Dreams and Air Castles

A Virtual MLK Day Program

On January 18th, 2021, young learners tuned in to Hill-Stead Museum’s very first virtual MLK program, “Dreams and Air Castles.” The hour-long session delved into the history of Martin Luther King and Hill-Stead’s architect Theodate Pope, igniting conversations, games, and art-making activities.

Even though Theodate Pope was born nearly a century before the Civil Rights Movement, she shared similar ideals to Martin Luther King. Both figures believed in bettering their community and empowering those whose voices had been left unheard. Like King and his fight for equality, Theodate was a supporter of the Suffrage Movement. She was a trailblazer as a woman in the male dominated field of architecture, paving a path for gender equality. The students discussed Martin Luther King’s achievements and listened to a clip of King’s iconic ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. The students then shared their dreams and aspirations, inviting the other attendees to imagine a better world.

Students learned the meaning behind our program title, “air castles,” by reading a quote from Theodate’s diary that hints at the implication. Afterward, they sketched what her “air castle” was when she was a young woman. Theodate’s air castles were her aspirations and dreams. She wanted to one day have her farm and care for less fortunate and orphaned children.

A Found Object Art activity closed the program. Participants collected several household objects to use for a collage. Using the theme of dreams, the work below showcases student submissions and represents their future hopes.

Stay tuned for more virtual programs, and join us for in-person Winter on the Hill sessions over President’s Day vacation (February 15 and 16). In the meantime, please visit Learning at Hill-Stead for more information on our programs, activities, and tours.

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