Past Events

Two Small Pieces of Glass: The Amazing Telescope

At a community stargazing event, two adolescent students gain insights into the pivotal role telescopes have played in unraveling the mysteries of our cosmic existence. Engaging in a dialogue with a knowledgeable female astronomer, they delve into the historical significance of telescopes and the remarkable discoveries facilitated by these scientific instruments. Witnessing firsthand the functionality of telescopes and their utilization in leading observatories worldwide, the students discover how these tools continuously broaden our comprehension of the vast Universe.

Beginner Handbuilding Ceramics Class

Join the Ella Sharp Museum and Curiouser Clay as we open our Ceramics studios up once again! We will be creating cups utilizing slab-building techniques and bowls utilizing templates, perfect for a beginner to try their hand at ceramics for the first time. Classes are Wednesday nights from 6:00pm to 9:00pm

Collections Behind the Scenes: Members Tour at the Ella Sharp Museum

The Ella Sharp Museum currently houses tens of thousands of objects and documents from throughout Jackson’s history. We are excited to offer you, our members, the chance to tour our hidden collections spaces alongside our curatorial team. Join us for a members-only evening behind the scenes, and glimpse what makes our exhibits tick. The tour will be followed by an open discussion with our curators, including a cash bar with one complementary drink.

Toddler Tour: Space Explorers

It’s never too early to start visiting museums! Join us for a Toddler Tour that highlights either our featured exhibits or the Hurst Planetarium. This month, we are going on an out-of-this-world adventure in our newest exhibit, Space, A Journey to Our Future! The program is approximately 45 minutes in duration and is limited to 30 participants.

Romance in the Stars

The world of ancient astronomy contains many stories of forbidden love and romance. Join the Hurst Planetarium and Ella Sharp Museum for a one of a kind Valentine’s Day experience, as we tour Earth, our galaxy, and beyond in search of romantic tales. Romance in the Stars is a 90 minute show written and presented live in the Hurst Planetarium. Each ticket includes admission to the show, one drink ticket, and a box of assorted chocolates from Gilbert Chocolates. Additional beverages may be purchased at the cash bar. This show is recommended for adult audiences.

Ella’s Birthday Tea

Join us as we celebrate Ella Sharp’s birthday a little early with a lovely afternoon tea! We will have a historic house tour of her home followed by tea and hors d’oeuvres in our Granary. Take a step back in time to the Victorian era and see the Ella Sharp Museum and park through the eyes of Ella herself, as it once was: the Hillside Farm.

Educator Open House

Calling all educators: join us at the Ella Sharp Museum on February 7th for a free Open House for teachers and other educators to get a peek at our newest exhibit; Space, A Journey To Our Future! Experience the wonders of outer space through hands-on activities and discover if a field trip or group visit would be a good fit into your school’s curriculum! Plus, enter for a chance to win a free field trip for your class to see this out-of-this-world exhibition! RSVP today!

Studio 21 Sip & Paint – Valentines Day Wine Bottles (Canceled)

Join local Jackson-area artist, Sharon Sunday, for another fun-filled night of painting using recycled wine bottles! Paint a Valentines Day themed wine bottle with Sharon’s guidance and enjoy a drink or two from the bar. All supplies are included in your ticket price, with your finished product ready to take home at the end of class! A cash bar will be available.

Ella Sharp’s Bridal Show

Join us for our first annual Bridal Show. We will have door prizes, cash bar, and swag bags for the first 50 brides. General Admission is $4 per person at the door and Pre-Registration online is $2 per person.

Toddler Tour: One World, One Sky

It’s never too early to start visiting museums! Join us for a Toddler Tour that highlights either our featured exhibits or the Hurst Planetarium. Back by popular demand, this month’s experience includes the planetarium show Sesame Street’s One World, One Sky and a tour of our newest exhibit, Space, A Journey To Our Future where kiddos can explore space on their own!

Macrame Wall Hanging Workshop

Join local Jackson-area fiber artist, April Vilminot of Skeins of Valor, for a fun workshop where you get to create a trendy Macrame wall hanging. All supplies are included with registration.

Cosmic Christmas Light Show

Our annual Holiday Light Show is back! This year we are celebrating the holidays with our Cosmic Christmas light show, produced by the Longway Planetarium. This is a must not miss event for anyone looking for some holiday fun! Come on out and sing along with us in the Hurst Planetarium!

Holiday House Tour

Celebrate the holidays with us during a historical tour of inside Ella Sharp’s Hillside Farmhouse decorated with traditional Victorian trimmings.

Tossed and Found Artist Reception

Come spend some time with our Tossed and Found artists, and enjoy the art. We will be having a cash bar, Hor D’Oeuvres, and kids crafts.

Holiday Candlelight Tours

Celebrate the holidays and traditions during a historical candlelit tour of the Ella Sharp Museum’s grounds. The evening includes a tour of the decorated Hillside Farmhouse.

Macrame Holiday Ornament Workshop

Join local Jackson-area fiber artist, April Vilminot of Skeins of Valor, for a fun workshop where you get to create three handmade macrame holiday ornaments, including a candy cane, a wreath, and a tree. All supplies are included with registration. A cash bar will be available.

Ella’s Holiday Market

Join Ella Sharp Museum from Friday, December 1st – Sunday, December 3rd from 10 am – 5 pm as we celebrate the holidays and the amazing local artists that our community has to offer! We will host the Market in our Grand Community Room, accommodating 15-20 artists to sell their wares just in time for the gift-giving season!

Cookies With Santa

Drop in to the Ella Sharp Museum as we celebrate the holidays and welcome Santa and Mrs. Claus to the Hillside Farm for some cookies in the Granary! Photos will be taken by the Ella Sharp Museum and sent to families via email for you to enjoy! Be sure to stop in and visit Ella’s Holiday Market while you’re here.

Studio 21 Sip & Paint – Holiday Wine Bottles

Join local Jackson-area artist, Sharon Sunday, for a fun-filled night of painting using recycled wine bottles! Paint a wintry scene with Sharon’s guidance and enjoy a drink or two from the bar.

Macrame Earring & Necklace Set Workshop

Join local Jackson-area fiber artist, April Vilminot of Skeins of Valor, for a fun workshop where you get to create a set of coordinating earrings and necklace. All supplies are included with registration.

Masquerade Murder Mystery Dinner

You’re invited to attend our Murder Mystery Dinner Masquerade Ball and help solve a murder by trading clues with other guests, gathering information, and solving the crime before the masked menace gets away. This is an adult only event and is interactive, so be ready to dress up and look amazing. Don’t be afraid to take charge of the night and use your detective skills to solve the murder.

An Evening with Dominic Pangborn

Join us as in our opening celebration of Dominic Pangborn Uncrated: A Final Retrospective! Evolutionary and prolific artist Dominic Pangborn is renowned nationally for his colorful and enigmatic work. Dominic is proud to call Jackson his hometown and a place that built him into the person he is today. We are honored to host Dominic’s last show in the United States before he relocates overseas. This is a night not to be missed!”

Macrame Tree of Life Workshop

Join local Jackson-area fiber artist, April Vilminot of Skeins of Valor, for a fun workshop where you get to create a Macrame Tree of Life wall hanging. All supplies are included with registration.

Fall Harvest Festival

Mark your calendars and join us as we get back out on Farm Lane to welcome back our Fall Harvest Festival!

Call for Tractors: Fall Harvest Festival

Join the Ella Sharp Museum as we bring back the beloved Fall Harvest Festival in 2023 on Sunday October 8th from 12pm to 4pm! We are looking for tractor owners who would like to take part in a tractor parade down our Historic Farm Lane. If you are interested, please help us by filling out the submission form below!

Requirements: Must haul your own tractor to the Ella Sharp Museum and be here by 11:30am for the Festival. After the tractor parade, you may park and join our “Tractor Show” where you can tell visitors all about your machines.

2023 Patio Party Series

The Ella Sharp Museum is excited to take a ‘Journey Back’ for our 2023 Patio Party Series! Experience the past like never before as we journey through four decades of Jackson’s history, highlighting some of each period’s most iconic moments and cultural events. Journey back to the Roaring 20s, the Fabulous 40s, the Sensational 60s and the Radical 80’s! We’ll highlight some of the most iconic historical and cultural events in each decade through trivia, music, and a curated menu that celebrates popular dishes of each decade.

Leaving Your Photo Legacy Hands-On Workshop

Who gets your pictures? Who tells your story? Please join us on September 26, 2023 for a hands-on workshop led by Certified Photo Manager, Marianne Behler. You will bring our own photos and together we will begin the process of photo organizing to move them out of boxes and into your life. Instruction for this will be given at the first session.

Plein Air – Beginner/Intermediate Workshop

Sharon Sunday will lead a Plein Air Workshop for beginner and intermediate artists on the grounds of the Ella Sharp Museum. Participants will learn the basics of outdoor painting and gain new skills with various techniques. The workshop is designed to enhance their skills and provide an enjoyable experience.

Macrame Wall Shelf Workshop

Join local Jackson-area fiber artist, April Vilminot of Skeins of Valor, for a fun workshop where you get to create a custom Macrame wall shelf. All supplies are included with registration. A cash bar will be available.

Leaving Your Photo Legacy Presentation

Who gets your pictures? Who tells your story? Please join us on September 14, 2023 for a presentation by Certified Photo Manager, Marianne Behler. You will learn the steps you and your family can take to both preserve and share your photos and family stories now and for your future generations.

Toddler Tour: Eco-Art Explorers

It’s never too early to start visiting museums! Join us for our monthly Toddler Tour program, each with their own fun theme. These programs last approx. 45 minutes and are designed for children ages 2-5. This month, the little ones will have the opportunity to explore our new Tossed n’ Found exhibit and discover how reducing, reusing, and recycling can help protect our planet.

Volunteer Fun Day

Join us on Tuesday, August 29th from 11am to 1pm as the Ella Sharp Museum hosts a Volunteer Fun Day! We’ll be grilling hotdogs with all the fixins’ and enjoying a bevy of yard games as well as tours of Ella’s Farmhouse. It’s our way of showing our appreciation for our awesome volunteers!

Soft Pastels – Beginner/Intermediate Workshop

**SOLD OUT**

Join us again with art instructor, Sharon Sunday, in learning and expanding to use soft pastels, exploring new techniques especially for beginners and intermediates. All supplies are included in your registration price.

Sensory Time

Saturdays @ 9am

The Ella Sharp Museum will open galleries at 9am for a quiet museum experience especially for our sensory-sensitive visitors.

Toddler Tour: Bike Buddies

It’s never too early to start visiting museums! Join us for our monthly Toddler Tour program, each with their own fun theme. These programs last approx. 45 minutes and are designed for children ages 2-5. This month, toddlers will visit the Gear Up exhibit to learn about the science behind bikes and tricycles, as well as important safety tips. Afterward, they will have the opportunity to unleash their creativity and make a bike craft using recycled materials.

STUDIO 21 Sip & Paint

Join us once again at the Ella Sharp Museum for our STUDIO 21 Sip & Paint event, led by local artist Sharon Sunday. All supplies are included in your registration fee, along with one drink ticket so you can enjoy a glass of beer or wine while you paint. Additional beverages may be purchased at a cash bar.

Summer Night Sky

Join us at the Hurst as we transform the dome into the night sky! This is a live presentation where you will learn about some of the constellations that you can find in the Summer months as well as tips and tricks to get around the night sky.

Ice Dyeing Mandala Shawls: Tye Dye Workshop

Fabric Dyeing with ice is MAGIC! In this class we will learn how to fold & bind mandala designs into large cotton shawls, & dyeing is with an ice melt technique that creates an incredible watercolor wash of pigments.

Dyes being used are commercial grade synthetic dyes called procion MX fiber reactive dyes. The chemical bonds of these dyes are permanent, non-toxic, and safe against even sensitive skin.

Hot Air Jubilee 2023

Celebrate the Hot Air Jubilee at the Ella Sharp Museum with a variety of activities on the grounds and inside too. We’ll be open with special 3-9pm hours on Friday and Saturday for the Festival!

FREE Planetarium shows will be offered every 15 Minutes. Due to limited capacity, shows will be available on a first come, first served basis.

Admission to the galleries and Farmhouse Tours will be offered for a reduced price of $5 and can be purchased at the Front Desk of the Museum. Museum members and children under 5 are free.

Monotype Printing – Beginner/Intermediate Workshop

Join art instructor, Sharon Sunday, in learning and exploring the world of Monotype printing. Students will be exploring new techniques selected especially for beginners and intermediates. All supplies are included in your registration price.

Macrame Salt Hanger Workshop

Join local Jackson-area fiber artist, April Vilminot of Skeins of Valor, for a fun workshop where you get to create a Himalayan Salt Hanger. These have an open clip that allows you to hang them anywhere! All supplies are included with registration.

Toddler Tour: Hickory Dickory Dock

It’s never too early to start visiting museums! Join us for our monthly Toddler Tour program, each with their own fun theme. These programs last approx. 45 minutes and are designed for children ages 2-5.

Soft Pastels – Beginner/Intermediate Workshop

Join art instructor, Sharon Sunday, in learning and expanding to use soft pastels, exploring new techinques especially for beginners and intermediates. All supplies are included in your registration price.

Reverse Vat Dyeing: Tie Dye Workshop

In this workshop we will be folding and binding 4 black cotton bandanas to create discharged patterns in a heated vat of color remover. Throughout the course of this workshop students will be provided literature, lecture/conversation, and hands on learning! Sodium hydrosulfite is the active ingredient on Rit Color Remover, which is what we will be using to discharge the black out of the bandanas. Part of this class will be held outside for proper ventilation. PPE will be provided, feel free to bring your own mask if you want.

Macrame Plant Hanger Workshop

Join local Jackson-area fiber artist, April Vilminot of Skeins of Valor, for a fun workshop where you get to create a custom plant hanger with a pot included. All supplies are included with registration.

Gear Up: The Science of Bikes Exhibit Opening

Be sure to stop in and check out our newest exhibit, Gear Up: The Science of Bikes! K105.3 will join us for a live remote! And be sure to check out our FREE Make & Take Handlebar Decoration Workshop!

STUDIO 21 Sip & Paint

Join us at the Ella Sharp Museum for our returning STUDIO 21 Sip & Paint event, led by local artist Sharon Sunday. All supplies are included in your registration fee, along with one drink ticket so you can enjoy a glass of beer or wine while you paint. Additional beverages may be purchased at a cash bar.

Bring-Your-Own-Garments: Tie Dye Upcycle Workshop

Tie-dye is a way of creating patterns of color by folding, tying, stitching, crumpling or otherwise preparing the fabric to inhibit the flow of the dye into the folds of the fabric. The pattern of the folds and where the colors are squirted determines the final design. These ‘tying’ techniques come from the ancient Japanese practice called shibori. Shibori is what inspired the tie dye movement in the 60’s!

Art, Beer, & Wine Festival

Mark your calendars and join your friends (and make new ones!) at Ella Sharp Museum’s 18th annual Art, Beer & Wine Festival. A favorite community tradition, we’ll showcase many of Michigan’s best wineries, breweries, cider mills and artists. Guests also will enjoy a tasty line-up of food vendors and trucks along with live music throughout the grounds and in our historic Hillside Farm Lane courtyard for a perfect summer day.

Macrame Dip-Dye Earring Workshop

Join local Jackson-area fiber artist, April Vilminot of Skeins of Valor, for a fun workshop where you get to create two pairs of your own custom earrings. All supplies are included with registration. A cash bar will be available.

Explore the Night: Signs of Spring

Let’s explore and use our night senses! Join Ella Sharp Museum and the Dahlem Nature Center for a wonderful night under the stars! The nature walk, led by Dahlem Naturalist Educator, Carrie Benham, will explore how plants and animals are preparing for the warmer months ahead of us, share information about nocturnal animals and the senses they use, and share how we as humans can better develop our own senses and awareness during the night.

Jackson County Free Museum Day

Join us in participating in Jackson County Museum Day on May 13, 2023 from 10am-4pm. Visitors to Ella Sharp Museum can enjoy a jam-packed day of fun in the museum galleries, the historic farm lane buildings, a show in the Hurst Planetarium and even enjoy a Hillside Farmhouse tour.

Toddler Tour: A Farewell to Dinos

It’s never too early to start visiting museums! Join us for our monthly Toddler Tours that highlight our featured exhibits or Hurst Planetarium, with changing themes throughout the year. These programs last approx. 45 minutes and are designed for children ages 2-5.

Imagine the Moon

When was the last time you looked at the Moon? Not Just noticed it, but really looked at it? To most of us the Moon seems like an afterthought, a thing we might notice in passing and then not give a second glance. But the Moon’s place in our lives is so much more than just its physical presence in the sky. It is a constant companion in our collective imagination.

Spring Night Sky

Join us as we transform the dome into the Spring sky! We’ll cover tips and tricks for navigating the night sky! Everything in this live presentation can be seen just looking up—no telescope required!

Toddler Tour: Mice and the Moon

It’s never too early to start visiting museums! Join us for our monthly Toddler Tours that highlight our featured exhibits or Hurst Planetarium, with changing themes throughout the year. These programs last approx. 45 minutes and are designed for children ages 2-5.

Gift Shop Ribbon Cutting and Member Preview

Mark your calendars to join us on April 13, from 5-7pm for a private Member’s only gift shop preview. The Jackson Chamber will be on hand for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 5:30pm. Light refreshments and a cash bar will be available. Please RSVP by April 11, 3pm.

Bone Cleaning Demo Day

PaleoJoe will be at the museum facilitating dinosaur bone cleaning demonstrations for visitors as they view the Michigan Fossils & Ancient Creatures exhibit. You can stop and ask questions as he cleans, prepares and repairs real dinosaur bones that are over 65 MILLION YEARS OLD.

Spring Break Planetarium Shows: DinoSOARS

Did you know? Birds are living dinosaurs! Follow the story of Malkia, a museum paleontologist, as she explores fascinating connections between birds and dinosaurs. Join us as we dive into the theory that birds evolved from dinosaurs! Showing at 11:30am, 2:30pm and 4:00pm every day of Spring Break: March 27-31!

Sugaring & Shearing

Mark your calendars and join us as we get back out on Farm Lane to enjoy the wonders of Spring on the Farm! Sheep shearing demonstrations, sap to syrup demos at the Sugar Bush, arts & crafts, maple syrup pop-up shop and much more!

Women of Space

Without women’s contributions in the science field, we would have never made it to the Moon! What better time to celebrate their accomplishments than during Women’s History Month? Guest speaker Jesse Yaeger, Ella Sharp Museum’s Archivist, will talk about the importance of gender diversity in male dominated fields. A cash bar will be available with wine as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic signature space cocktails!

DinoSOARS

Did you know? Birds are living dinosaurs! Follow the story of Malkia, a museum paleontologist, as she explores fascinating connections between birds and dinosaurs. Join us as we dive into the theory that birds evolved from dinosaurs!

Toddler Tour: Paleo Pals

It’s never too early to start visiting museums! Join us for a monthly Toddler Tour that highlights either our featured exhibits or the Hurst Planetarium. Themes change every month. Join us for a Jurassic journey through our newest exhibit, DinoSafari! We will be taking a walk though time, alongside giant dinosaurs, digging for fossils, and learning all about our long extinct friends.

Space Tonight

Space Tonight is an informational mash up of big astronomy news, events, and education. Show content changes monthly, so be sure to check it out every month!

Stargazers of Africa

This show is a fantastical tell of the African night sky. When you think of astronomy, you might think of Orion the hunter or the story of Andromeda. However, did you know that other cultures have their own constellation and stories for the night sky? The night sky inspires us all and the different ways that we interpret it are fascinating.

Bone Cleaning Demo Days

PaleoJoe will be at the museum facilitating dinosaur bone cleaning demonstrations for visitors as they view the Michigan Fossils & Ancient Creatures exhibit. You can stop and ask questions as he cleans, prepares and repairs real dinosaur bones that are over 65 MILLION YEARS OLD.

Toddler Tour: Dinosaur Safari

It’s never too early to start visiting museums! Join us for our monthly Toddler Tours that highlights either our featured exhibits or the Hurst Planetarium, with changing themes throughout the year! Back by popular demand for another roaring good time, we will be touring through our newest exhibit, Dinosaur Safari! We will be going way back in time and walking alongside our giant dinosaur friends, exploring life on Earth before humans. Come join us for a morning of fun; playing games, digging up fossils, and playing pretend. This program is designed for children ages 2-5, and is approximately 45 minutes in duration.

Romance in the Stars

Romance. Forbidden Love. The world of science contains many stories burning with love and reckless abandon! Join the Hurst Planetarium for a one-of-a-kind Valentine’s Day experience, as we tour Earth, our galaxy, and beyond in search of romance in the stars.

Stargazers of Africa & Keeping Time with the Night Sky

This is an hour long event sponsored by Jackson College. The first half will be a presentation on how people used the night sky to keep time before calendars and clocks, while the second half will be a showing of Milwaukee Public Museum’s Stargazers of Africa. This is a first come first served event up to 50 people.

Did an Astroid Really Kill the Dinosaurs?

Multiple Showings in January

Did a space rock six miles wide slam into the Earth 66 million years ago and wipe out 75 percent of all living species at that time, including the dinosaurs? Explore the impacts and cosmic collisions across the Solar System in this dynamic new show. Include footage from the first iridium layer found in Gubbio, Italy.

Opening Reception

Join us for a private reception to welcome our brand-new Dinosaur Safari and Michigan Fossils & Ancient Creatures exhibitions! This is a special evening exclusively for our Members, Museum Donors, Sponsors and Educators! Cash bar will be available, light refreshments will be served.

Cosmic Christmas Light Show

Our annual holiday light show is here! This year we are picking things up a notch with our new light show with updated graphics and sound track produced by the Longway Planetarium. This is a must not miss event for anyone looking for some holiday fun!

Holiday House Tours

Celebrate the holidays during a historical tour of inside Ella Sharp’s Hillside Farmhouse decorated with traditional Victorian trimmings.

Holiday Santa-Bration

An Afternoon of Holiday Crafts, Cocktails and Santa Claus. Join us for an afternoon with Santa Claus! Santa will be here to meet and mingle with the kids! Kids can enjoy a holiday make & take craft! For a small add-on charge ($7), adults can partake in a Holiday Mixology Presentation at 11:30 & 1:30. Enjoy a holiday cocktail and leave with the recipe to impress your friends! Cookies and mulled cider for everyone!

Holiday Candlelight Tour

Celebrate the holidays and traditions during a historical candlelit tour of the Ella Sharp Museum’s grounds. The evening includes a tour of the decorated Hillside Farmhouse.

Pop-Up Ceramics Sale

Come visit our Pop-Up Ceramics Boutique! For a limited time, Ella Sharp Museum Ceramic students will be selling one-of-a-kind ceramic pieces right in the Museum Gift Shop.

Winter Night Sky Tour & Auroras

Ever look up at the night sky and think to yourself, “wow, I wonder what’s out there.” Join us at the Hurst planetarium as we transform the dome into the winter sky. We’ll cover tips and tricks for getting around the night sky and things to look for as well. Best part is you won’t even need a telescope! Everything in this presentation can be done simply by looking up!

Toddler Tour: Lars the Little Polar Bear

Explore the changing Arctic landscape with a curious little polar bear named Lars this winter! This show offers a charming story about the adventures of Lars and his friends and explores the habitats of their real-life counterparts in the Arctic. We’ll explore his Arctic home, meet new friends, and save some endangered whales – a perfect show to teach young children about nature, climate change, and a little astronomy. We will also have a hands-on craft specially designed for ages 2-5.

JCMHS Holiday Party

The Jackson County Michigan Historical Society and the Ella Sharp Museum invite you to their 2022 Holiday Party. Celebrate the season with an evening of special presentations, refreshments, awards and more!

Holiday Market

Make sure our Holiday Market is on your calendar! We’ve gathered an eclectic mix of makers and artists to showcase their talents and wares for some unique holiday shopping. Support local artists and be sure to join us at the Holiday Market to explore a curated market of unique Michigan made products.

Moons: Worlds of Mystery

Moons: Worlds of Mystery immerses you in the amazing diversity of moons and the important roles they play in shaping our solar system. In many ways moons can be more interesting than planets and just as different from one another. Some moons have water, some are volcanically active, and some even have great lakes of methane. Join us at the Hurst Planetarium as we learn about the vast topic of moons.

Imagine the Moon

The Moon has had impactful meaning throughout human history. Inspiring creativity and folktales alike. The Moon has also served a practical purpose in keeping of the seasons or telling farmers when to harvest, and still effects our lives today as it produces the tides of the ocean. Our Moon, Luna, is truly one of the most fascinating celestial objects in the night sky. Join us at the Hurst Planetarium for Imagine the Moon as we dive into the cultural and historical values of the Moon.

Eco-Art with Grant Maniér

Eco Art is an art genre that takes recycled materials and uses them to create recycled art. Featured Horizon artist Grant Maniér will be on hand to facilitate this Eco-Art Presentation, which helps to raise awareness of special artistic talents and environmental responsibility. The ticket price includes the presentation, art kit, and admission to the museum/galleries.

Horizon Exhibit Opening Reception

The Ella Sharp Museum is thrilled to be the premier location for this amazing new traveling exhibition from the Museum of Special Art, (MOSA). The Horizon Exhibition features an eclectic collection of realistic, modern and abstract works from 18 different artists from across the U.S., Spain, and Canada. This exhibition is one that will truly leave you inspired as our community celebrates the artistic gifts and talents of artists with disabilities. The Ella Sharp Museum is dedicated to embracing and sharing artwork from all people. This exhibition is an example of inclusivity of work from a variety of artists of all ages with various experiences and abilities. Beer, wine and Hors d’oeuvres will be served as you enjoy the very special exhibit.

Toddler Tour: How People Make Things

Join the Ella Sharp Museum as we dive into the amazing world of manufacturing to discover just how important the story of our manufacturers is to all of us. We will explore the factory floor, seeing how things are cut, molded, deformed, and assembled to create the every day objects we use today!

Ella’s Halloween Bash

Ella’s Halloween Bash is the perfect October event for all ages! We’re hosting a jam-packed day of trick-and-treat activities on the museum’s grounds and inside too. Admission includes all museum exhibits, the planetarium Ooky Spooky Light Show, tours of the Hillside Farmhouse as available, and more.

A Walk Through Jackson’s Past

Please join us for a guided tour through Jackson’s oldest cemetery, Mt. Evergreen Cemetery. You will hear about some of Jackson’s famous families and their stories including Ella Merriman Sharp, Austin Blair, William Sparks and some not as famous families such as Col. Christian Rath, Dr. Ira C. Backus and Lucy Thurman. This rich history will take us back to the first child born in Jackson that survived to adulthood, through the Civil War and the creation of the Cascades Falls. This is a physical walk on a dirt path, up and down hills. This program is intended for people ages 8 and above.

Ooky Spooky Light Show

Get ready for laser lights and musical pizzaz in the Hurst Planetarium! Enjoy 11 Halloween classics, including Ghost Busters, Monster Mash and Thriller, expertly choreographed with dancing lights and graphics across the dome. Great for ages 6 and older, it’s a best bet when it comes to Halloween fun in Jackson.

Volunteer Open House & Training

Regularly scheduled volunteer meetings are every fourth Wednesday of the month at 10:30 am and 5:30 pm.  Join us in our Community Room to learn more about upcoming exhibits, programs and special events coming to the Ella Sharp Museum. These informal meetings run for approximately 30-60 minutes. We’d love for interested friends and existing volunteers to be a part of the fun.

A Walk Through Jackson’s Past

Please join us for a guided tour through Jackson’s oldest cemetery, Mt. Evergreen Cemetery. You will hear about some of Jackson’s famous families and their stories including Ella Merriman Sharp, Austin Blair, William Sparks and some not as famous families such as Col. Christian Rath, Dr. Ira C. Backus and Lucy Thurman. This rich history will take us back to the first child born in Jackson that survived to adulthood, through the Civil War and the creation of the Cascades Falls. This is a physical walk on a dirt path, up and down hills. This program is intended for people ages 8 and above.

Toddler Tour: Small Wonders – Special Exhibit

Giant colorful bugs! Take your kiddos into you into a hidden world never seen with an educator-led guided tour. Part art, part science, this larger-than-life-exhibition will inspire your natural curiosity to understand the form, function, and diversity of nature. From bees to moths and beetles (oh my!), all ages appreciate this world in a whole new way.

Space Aliens: Looking for Life in the Universe

Is life out there? how would we know? What are the signs to look for? If you have ever wondered about life somewhere else in the universe, join us at the Hurst planetarium as we attempt to answer these questions.

Spooky Space: Cosmic Connections to Halloween

Would you like to meet the stars of Halloween? Monsters, zombies, ghosts and their far more terrible counterparts in space? Oh yes, space has its monsters: black holes, zombie stars, and spectacular ghostly nebulae!

Member, Teacher, & Donor Appreciation Night

Join us for a fun evening with our new exhibit How People Make Things, planetarium shows, refreshments and unique demonstrations.

Cemetery Tour Training

Learn how to give historic, guided tours through Jackson’s oldest cemetery, Mt. Evergreen Cemetery and be a Volunteer docent at the Ella Sharp Museum. We need your help to make our “Walk Through Jackson’s Past” Cemetery Tour the best Halloween event in Jackson. We’ll review scripts and you’ll learn how to present the city’s rich history for the guided Cemetery Tours on October 19.

Life: A Cosmic Story

A Cosmic Story tells the 14-billion-year saga of how we came to be. It’s a journey from the microscopic view inside a plant cell to the vastness of our universe populated by billions of galaxies swirling in space.

Patio Party

Musical guest The Detroit Social Club along with Bright Walls’ Board Member, Clay McAndrews, will energize August’s Patio Party scene with ‘Creative Change in the Community.’ A cash bar will be available and Sylvia’s Catering says, “Come hungry to this artistic happy hour.” Patio Parties are free for adult members and $10 per person for non-members. Cost: Free for members and kids 10 and under (with adult). Non-members – $10 per person. Limited capacity – RSVP required.

Volunteer Open House & Training

Regularly scheduled volunteer meetings are back every second and fourth Wednesday of the month at 10:30 am and 5:30 pm. Join us in our Community Room to learn more about upcoming exhibits, programs and special events coming to the Ella Sharp Museum. These informal meetings run for approximately 30-60 minutes. We’d love for interested friends and existing volunteers to be a part of the fun.

Ice Cream Social With Larger-than-life Bugs From Around The World

Mark your calendars to celebrate our newest special exhibit, Small Wonders: Insects in Focus, with an ice cream social and loads of bug-themed activities such as crafty antenna making, live and acrylic insect viewing (complete with hissing cockroaches), and more.

Dark: Understanding Dark Matter

How do you study something you cannot see? Join us in the Hurst Planetarium to explore Dark Matter, the invisible glue that holds the universe together. Using immersive simulations, calculated with the world’s fastest supercomputers along with a touch of humanity, we’ll bring you to the forefront of contemporary astronomy for this 80% missing piece of the Universe.

Toddler Tour: One World, One Sky

It’s never too early to start visiting museums! Join us for a monthly toddler tour that highlights either our featured exhibits or the Hurst Planetarium. Themes change every month. Back by popular demand, this month’s experience includes the planetarium show Sesame Street’s One World, One Sky and a hands-on craft specially designed for ages 2-5.The program is approximately 45 minutes in duration and is limited to 30 participants.

Summer Ceramics Classes

Experience the excitement of transforming clay into functional pieces and works of art. Create at your own pace, with fellow students, or utilize the class instructor for individualized education. Ceramic methods practiced will include: wheel throwing, hand-building, slab work, tool tech, glazing methods, firing knowledge and more.

Patio Party

With a focus on history and ‘Making a Difference,’ July’s Patio Party guests can meet our guest honor, Jackson’s Mayor Daniel Mahoney, while listening to the sounds of Larry Sumner Jr. and enjoying tacos and nacho salad from Shorties Sweet Eats & Treats Catering. A cash bar is also available. Cost: Free for members and kids 10 and under (with adult). Non-members – $10 per person. Limited capacity – RSVP required.

From Dream to Discovery: Inside NASA

When humans dare to dream, we create truly amazing things. Join us in the Hurst Planetarium for an exclusive look into NASA’s latest photos from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). See why NASA says images from the world’s largest and most powerful space telescope usher in ‘dawn of new era in astronomy’ and get your out-of-this-world questions answered by Ella Sharp Museum’s astrophysicist, Travis Marlow, in this special presentation.

Hot Air Jubilee

Celebrate the Hot Air Jubilee at the Ella Sharp Museum with a variety of activities around the grounds and in the museum. We’ll be open with special 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. hours on Friday and Saturday for the Festival. Themed activities include Hurst Planetarium shows every half hour, making hot air balloon replicas in Exploration Stations and traveling back through time with Hillside Farmhouse tours on the hour. Plus, guests can experience Ella Sharp Museum’s five galleries of changing art, science and history exhibits.

Public Planetarium Show: Destination Solar System

The year is 2096. Space tourism is booming, and you’ve signed up for a quick trip around the Solar System with Space Express Tours! Space Express Tours⁠, the first tour company in deep space⁠, offers a variety of adventures including its most popular trip, Destination Solar System. This out-of-this world jaunt takes place on board the fastest ship in the Space Express fleet and is the only vehicle equipped with Space Jump™ technology.

Toddler Tour: One World, One Sky

It’s never too early to start visiting museums – especially ones with planetariums! Bring your little ones to the Hurst Planetarium for an out-of-this-world Sesame Street adventure with Big Bird, Elmo and Elmo’s friend, Hu Hu Zhu, from China. Our Toddler Tours include an art project and snack too for an exciting young learner introduction!

Public Planetarium Show: From Earth to the Universe

The night sky, both beautiful and mysterious, has inspired awe and been the subject of campfire stories, and ancient myths for as long as there have been people. A desire to comprehend the Universe may well be humanity’s oldest shared intellectual experience. Yet only recently have we truly begun to grasp our place in the vast cosmos. To learn about this journey of celestial discovery, from the theories of the ancient Greek astronomers to today’s grandest telescopes, we invite you to experience From Earth to the Universe.

Art, Beer, & Wine Festival

THANK YOU for making our 17th Annual Art, Beer & Wine Festival presented by County National Bank a huge success. Together, we all make the UNITY in CommUNITY. Our Jackson, MI museum is grateful for:

  • Dedicated sponsors and supporters who believe in us – they are the backbone for making this tradition possible
  • Amazing Michigan beer, wine and art vendors – the Festival’s shining stars needed to celebrate year-after-year
  • Hundreds of volunteers who selflessly help with setup, takedown and drink pouring and more
  • Enticing eats from food trucks and savvy food vendors
  • Great music that kept the crowds energized to party and shop
  • Our guests enjoying the Festival and supporting the Ella Sharp Museum

Art Beer & Stein – Mug Making Workshop

Get ready for Jackson’s Art, Beer & Wine Festival by crafting a mug or stein of your own! Come explore your creativity with clay and remember your experience at Ella Sharp with a functional vessel that’s yours to keep. In this 1.5 hour workshop you will create a custom vessel using clay and various hand tools. One drink ticket is included in the price of this workshop.

The Science of Star Wars

From ice planets and ion cannons to binary star systems and bizarre beasts – “Star Wars” is packed with strange worlds and even stranger science. Anything is possible in a galaxy far, far away – but is the science of Star Wars possible in our universe? Join the Hurst Planetarium on May 4th at 6:00 PM as we explore the truth behind the science of Star Wars.

Jackson County Museum Day

Join us in participating in Jackson County Museum Day on May 7, 2022 from 10 am – 4 pm! Visitors to Ella Sharp Museum can enjoy the museum galleries, historic farm lane, a show in the Hurst Planetarium, enjoy a Hillside Farmhouse tour and freshly popped popcorn from our historic popcorn wagon, Popcorn Charlie. Planetarium shows and Farmhouse tours will be offered every hour on the hour.

Public Planetarium Show: Chasing the Ghost Particle

Deep in the ice at the heart of Antarctica, IceCube, the biggest and strangest detector in the world waits for mysterious messengers from the cosmos. In this 30-minute planetarium show, learn how scientists are using tiny and elusive particles called neutrinos to explore the most extreme places in the universe – from exploding stars to black holes!

Public Planetarium Show: Back to the Moon, For Good

In honor of Black History Month, join Ella Sharp Museum for a planetarium show celebrating African American contributions to space exploration, past and present. Then, enjoy our feature show, “Back to the Moon, for Good”. Learn the history of humanities previous visits to our lunar neighbor and experience current efforts to get back to the moon – this time, for good.

Toddler Tour: Clocks!

It’s never too early to start visiting museums! Join us for a toddler tour exploring our collection and gallery of clocks from all around the world!

Romance in the Stars

The world of science contains many stories of forbidden love and romance. Join the Hurst Planetarium for a one of a kind Valentine’s Day experience, as we tour Earth, our galaxy, and beyond in search of romantic tales.

Public Planetarium Show: Back to the Moon, For Good

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr Day, join Ella Sharp Museum for a FREE planetarium show celebrating African American contributions to space exploration, past and present. Then, enjoy our feature show, “Back to the Moon, for Good”. Learn the history of humanities previous visits to our lunar neighbor and experience current efforts to get back to the moon – this time, for good.

Winter Break Planetarium Shows: Let It Snow

Ella Sharp Museum and Hurst Planetarium are celebrating the holidays with daily showings of Let It Snow, an animated musical of Christmas and holiday songs for the whole family. Featured music from Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, the Trans Siberian Orchestra, and more! Open to all ages. Includes a night sky tour of the Jackson winter night sky.

Wings of Winter

Fly on over to Ella Sharp Museum this December for the return of the Michigan Avian Experience and their amazing birds. This drop-in program is the perfect opportunity to meet some of Michigan’s birds up close and personal.

Holiday Candlelight Tour

Celebrate the Holiday and traditions during a historical candlelit tour of the Ella Sharp Museum’s grounds. The evening includes a tour of the decorated Hillside Farmhouse.

Toddler Tours: Let it Snow in the Planetarium

It’s never too early to start visiting museums! Join us this holiday season for a showing of “Let It Snow” in the Hurst Planetarium. “Let it Snow” features classic Christmas songs set along 3d animations. This experience includes a hands-on craft and is specially designed for ages 2-5. The program is approximately 45 minutes in duration and is limited to approximately 30 participants.

Planetarium Show: The Sun, Our Living Star

As we head in to winter, let’s heat up with our stellar, the Sun! It is our nearest star and our planet’s powerhouse, the source of the energy that drives our winds, our weather and all life. The passage of the Sun’s fiery disc across the sky — day by day, month by month — was the only way to keep track of time for countless past civilizations. This show includes a live night sky tour of the Winter Jackson night sky.

Planetarium Show: Mayan Archaeoastronomy

In a feast of colours and sounds, Mayan Archaeoastronomy: Observers of the Universe makes a tour of 6 Mayan temples: San Gervasio, Chichen Itzá, Uxmal, Edzná, Palenque and Bonampak where the spectator dives into a Mayan world of knowledge about the importance of the orientations of its temples in relation to the movement of some stars like the Sun, the Moon and Venus. Includes a live tour of the Fall Jackson night sky.

Explore the Night: Night Hike & Guided Telescope Observing

Let’s explore and use our night senses! Join Ella Sharp Museum and the Dahlem Center for a wonderful night under the stars.

A Walk Through Jackson’s Past

Please join us for a guided tour through Jackson’s oldest cemetery, Mt. Evergreen Cemetery. You will hear about some of Jackson’s famous families and their stories including Ella Merriman Sharp, Austin Blair, William Sparks and  families such as Col. Christian Rath, Dr. Ira C. Backus and Lucy Thurman.

Toddler Tour: Wildlife

It’s never too early to start visiting museums! Andy Andrews has been fascinated with wildlife since a young age. Celebrate the 15th Anniversary exhibit by bringing the little ones for a tour of our “Andrews Gallery of Wildlife Art” and accompanying activities and art project. This experience is specially designed for ages 2-5. The program is approximately 45 minutes in duration and is limited to approximately 30 participants.

Astrophotography Basics Workshop

Have you every tried to take a picture of the Moon, but you keep getting a bright splotch? Are you interested in taking photos of the planets or the Milky Way galaxy? All of this is within your reach! We will familiarize beginners with observing the Michigan night sky, photographing the night sky with digital cameras, and working with both cameras and telescopes at night.

Planetarium Show: From Earth To the Universe

The night sky, both beautiful and mysterious, has inspired awe and been the subject of campfire stories, and ancient myths for as long as there have been people. A desire to comprehend the Universe may well be humanity’s oldest shared intellectual experience. Yet only recently have we truly begun to grasp our place in the vast cosmos. To learn about this journey of celestial discovery, from the theories of the ancient Greek astronomers to today’s grandest telescopes, we invite you to experience From Earth to the Universe.

Farm to Table

September 10 from 5-10pm

Ella Sharp Museum invites you to attend our first annual Farm to Table event. This evening will feature small plates from local farmers and businesses. We will honor Ella and John Sharp successful farm and our local farmers. Special features will include cheese, Ella Beer, local breads, meats and produce. Stroll up and down our historic Farm Lane and meet the people behind the food while hearing tales of the Sharp farm. In the event of inclement weather, this event will be held inside the Ella Sharp Museum. Presented by Lammers Heating & Air Conditioning.

Collections & Exhibits Volunteer Orientation

Interested in volunteering for the museum’s collections and exhibitions department? This orientation will introduce new and returning volunteers to opportunities to assist in a variety of “behind-the-scenes” roles at the Ella Sharp Museum.

The event will consist of a short presentation, hands-on training, and tours through behind-the-scenes work areas. No pre-registration necessary.

Annual Art, Beer, & Wine Festival

Join Ella Sharp Museum for the annual Art, Beer, & Wine Festival presented by County National Bank.

This year’s festival will feature Michigan wineries, breweries, cider mills, and artists. The museum will also host food vendors and live music on the grounds and within the courtyard of the museum’s historic Hillside Farm Lane.

Patio Parties

Live music, food, and beverages on Farm Lane. Come and celebrate the LAST Patio Party with us for only $5/person. We appreciate reservations, so we ensure we have enough food for everyone. FREE for Sustainer Museum Members & above.

Toddler Tour: Planetarium

It’s never too early to start bringing your future astronaut to planetariums! Inspired by the Apollo Missions, this tour is all about the moon! This experience is specially designed for ages 2-5. The program is approximately 45 minutes in duration and capacity is limited.

Wildlife Wednesdays

Join Ella Sharp Museum and Michigan Avian Experience as we explore birds native to our region. Utilizing live birds and pieces from our collection of wildlife art, visitors will have an opportunity for a personal encounter with a different species of bird each week.

Tour of the Universe

Our Universe contains mind-boggling amounts of space and matter! Everything you see in the night sky has a place in space. This program takes you on a journey through thousands of stars and galaxies, where you’ll see some of the oldest light in the Universe. Includes a night sky tour.

Toddler Tour: Wildlife

It’s never too early to start visiting museums! Andy Andrews has been fascinated with wildlife since a young age. Celebrate the 15th Anniversary exhibit by bringing the little ones for a tour of our “Andrews Gallery of Wildlife Art” and accompanying activities and art project.