Schulz Museum Marks 70 Years of 'Peanuts' with Online Events All Season

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Photo by DJ Ashton, courtesy of the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center.
  • Photo by DJ Ashton, courtesy of the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center.
The first "Peanuts" comic strip was published in seven newspapers on October 2, 1950. In the 70 years since then, "Peanuts"–written and drawn by longtime Santa Rosa resident Charles M. Schulz–has become one of the most beloved comic strips ever, with it's iconic characters appearing in thousands of newspapers as well as animated films, live stage shows and more.

Now, Santa Rosa's renowned Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center celebrates the comic strip's Platinum Anniversary and covers other timely topics with a fall season filled with public programs.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Schulz Museum will present the fall season entirely online, meaning "Peanuts" fans around the world will have the opportunity to join in the fun from the comfort of their own home.

Right now, the museum is already offering fall online classes for kids, running through October and featuring art and cartooning classes led by professionals.

This Wednesday, Sept. 16, cartoonist Joe Wos hosts an online class for ages seven and up on drawing endangered animals with simple step-by-step instruction. Also on Sept. 16, artist Barbara Golden begins a six-week class on Manga and anime art for students in grades seven to ten. A full list of classes can be found online now.

On Thursday, Sept. 17, the museum hosts a live event, 'Telling Her Story: How Women are Changing Animation' that will feature three women from Pixar Animation Studios' Story Department–Aphton Corbin, Valerie LaPointe, and Louise Smythe–in conversation with Pixar Animation Studio's Animation Department head Becki Tower. The conversation will examine how women are impacting the animation industry and how audiences experience animated films in the 21st century.

On Wednesday, Sept. 23, the museum offers an interactive crafting class based on the new book Peanuts Origami, in which participants can learn to fold paper to create characters like Charlie Brown and Snoopy while they learn a bunch of fun "Peanuts" trivia along the way.

The museum opens October, the comic strip's anniversary month, with a live conversation between Charles Schulz's widow, Jean Schulz, and cartoonist Stephan Pastis ("Pearls Before Swine") on Saturday, Oct. 3. Schulz will share stories about her husband's legacy in the world of cartooning as well as the strip's ongoing popularity.

Next, presented in conjunction with the exhibition, "Lucy! Fussbudget to Feminist," the museum hosts a live event, 'Women Rising: Local Leaders Speak Out' on Wednesday, Oct. 7. The live conversation features Camilla Gray-Nelson (owner of Dairydell Doggie Dude Ranch and Training Center), Jennifer Reichardt (owner and winemaker at Raft Wines), and Vivienne Wei (author of Labor Force) sharing the challenges and successes they've experienced in their careers.

Another anniversary party, '70 Years with the Peanuts Gang,' commences on Saturday, Oct. 17, when author Simon Beecroft presents his new book, The Peanuts Book: A Visual History of the Iconic Comic Strip. Charles M Schulz Museum curator Benjamin L Clark and archivist Sarah Breaux join Beecroft in conversation, charting the evolution and endurance of the "Peanuts" characters.

October wraps up at the museum with an online drawing party focusing on 'How to Draw Peanuts Halloween.' Learn how to depict Charlie Brown in his ghost costume, Lucy in her witch hat and mask, Snoopy as the WW1 Flying Ace and the Great Pumpkin with instruction from Atlanta-based cartoonist Robert W. Pope on Thursday, Oct. 29.

Fall 2020 at the Charles M Schulz Museum continues in November and December with more drawing classes and live conversations on topics such as the Black experience as told through graphic novels and comics. Advanced registration is required for all online events. Visit schulzmuseum.org to sign up for these events now.

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