January 24, 2015
Kiwanis Funds Children's Room

The Kiwanis Club of Danville Foundation recently awarded a grant to the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History to transform the old gift shop into a children’s room for art and history education. The motto of Kiwanis is “We Build”. The Kiwanis Club of Danville Foundation utilizes this motto when selecting organizations that are requesting funding grants for capital projects. Projects selected usually involve children and youth activities. The 2014 Kiwanis Foundation award to the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History is an example of such a project. This grant is for the structural renovation of a space for interactive activities involving cultural arts and history specifically for younger children.

 “We should all applaud the effort by our educators to increase the emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and math however they make a terrible mistake if they do not temper this curriculum with additional programs dedicated to cultural arts and history,” stated Glenn Giles, President of the Kiwanis Club of Danville Foundation. “For this reason, it is so encouraging that museums and public libraries are becoming more active in promoting programs related to art and history.”

 The “See & Do” room will be designed to accommodate youth programs year-round, such as the current ArtSmart preschool classes. The room will also be open to families to give hands-on cultural experiences when not in use for classes. Changes will include installing hard-surface flooring, cabinets, a kitchenette, and wall surfaces for displays. Children visiting will have period costumes for imaginary play, art activities that relate to current museum exhibits and elements of art, and games about local history. The room will be staffed with an educator and volunteers.

 “Most museums now have spaces specifically to engage children,” Danville Museum Executive Cara Burton explained, “and this was something we were lacking and which parents have asked me to provide. By experiencing the museum through their own eyes and hands, children will be more attentive to our museum exhibits. We want more families to visit, to take our classes, and to become museum members. With this grant, we can provide a facility to accomplish this.” Once scheduled gallery exhibits are completed in late May, the museum will be ready to begin construction.

 Museum members can visit the Danville Museum for free all year long. Admission is free to residents of the City of Danville and Pittsylvania and Caswell Counties on the first full weekend of each month. To join or learn more about the museum’s programs and exhibits, visit online at www.danvillemuseum.org or call (434) 793-5644.