Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Tibetan Way!

The Virginia Discovery Museum is proud to announce it's next Exhibit, The Tibetan Way!


Exhibit runs September 25th, 2010 - March 27, 2011.

A mysterious land in the Himalayas, Tibet is known as the country that sits "on top of the world". Explore the unique culture and traditions created by people who thrive in this extraordinary landscape of mountains and valleys. Visit a nomads tent. Learn the many uses of yaks in the highlands. Try blanket weaving or trade goods in the bustling market. Listen to Tibetan music while you dress in traditional garb for the Losar Festival, celebrating the Tibetan lunar New Year. Explore the Buddhist altars where all Tibetans worship. This exhibit will open your eyes to a fascinating world that remains one of the most inaccessible and intriguing places in Asia today.

Sponsored by SNL Financial

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Peppy Linden, Longtime Virginia Discovery Museum Executive Director, Announces Retirement Plans

Peppy Linden, who over a 20-year period has grown the Virginia Discovery Museum from infancy into a Downtown Mall landmark and education destination for thousands of area children and families, has announced plans to retire in 2011.

Linden announced her plans today to the Virginia Discovery Museum Board of Directors and Museum staff.

“I have loved this place for so long, and I have loved the people who have come through our doors over the past 20 years, especially the children,” said Linden. “I am proud of the positive impact we have had on early childhood education in our community, and how we have brought children and families closer together.

“When we started, we were in a house on Ackley Lane near the Gordon Avenue Library. When the Mall building came our way, we had 30 days to get it ready and move in, and we pulled it off and just grew from there.

“I am so grateful for the staff and volunteers over the years who have put in the countless hours, who have helped children find their way, who have pointed parents to the bathroom, who have built the exhibits and manned the front door. Thousands of donors have invested in us and their support has had a tremendous impact on the lives of young people in our area.”

Since relocating to the Downtown Mall in 1990, the Virginia Discovery Museum has welcomed over 885,000 visitors and become an anchor and economic driver for the Mall’s East End. Community outreach programs and summer camps have become a mainstay.

The Discovery Museum is known in museum circles for its rotating exhibitions, a rarity among children’s museums, and daily programming. Recent original exhibitions featured in the Back Gallery have included Freedom of Expression, a partnership with the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, and Illumination Station: Light, Lasers, Lenses. The Virginia Discovery Museum was the only children’s museum in Virginia to host the Smithsonian Institution’s New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music installation.

“The Virginia Discovery Museum is ‘the house that Peppy built,’ and her impact on the community has been nothing short of amazing,” said Elizabeth Chew, Museum Board Chair. “She has worked tirelessly to engage and teach young minds. But I also know some of her most rewarding moments have come when parents have thanked her for what they have learned from their own children.”

The Museum's Board of Directors is assembling a search committee to begin a national search for a new executive director who will build on Linden’s success. The Board is currently conducting a strategic planning process that will guide the future direction of the Museum, and the next executive director will oversee execution of the new strategic plan.

“Peppy has gotten us to the point where we can think about our future in new and exciting ways,” added Chew. “The Virginia Discovery Museum is a Charlottesville treasure and popular destination, but we have ambitious plans for the future. We owe it to Peppy and her legacy to think of how we can serve more children and families, and serve them even better than we have over the past 20 years.”

Friday, September 3, 2010

Exciting New Fall Programs at the Virginia Discovery Museum!

Does your child want to create some art, explore the wonders of science, exercise your body, learn a new language, or act out your favorite character? Sign them up for one of the many weekly fall programs at the Virginia Discovery Museum. Check out our website to view the times and dates of all of these exciting programs.

Starting next week, the museum brings back seasonal favorite drop-in programs such as StoryTime Tuesdays and Magic School Bus Science Club (on Thursdays) to join Toddler Time, which is now on Wednesdays. These programs require no registration and feature a new project each week for the kids – hearing exciting stories, creating art, and exploring the depths of science and nature.

Along with these drop-in programs, the Virginia Discovery Museum is hosting several pre-registration programs in partnership with local organizations. One such program is Speak! Language Class. After the success of the language classes over the summer, Speak! Language Center presents European Vacations, in which they explore the languages and cultures of Italy, France, and Spain. Each session includes an interactive language lesson (songs, stories, and games) and an introduction to the culture of each country. Children can Flamenco dance in Spain, discover the artistic wonders of the Louvre in Paris, and order a rainbow of gelato flavors in Italy! The Speak! Language Classes will be on Wednesdays at 3:30-4:45 and welcome kids ages 5-10. The class is only $150 for members and $180 for non-members. Sign up today!

Another summer program that is now featured in the fall season is Hollywood Theatre Lab, which also requires pre-registration. Lana Young returns with a 12-week session that will teach children how to perform while exploring their imagination in a safe and fun environment. Fun and focused exercises teach children how to listen to their scene partners and build communication skills. They will learn basic stage technique, how to break down scripts, and how to find their objective as the character. The goal – teaching life skills through acting – is to build self confidence while showing children how to find truth in a character. The Hollywood Theatre Lab classes, only $210 for members and $240 for non-members, take place on Friday afternoons at 3:30-4:45 and accept children ages 6-10.

One brand new program is YogaDoodle, which is free to members. Taught by Guest Instructor, Lynn Campbell, this program features a fusion of traditional yoga postures and creative expression. Children learn postures to help experience their physical sense while exploring sight, sound, and stillness with their peers. This new program of only four sessions, starts on Tuesdays at 3:30 and includes kids ages 5-9.

Register for these programs soon as space is limited and don’t forget about Date Nights on Friday nights from 5:30-8:00. Enjoy a night on the town while your kids revel in an evening of activities, dinner, and lots of free time to play in the museum.

The fall season aims to be a busy one for the Virginia Discovery Museum, but we hope it will also be a success. We are eager to see the kids participate in the weekly programs and we welcome any feedback from our visitors. Please contact us anytime for information and questions. We wish everyone a happy fall and hope to see you for the programs. Stay tuned for updates on the new exhibit, The Tibetan Way and our Halloween Party!