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Museum Minute: Morning Mindfulness

With the UGA academic year starting up again, the museum’s popular Morning Mindfulness program is back. Running every other Friday morning during the school year, it offers a variety of different mindfulness techniques in the galleries, led by a number of different instructors. Dr. Jerry Gale, a professor in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, helped start the program in 2015 alongside the museum’s education department. Since then, more than a hundred mindfulness sessions have helped museum visitors slow down and connect with art through meditation, reflection, yoga and other techniques.

Each program is led by an experienced instructor who might incorporate specific works of art or focus on a contemplative practice. Participants include university students, professors, community members and museum staff.

Sage Kincaid, who organizes the program for the museum, said that one of the goals of Morning Mindfulness is to encourage visitors to take time to focus on being in the present moment. By spending uninterrupted time in the museum’s galleries, many participants find that they have more satisfying experiences with works of art, feel calmer and learn useful techniques for managing stress. This kind of visitor-centered program is part of an overall focus on well-being at our museum.

Morning Mindfulness even continued through the pandemic, shifting first to a Zoom only version and then a hybrid Zoom/in-person version. It starts up for the 2022 to 23 academic year on August 26 at 9:30 a.m. The program is free, but seats are limited; email to reserve a seat. All you need to bring is yourself and your brain.