May 7, 2017 – 1:00 pm

FREE Family Festival Day

1:00–5:30 p.m.

This Family Festival Day will celebrate the cultural and historical aspects of our exhibition Secrets of Buddhist Art: Tibet, Japan, and Korea. Join us for unique gallery experiences, fun art-making activities, exciting performances, and a special procession and parade to the Cumberland River! All programs are free, appropriate for all ages, and offered on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last.

Please note: studio and gallery activities will conclude at 4:00 p.m. to accommodate the Sand Mandala Painting Closing Ceremony.




Yoga for Everyone!
1:15, 2:15, and 3:15 p.m.
Rechter Room (Main Level)

Yoga is practiced to cultivate the connection of mind, body, and spirit. Join us for Family Yoga, a fun and centering activity for the whole family! Together we will learn skills for movement, breathing, and mindfulness that can be used by everyone.

Artful Tales: The Crane Returns
1:30 p.m.
Auditorium (Main Level)

Storyteller Naoko Ozaki from the Global Education Center presents “Tsuru no Ongaeshi” (The Crane Returns), which celebrates the virtue of remembering those who have been kind to us and returning the favor. The story also reminds us of the importance of keeping our promises.

Sounds for a Peaceful World
2:30 and 3:30 p.m.
Auditorium (Main Level)

Join artist and musician Massood Taj for a meditative global music experience. Massood uses instruments from a variety of cultures to create mesmerizing sounds for sacred spaces both outside and within ourselves.

Multisensory Stations
1:00–4:00 p.m.
Ingram Gallery (Main Level)

Visit one of the multisensory stations in Secrets of Buddhist Art and be transported to far-off lands through sight, scent, and touch.

Buddhist Body Language on the Frist Center app
1:00–4:00 p.m.
Ingram Gallery (Main Level)

Download or visit on your mobile device to access a gallery game designed just for families! Learn the mudras and postures of the statues in Secrets of Buddhist Art and try them out yourself.



Animal Avatar Masks
1:00–4:00 p.m.
Studio A (Upper Level)

Animals are used in Buddhism to represent different characteristics and abilities in artwork. Choose an animal and the meaning that best matches you. Then, create your own animal avatar mask and wear it in a very special parade.* See the opposite page for details about the parade.

“Find It” Jars
1:00–4:00 p.m.
Studio B (Upper Level)

There are eight auspicious symbols in Esoteric Buddhism that can be found in works of art, as decorative elements, in architecture, and in everyday objects: the umbrella, the fish, the conch, the lotus, the wheel, the banner, the vase, and the endless knot. Create your own “find it” jar as a container for these symbols. Then, use the jar during quiet time as a contemplation aid.

Extrasensory: A Community Art Project
1:00–4:00 p.m.
Studio C (Upper Level)

Want to be in an art exhibition at the Frist Center? Join teaching artist Dee Kimbrell to construct a giant sculpture from recycled materials, with inspiration from the work of contemporary artist Nick Cave. Revisit the final masterpiece as part of the Extrasensory exhibition in the Conte Community Arts Gallery from October 20, 2017, to February 25, 2018.

Martin ArtQuest® Gallery
1:00–5:30 p.m. (Upper Level)

Visit the Martin ArtQuest Gallery to experiment with a variety of exciting hands-on art activities, ranging from figure drawing to our new mandala activity. Create a watercolor painting, give our printing press a spin, and enjoy additional art-making activities with your family.

Seek & Find

There are eight auspicious symbols of Buddhism represented in objects throughout the exhibition Secrets of Buddhist Art: Tibet, Japan, and Korea. Use the guide provided onsite to see how many you can find.



Sand Mandala Painting Closing Ceremony
Featuring the Mystical Arts of Tibet

The Frist Center is thrilled to welcome back the Mystical Arts of Tibet, a touring company of monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery (exiled from Tibet and currently based in South India). Their sand mandala ritual will conclude our Free Family Festival Day.

Closing Ceremony Part I: Ritual Destruction of the Mandala
Location: Frist Center Ingram Gallery| Video feed in the auditorium and Grand Lobby
Time: 4:30 p.m.

The first part of the closing ceremony will take place in the Frist Center’s Ingram Gallery. The monks will dismantle the mandala, sweeping up the colored sand to symbolize the impermanence of all that exists. The rite will be accompanied by multiphonic chant and music. It will last approximately 30 minutes.

Closing Ceremony Part II: Procession to the Cumberland River and Dispersal of the Sand
Location: Procession down Broadway to the Riverfront Terraced Lawn Amphitheater (see map), at 170 1st Avenue North
Time: Approximately 5:15 p.m.

The monks will lead the parade from the Frist Center to the Cumberland River via Broadway. Once everyone is at Riverfront Park, a ceremony at the water’s edge will begin. The rite will last approximately 15 minutes.

What will happen to the sand?
The monks will pour half of the sand into the water, dispersing the healing energies of the mandala throughout the world. To spread the blessings of the mandala across Nashville, the rest of the sand will be presented to the Frist Center’s Sustaining Community Partners:

Centennial Art Center
Conexión Américas
Edmondson Pike Branch Library
Oasis Center
Old Hickory Community Center
Safe Haven Family Shelter
Vanderbilt Kennedy Center
YMCA Latino Achievers

Visit the Tibetan Bazaar in the Upper-Level foyer from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. to purchase gifts. All proceeds support the Drepung Loseling Monastery.

Family Day Parade Information

In the event of rain, the procession and parade to the Cumberland River will be cancelled. Check back to this page for the status of this event. 

Exit through any of the Frist Center doors leading to Broadway. Once the monks are in place, they will lead the parade to the Cumberland River. We will stay in the eastbound (right-hand) lanes. The end of the ceremony will occur at the edge of the Cumberland River in Riverfront Park’s Terraced Lawn Amphitheater. Please use the sidewalks as you leave the ceremony.


Q. Where can I watch the first part of the closing ceremony at the Frist Center?
A. Ingram Gallery will be open to the public, but space is limited. The ceremony will also be broadcast live in the auditorium and Grand Lobby to accommodate more people. Groups with strollers are asked to watch the ceremony from the auditorium.

Q. Can I come back to the Frist Center after the riverfront ceremony?
A. No. The Frist Center closes at 5:30, so please take your belongings and artworks with you when you join the parade.

Q. May I take pictures?
A. Yes. Take as many pictures as you want, but please turn off your flash.

Q. May I take some of the sand home?
A. No. The sand will be distributed to Frist Center Sustaining Community Partners to spread the blessings of the mandala across Nashville.

Q. Will traffic be shut down on Broadway during the parade?
A. The eastbound lanes of traffic will be closed, but the westbound lanes will still be open. Please stay behind the barricades and follow the police officers’ instructions when you cross the street.

Tips for a Great Parade:
Hold Hands: Please hold the hands of small children as you walk to the river.
Walking Feet: The monks will walk and we will all walk, too!
Have Fun: This is a happy, special celebration—have a great time!




Family Day Sponsor

Nashville Parent

Family Day Sponsor

Lynn and Ken Melkus

Education and Outreach Sponsors

Click here to go back to the top of the page

Sorry, this image is copyrighted

For more information about this notice, see our Terms of Use.