At the Cooperstown Graduate program, “theoretical” projects are not an option. For example, in the fall semester’s Applied Education class, myself and three other students were given the task of creating, marketing, organizing, and managing a public program at the Fenimore Art Museum. This year’s Night At Our Museum theme was Foodways and explored rural food production through theatre, song, and dance. The total event included a mystery theatre show, story time, children’s music, and community sponsored crafts and activities.
This year’s Who-Dunnit museum theatre event featured an all new script, written by my fellow classmates Abbie and Becca, allowed visitors to help solve the “mystery” of a “stolen” artifact from the Fenimore! Families met curious characters who spanned 300 years of history, and saw folks from some of the museum’s paintings “come alive” to help find the missing artifact. In total, more than 20 CGP students participated as actors, musicians, educators, and volunteers! Check out the photo highlights from the night:
CGP students brought over objects from the teaching collection and crowd-sourced the audience to help discover what different artifacts were; this hands on activity was a big hit with children and adults!
Families waited to start the “mystery tour” to find out who stole the missing artifact. Two tour times were scheduled on each hour in order to allow for small groups and more intimate encounters
Characters from the art pieces spanned the centuries and were a wonderful addition to the night. Children followed them around and questioned their motives to help our “detectives” solve the mystery of the stolen mustard dish!
Community collaborators, such as the Smithy Center for the Arts and Friends of Glimmerglass State park, provided activities for families throughout the evening
Will & Will, a local children’s music group, performed numbers such as a cover of the Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour!
The cast of the “mystery” and the event coordinators! Have you ever seen Santa, a 50’s diner waitress, and James Fenimore Cooper’s butler all in one picture before?! What a great collaborative success!