When it became clear that the Schulz Museum would need to cancel this year’s Spring Break classes in light of the current health precautions, we searched high and low for a way to make it up to our students.
Before we knew it, our “cartoonist in residence,” Joe Wos of MazeToons, had come to the rescue with a plan to offer free online cartooning classes on YouTube for families around the world to tune in. We told our students about the lessons as a way to stay creative while staying indoors.
Last week over 600 students tuned in to Joe’s first hour-long live class, and thousands more viewed the class online afterward. Joe’s online cartooning classes are free and currently take place Monday-Friday, with storytime on Saturday. You can find them by visiting howtotoon.com.
I first met Joe when he cartooned at the Museum’s grand opening back in August of 2002. He gave four daily performances of “Once Upon A Toon” followed by six workshops in collaboration with our education staff.
Then, in 2003, Joe returned to entertain visitors with cartooning performances during the long Thanksgiving weekend, and he has been returning to the Museum nearly every summer and fall ever since.
We now have visitors who saw him at the Museum when they were younger and have returned to share the experience of his performances with their own kids.
Joe credits his cartooning career to Charles Schulz and has said he felt an immediate connection to the Museum and our fans on that opening day back in 2002. “Part of the joy for me was that I felt like I had kept a promise I made to my childhood self,” he told me. “I became a cartoonist. There I was at the Museum dedicated to the man who inspired me to pursue a lifetime of drawing funny pictures, and I was inspiring others to follow that same path. It felt like both the completion of a journey and the beginning of a new one.”
I hope you will have a chance to visit howtotoon.com and check out Joe’s classes—they are fun for all ages!
In addition, for more at-home activities, Peanuts Worldwide will soon be posting several years of historical in-school curriculum that have recently been modified for in-home use. They will provide more information at peanuts.com when it is ready for viewing.