are always welcome!). For eight weeks beginning in June, Museum Mondays provides weekly interactive, Southwest, and community-based activities from 10 AM – 11:30 AM on Monday mornings. As the program has grown and evolved in response to participant and community feedback, collaborations and partnerships have emerged, including a 2022 UNM Taos intern, 2023 Vista Grande High School Intern, volunteer support, and presentations by community members. This program has created a dynamic space for enhancing and responding to some of the needs of parents and families, including our youngest Taos community members. Staff and volunteers choose art activities to align with the foundational elements of New Mexico's Early Learning Guidelines. Through multi-sensory activities, children with their adults engage in wordplay, peer and adult interactions, large and small motor-skill development, and choice-making all while having FUN! A sample day might include reading a story, making an animal mask, moving to music with the mask, looking for animals in the museum galleries, and preparing pears and plant-based cheese snacks. Families receive a copy of the book each week thanks to the generosity of a museum friend.

Free Summer Art Classes for Teens with Michael M. Hensley

Millicent Rogers Museum partners with Michael M. Hensley, community member, artist, and Taos High School art teacher, to provide two weeks of summer art classes for youth aged 10-19. This opportunity for Taos youth includes a week-long exploration of styles and techniques for various high-interest themes such as dragons and mythical beasts. Drawing on his vast experiences in the arts and teaching, Michael guides participants through concepts of form, movement, shading, and more to achieve success in their creative explorations with pencil and paper. For more information about Michael Hensley's art and the TAC’s Teen Art Studio, visit New in 2024: Michael Hensley will present a realistic wildlife drawing class focusing on animals of Africa during a four-day session in July. Youth can attend any or all of the lessons over the four days of the program. Art supplies are available on request.

High School Internships and Community Schools Collaboration

Millicent Rogers Museum is more than a museum—it's a platform for learning and growth. As a community site for the Taos Municipal Schools Community Schools Initiative, we are committed to building relationships between education, community, and real-world work experiences. This shared vision with our local and regional schools is brought to life through our high school internships and community school collaboration. These initiatives allow students to interact professionally and gain vital experience for solid decision-making about future endeavors. Additionally, through the Community Schools model, MRM has partnered with Vista Grande Charter High School to support and enhance arts and museum studies coursework for 9th-12th grade youth. January of 2023 began with a museum "open house," a celebration of learning, and a school-wide collage exhibit in a museum gallery. The VGHS school collage showcased over 70 student artworks encouraging creative self-expression while reflecting ideas of shadow and line. This collaboration is a testament to the power of community and education coming together.

School Field Trips

School field trips, an invaluable community-based learning experience, offer a deeper connection to the classroom curriculum through hands-on activities. Like many museums, MRM has been navigating the post-pandemic challenges to rebuild school field trip audiences. In 2021 and 2022 MRM, in a unique collaboration with a high school museum studies class, offered a site-based curriculum via virtual platforms for enhanced student engagement. This innovative approach, including virtual tours and class sessions in gallery spaces, was a resounding success demonstrating our commitment to providing a rich learning experience despite global closures. As we gradually shifted to small in-person class groups, the momentum continued, and once fully opened, MRM was able to offer more traditional classroom field trip opportunities. School field trips are customized to teachers’ curriculum needs based on the community connections to Southwest arts. MRM education staff and volunteers are adept in aligning the museum experience with current New Mexico state education standards. In conjunction with gallery visits, students have the opportunity to explore the arts through hands-on activities with clay, weaving, paint, and stories. To schedule a class fieldtrip, contact Education Director, Karen Chertok, at or 575-758-2462 ext. 215.

Responsive Community Programs

Whenever possible, as determined by available resources, MRM responds to community requests for collaborative K-12 programs. Community driven programs allow us to understand the needs of those we serve as a public institution and are closely aligned with community voices as an integral part of regional values and concerns impacting Taos youth and beyond. MRM is grateful for the opportunities to partner with community groups through outreach and as a venue for community conversations. Recent programs include the following: The Paseo Project’s 2022 Spring Out! MRM staff visited Taos HS in a collaboration resulting in student poetry in performance art as a response to MRM colcha embroidery. Various community partners provided art that was projected by The Paseo Project with a unique merging of student performance art on Taos Plaza as a community-wide celebration of spring and Mother’s Day.

Maria Teofila Lujan
Embroidered Colcha, 1980
Wool thread on cotton backing cloth.
21.5 in x 11.5 in.
Gift of the Donald Humphrey Estate
MRM 1988.029.048
A Summer Day to Remember
By Isabella Garcia, 2022

It was an early summer day in the year 1980;
The trees were drenched in orange sweat that
dripped from the great crown of Zeus
The leaves danced on the arms of the tall green oaks
The sweet birds filled the air with their song
Her large doe eyes watched the glass sparkle against the light,
And only fantasies ran through her little head.
The fuzzy seas of color were woven together with a needle
and tied down by itself to the sandy beginning.
My short legs hung over my grandmother's flower
covered knees and cushioned layers of fabric.
Her fragile hands held the world together.
Every piece of love from her heart flowed into the strings
Like a sweet sound of music.
My grandmother wove the colors together one by one.
Every piece of soft wool told a different story,
And each one came together to tell of their life.
Hours passed, and time ran away with the wind.
But I remand,
And I watched the grass grow with the stitch.
There were all kinds of flowers,
But the orange one was my favorite.
It basked under the hot sun outside as it flaunted its beautiful colors;
A sweet smell of honey arose in the air as I stared into its big, colorful eyes.
Those are the same eyes I see today.
The large cloth hangs proudly above informational notecards.
I smiled;
I smiled a sweet smile looking at the
fine stitches that were wearing out as the years went by.
My grandmother’s hand rested gently on my shoulder.
A salty piece of rain hit the museum floor,
And I could feel her presence leave through the door.
“Why are there so many flowers Grandma?” I asked her back then.
“There are less than the ones that bloom outside in the spring.” Her wrinkled lips lifted.
“And soon my dear, you'll bloom to be one of the most beautiful ones out there.”

Taos Unite! Day of Programs:

Programs associated with MRM’s pop-up exhibition, Taos Unite!, included music, dancing, art, poetry reading, and food in collaboration with the UNM Chicano/a Studies dual-credit class with a focus on challenges faced by students and families including incarceration and suicide. Taos Unite! was made possible in part through support from the LOR Foundation and Paseo Project.

Annual Holiday Fiesta: A Community Holiday Tradition

Millicent Rogers Museum’s Annual Holiday Fiesta marked its 26th year in 2023. This treasured holiday event, held on the first Saturday of December, underscores the museum’s commitment toward shared spaces of authentic community stories. Youth holiday performances, multi-cultural holiday arts and crafts, a visit by the Taos Fiesta Court, and the beloved community “Wish Tree'' all reflect a deeply-rooted tradition between MRM and the Taos community. During this event, museum galleries transform into spaces to create and connect as visitors meet and mingle amidst holiday cheer. Many community members fondly recall enjoying MRM’s Annual Holiday Fiesta through the years and now bring their own children to make ornaments, watch holiday performances, and create new memories. Through the global pandemic, the museum handed out project supplies for home-based activities to sustain the context of this community event. Currently, we have restored the in-person event and strive to develop new activities and refresh traditional offerings. MRM is seeking innovative and collaborative ideas inspiring the future of this vibrant community event.