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WITH THE KIDS

Kidseum ready to open again

March 29, 2007|Brenda Rees

Art, culture and imagination are back on tap at the Bowers Kidseum with the grand reopening this Sunday of the Santa Ana facility after being closed for seven months of renovations.

The 12-year-old learning center, two blocks from the main Bowers Museum, now has new areas as well as some old favorites. The weekend celebration will feature an interactive musical experience with Martin Espino, who performs traditional and indigenous music of the Americas (which the artist refers to as "pre-Hispanic" music), and an "underwater" adventure (without getting wet) with noted explorer Jeff Bozanic.

Holdover exhibits include an extensive dress-up area, a wide assortment of playable cultural musical instruments and an art workshop area. On Sunday, kids will be able to create art that includes a Maya mask, Thai hanging owl or spring butterfly.

The remodeled museum also has a new mission: to reach a much younger crowd. "Our focus now is on kids ages 3 to 9," says Sarah Chilberg, an early-childhood educator and Kidseum manager.

Chilberg explains that since "our main museum now offers more programs and tours for the older child, we really wanted to reach out to younger children and offer them an art and museum experience.

"We want kids to come here, feel comfortable and play," she says. "We want them to start to have a deeper understanding of art, history and international culture. We want them to enjoy themselves and learn just a little something about the world around them."

-- Brenda Rees

Bowers Kidseum reopening, 1802 N. Main St., Santa Ana. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. (Regular hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.) $5. (714) 480-1520; www.bowers.org/kidseum/kidseum.asp.

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