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Picture the Dream: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement through Children’s Books

August 15, 2020 - November 8, 2020

The “Picture the Dream” exhibit at the High Museum of Art was a picture-perfect outing! With all of the challenges of 2020, from COVID-19 leisure limitations to a heightened awareness of racial and social inequities, I was happy to find a timely and engaging outing for my entire family.

My family and I strolled up Peachtree Street to a very open High Museum that was not at all crowded … neither inside nor out. We wore masks with our timed tickets in tow, which are now required for safety measures. Once inside, my 8-year-old twins enthusiastically ran towards a table filled with blue smARTboxes, which contained complimentary supplies for art projects. The boxes are free to Georgia residents ages 6-12 and contain a new set of art supplies that can be picked up every month. Once we collected our smARTboxes, we were off to the exhibit.

Upon immediately entering the “Picture the Dream” exhibit, I was impressed with the beautiful set up and colorful display of several pieces of artwork, ranging from paintings and prints to collages and drawings. My twins were immediately drawn to the various images and captions that powerfully represented key events from the Civil Rights Movement. Artwork depicting children of the Civil Rights Movements and their roles as activists with titles such as “The Story of Ruby Bridges” drew special interest. Fortunately, I was able to use my “Picture the Dream” Family Discussion Guide to further engage my children and encourage them to think about the story the artist was trying to tell. A stroll through the exhibit, which also included an area with a looping short film of interviews with key Civil Rights leaders, gave me an opportunity to really talk about bigotry and oppression with my children in an age-appropriate way.

My entire family was intrigued throughout all three sections of the exhibit. The first section investigated the conditions leading up to the Civil Rights Movement. The second section highlighted key voices and events of the movement, while the third section explored present day conditions with a look at what has changed and what progressive work can still be done.

After we exited the third section of the exhibit, I was very pleased as a parent to see the small “pop-up” library of  children’s books related to the exhibit that were available for browsing right outside. The area was complete with a few tables and bookshelves containing various titles that could be purchased in the museum gift shop as well. Fortunately, my twins and I were able to sit in this area and read a few books before heading out of the High Museum.

The “Picture the Dream” exhibit was a very enlightening experience, that was both fun and educational, and a great conversation starter for parents and their children about history, activism and race.

– Monica Croom

Picture the Dream: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement Through Children’s Books. High Museum of Art. 1280 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta. 404-733-4400. high.org.
Hours: Through Nov. 8. Tues.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. noon-5 p.m. Closed Mon.
Tickets: Timed ticket entry is required. $14.50; ages 5 and younger, free.


August 15, 2020
November 8, 2020


High Museum of Art
1280 Peachtree Street
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