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Museum to invite kids to come and play

December 21, 2010

Museum to invite kids to come and play

By American Indian News Service

NOTE: The National Museum of the American Indian is a Tanka retail partner and offers Tanka products in all of its gift shops and cafes.

Washington, D.C. -- A third-floor gallery in the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian is being renovated into an interactive children's exhibition space.

"We want it to be a place where anyone can feel comfortable exploring," said Amy Van Allen, the museum's outreach manager in community and constituent services.

The 5,700-square-foot gallery is unique in the museum for having windows that look out on the National Mall and the U.S. Capitol. Many Native leaders gathered in the space two years ago to watch the inauguration of President Obama. The creation of the new gallery for children will be welcomed like a birth, which children will be invited to celebrate in a gala upon its arrival around Mother's Day, May 8, 2011, and at annual birthday events in the years to come.

Themes will include art, music and homes, which vary among tribes and their geographies. Some models will be large enough for children to enter. A giant basket will allow visitors to experience weaving long strips of colored fabric through and around. A music room will give visitors the chance to play Native instruments, including drums and rattles.

A special space in the gallery will be built for Native storytellers and their listeners.

Van Allen said the space will host special programs and games such as quiz shows that children will enjoy. The focus will be on activities that families with children can do on their own. It will also be a must-see for the 40,000 children who come to the museum on school tours each year.

For more information: National Museum of the American Indian

Posted with permission from the National Museum of the American Indian.

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