Thursday, November 5, 2009

Night at Our Museum: Rock Out!

By: John Buchinger, Associate Director of EducationThis week Fenimore Art Museum will be debuting a new program called Night at Our Museum from 7-10 pm. This new program will open our doors for a little after-hours fun for families and kids of all ages in the galleries of the museum. The night will feature family music artist and all around rocker Uncle Rock, who will do two sets during the evening. I was fortunate to find out about UR from a friend who had hired him for a party. She let me borrow some CDs, which I quickly tested on my four- and six-year-olds. They whole-heartedly approved. When from the speakers Uncle Rock yells “Are you Ready?!” Both girls in unison screamed “YEEEEAHHHHH! “ Rock plays off of classic rock sensibilities and merges them with kid and family friendly topics. He covers hard hitting issues like children pretending to be asleep in Playin’ Possum, and lost foot coverings in Shoe Bandit. My favorite is a montage of super hero songs which features several classics such as the Spiderman and Batman themes, and he throws in some contemporary examples such as REM’s I am Superman.

I was surprised at the infectious rootsy sounds that had me singing along. My favorite is Picnic in the Grave Yard. This is about a celebration of El Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. Rock sings “We’ll sit in the grass with people from the past and we will not be afraid.” His appeal to parents is strong as he hits topics important to families such as remembering loved ones, and offers us a chance to explore themes with our kids in a different way.

The evening isn’t all rock. Our paintings come to life as our “security guard” takes you on a tour where you will meet the people in the paintings, and characters or artists associated with the work. Some of our featured characters include artist Thomas Cole who will share with us his views on painting, and a Russian explorer will tell us about his meeting with Aleutian peoples in the Thaw gallery.

Local arts groups and businesses who support families and family related programming will be also be on hand to preview some of their holiday wares and provide crafts and activities to visitors.

This is a great chance to expose your family to the rich offerings that are always present at The Fenimore Art Museum, but also the larger community that is rich with cultural groups serving families and their children.

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