Public Relations Boot Camp
PR BOOT CAMP
Saturday, April 27, 2013
9 am - 2 pm
5240 Knowledge Parkway
Erie, PA 16510
By phone: (814) 454-8800
Or by email: TNP@thenonprofitpartnership.org
ECGRA Grant Money Works at expERIEnce™ Children's Museum
By Matthew Guerriero
With dynamic leadership from Executive Director Tami Netkowicz and more than $56,000 in funding from ECGRA, Erie County Lead Asset expERIEnce Children's Museum is boosting the museum's culture of education and positively impacting the thousands of visitors that reap benefits from the museum annually.
Shortly after Executive Director Tami Netkowicz took the helm of the expERIEnce Children's Museum two and a half years ago, she and her staff developed a strategy to enhance the education program, making it more valuable to everyday visitors. ECGRA grant money was put to work for that reassessment and to bring about the change the plan required.
"We took steps and invested the time and money necessary to ground our educational program in principles of child development," Netkowicz stated. "We blend learning opportunities in culture, art, science and, of course, fun."
As a result, a variety of new classes and programming events are now offered, including A Princess expERIEnce, which sweeps little girls into a world of make-believe through song, creative movement, and interactions with local "grown-up" royalty. Also new is A Pirate expERIEnce, expERIEnce Fire Trucks, and expERIEnce Trains where an actual steam locomotive is parked outside of the museum for children to climb aboard and explore. All of the events are packed with unique educational, social, and cultural experiences found only at the expERIEnce Children's Museum.
Also as part of its revamped education program, kids mural painting classes will soon be offered in conjunction with a new mural featured at the museum. After 140 hours of planning, preparing, and painting, local artist Ehren Knapp completed the first phase of the 750-square-foot project in June 2012. From the lower level to the second floor, the mural depicts underwater, sea level, and mountaintop views and offers educational components at each level. Signs on all three floors detail the variety of artistic techniques used.
Knapp said, "I wanted to create something visually entertaining and something that had some kind of educational piece to it. A lot of time went into this project and I am extremely happy with how it turned out."
In collaboration with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and ArtsErie, ECGRA grant money provided painting supplies to Knapp and covered other artistic fees and employment services.
Look for phase two of the mural. Netkowicz and Knapp are now in the planning stages and intend to extend the mural across all of the walls in the museum staircase.