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Youth & Family Programs

The Mattress Factory is a place for all ages to explore and enjoy. There are several programs that are geared towards children of all ages. Be sure to check out our online calendar for upcoming events, or contact our Education Department at 412.231.3169 or education@mattress.org for more information.



The first and third Saturday of every month we host hands-on, interactive activities from 1-4pm. Projects are for all ages and inspired by current exhibitions, artists and ideas. Art Lab is free with Admission. Be sure to check our calendar because sometimes we take Art Lab on the move and can be seen throughout Pittsburgh.


Several times throughout the year we have days geared toward families – there will be a variety of fabulous activities and sometimes either free or “give what you can” admission. Find out more about what is coming up by checking out our calendar or signing up for our online newsletter.

MINI-FACTORY: Big Ideas for Small People

Mini-Factory is a FREE interactive learning program designed specifically for children ages 3-6 years old and their parents and/or caregivers that uses contemporary installation art as the basis for enabling parents and educators to explore education ideas.

Young children will explore a variety of themes and installations at the Mattress Factory, participate in story time with our partners form Reading is FUNdamental and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Allegheny and work on a collaborative project in our Mini-Factory. The Mini-Factory is a mobile, adaptable pop-up space that children can help to build and use to explore new ideas and concepts. Young artists will participate in projects that promote making and sharing.

Saturday, February 1st at 11am // SPACE                                   Friday, February 7th at 10am // LIGHT                                 Saturday, February 22nd at 1pm // PATTERN                 Wednesday, March 12th at 10am // LINE                               Tuesday, March 18th at 3pm // SOUND                                 Sunday, April 6th at 1pm // STORIES                                   Wednesday, April 16th at 3pm // SOUND                             Thursday, April 24th at 10am // COLOR                                     Friday, May 2nd at 11am // VIEWPOINT                           Wednesday, May 21st at 10am // MY FACTORY 

MINI-FACTORY is FREE but you must RSVP to felice[at]mattress.org or at 412.231.3169 because space is limited.

You can sign up for workshops individually. Please let us know if you are unable to attend so we can contact those people on our waiting list. Parents must accompany children and participate in the activities with their child.

This project supported in part by a Spark Award from The Sprout Fund.


Interactive summer workshops for students to learn inside a unique museum environment work directly with practicing artists and have an opportunity to show their work at our final celebration! Enrollment fees for Community Art Labs vary per session; click below for details.

2014 Sessions:
Session 1:  July 7-18, 9am-noon: Choose Your Own Adventure! with Sarah LaPonte (ages 10-13)
Session 2:  July 7-18, 1-4pm: MAKE IT, DO IT 2.0 with Heather White (ages 10-13)
Session 3:  July 21-25, 9am-noon: Art Under Cover with Elise Walton (ages 7-9)
Session 4:  July 21-25, 1-4pm: Fort Building Extravaganza! with the Fortress Project (ages 7-9)

Bonus Workshops:
July 9th, 6-8pm:  Vine Factory with Paul Kruse (ages 7-12 + parent / guardian)
July 16th, 6-8pm:  Screen-Printing Blowout! with Heather White (ages 7-12 + parent / guardian)
July 23rd, 6-8pm:  Pouch Sewing 101 with Jenn Gooch of Werk (ages 7-12 + parent / guardian)
July 30th, 6-8pm:  The Art of Audio with Saturday Light Brigade (ages 7-12 + parent / guardian)

An Interactive summer workshop for 14-18 year-olds to be immersed in the world of installation art. This intense workshop will expose students to tons of new media, ideas, artists and experiences in creating their own work and experimenting in a unique museum environment. Students will have the opportunity to install their work in the Mattress Factory to be on display for a final celebration! Enrollment for Factory14s is $200 per session ($150 for museum members). To inquire about scholarship opportunities please contact felice[at]mattress[dot]org.

2014 sessions:
July 21-Aug 8, 1-4pm: Circus + Activism with Ben Sota of Zany Umbrella Circus (ages 14-18)


Come and spend your Wednesday afternoons hanging out with the fabulous folks at the Mattress Factory. Get a serious behind-the-scenes experience as you meet artists, explore the deep recesses of our galleries and plan your own installations and grand works of art. 

Session 1: BEN SOTA, the founding artistic director of the Zany Umbrella Circus.                                                                                 Wednesdays, September 18 - December 11, 2013 (Not November 27th), 4-6pm

Session 2: SARAH LaPONTE, photographer, storyteller, book artist.                                                                                 Wednesdays, January 15 - April 9, 2014 (Not January 22nd), 4-6pm

Session 3: KATY DeMENT, paper-maker, gardener and beekeeper.                                                                        Wednesdays, April 23 - May 28, 2014, 4-6pm 

For more information and to register, contact Felice Cleveland - felice[at]mattress.org or 412.231.3169 ext. 213 

Install: Afternoons @ the Factory, the Mattress Factory After School program is made possible by the generous support of the Keith Haring Foundation and PNC Bank.






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