November 20, 2019

Self Care Sundays + Kitchen Table Talk


Practicing self-care (and we don’t mean glamorous spa days and retail therapy) can be a major challenge with the demands of work and life. It can also sometimes feel like an unattainable luxury. We believe it’s so important to find time to be presently with yourself and your experiences and discover what helps you integrate a sense of mindfulness into your day-to-day life. 

If you haven’t heard, we're hosting Self Care Sundays here at MCA Denver. Every Sunday of the current exhibition cycle, you will have a chance to experience the museum in a slightly different way. You'll find prompts throughout the museum that will help you to slow down, experience the art, and be fully present in the moment. 

We asked our Programs Manager, Hasti, to tell us a little bit more about Self Care Sundays and our upcoming Kitchen Table Talk on teen mental health and perceptions of mental health among young people.

For people who don’t know, what do Self Care Sundays look like at MCA Denver? 

Self Care Sundays are where we encourage our visitors to slow down and think differently about their experience at the museum. Every Sunday, there will be various prompts throughout the museum that guide you through some simple mindfulness exercises. Some of the prompts are directly related to the works on display, and others are specific practices that can be implemented anywhere.

What sparked the idea of doing this at the museum? 

Two of the exhibitions we currently have on view deal either directly or indirectly with mental health issues, and we wanted to do something that promoted good mental health practices that were simple and not tied to purchasing specific objects. 

Keeping in mind that we are a museum and not a mental health institution, simple mindfulness practices that could really been done anywhere seemed like an ideal and unobtrusive way to encourage our visitors to slow down and be more intentional about how they visit the museum.

Is there a prompt that is used at Self Care Sundays at MCA Denver that one could do on their own?

All of the prompts we use are intended to be able to be used anywhere. Some of the ones that relate more directly to the artworks (for example, counting and naming the textures and colors in Stacey Steers’ collage works) can be adapted to more closely look at other objects that aren't necessarily artworks.

What are Kitchen Table Talks? What can people expect at the December 4 talk? 

Kitchen Table Talks are moderated conversations over dinner. Each Talk has a specific topic, a moderator to help guide the conversation, and about 25 people who have chosen to engage with those topics. The topics are inspired by the exhibitions we have on view, though they are usually issues that the exhibitions bring up but don't necessarily deal with. 

About two dozen people sit at a table eating food and engaging in conversation. The crowd is diverse in ethnicity and age.


The December 4th talk is on teen mental health and will be moderated by a teen who is active in on-campus mental health advocacy. In general, teens are much more open to discussing mental health issues than adults, as experiencing mental health issues is gradually becoming less stigmatized. The Kitchen Table Talk uses that as a starting point to delve into what mental health and mental health advocacy looks like for teens. The conversation is open to people of all ages.

We put Kitchen Table Talk tickets on sale a week before the event. So get your tickets to the December 4 Kitchen Table Talk next Wednesday the 27th!