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Children's Museum and TAM partnering

Children's Museum of Tacoma and Tacoma Art Museum offers exciting activities for children and families

Children painting in Becka’s Studio at Children’s Museum of Tacoma. Photo courtesy Children's Museum of Tacoma

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Children and families in Tacoma and the South Sound region can now gain free access to Tacoma Art Museum thanks to a new partnership program between TAM and Children's Museum of Tacoma.

Young children and their families will be introduced to works of art and different creative processes through hands-on activities in Becka's Studio at CMT. The activities are based on specific exhibitions on display at TAM. Participating families get a free family pass good for up to a year to visit TAM and experience these works of art in person. They can check out a Family Explorer Pack that will engage the whole family in the galleries. The two museums are a short walk from each other, less than a block apart on Pacific Avenue.

The first TAM exhibition to be highlighted in the collaborative program is "The Beauty of a Shared Passion: Highlights from the Rebecca and Jack Benaroya Collection." This show includes 60 works in sculpture, paintings, and studio art glass by Northwest and world-renowned artists.

Visitors to Becka's Studio can create driftwood sculptures, investigate the movement of line through Sumi painting, tell stories through art, and more. In Becka's Studio, parents can learn to connect with their children through art while supporting innovation and creativity with common materials.

Spokespersons for the museum say CMT "fosters creativity, imagination, and allows children to be children while giving parents the option to relax or interact."

To ensure that parents and caregivers feel comfortable and confident visiting a fine art museum with young children, TAM created three new Family Explorer Packs designed to guide families through fun, easy, and age-appropriate activities. Families can check out one or more packs based on materials found in the exhibition. There is a Glass Pack, a Brushes and Paper Pack and a Bronze Pack. Each pack provides tips for looking at two works of art to find details, offers touchable materials to explore, and includes a related picture book to read together. Families are invited to explore at their own pace, and the packs are designed to be completed in 15 to 30 minutes, so as not to overwhelm new visitors.

"An art museum can seem like a daunting place to parents of little ones, but Tacoma Art Museum wants to connect people of all ages through art. We've worked with Children's Museum of Tacoma to develop a program that provides a fun, easy, and relevant experience to inspire even the youngest learners. We think families are going to get a lot of out of this new partnership, and we're excited to be able to introduce kids to the art museum at a young age," said Samantha Kelly, director of education and community engagement at TAM.

Children's Museum of Tacoma, 1501 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, PlayTacoma.org

Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, TacomaArtMuseum.org, info@TacomaArtMuseum.org

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