National The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Interactive Exhibition Visits Lakeshore

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Holland Museum welcomes Dorothy and Friends

Dorothy and Toto

This exhibition is especially exciting as it cultivates the idea of hands-on-learning that the Museum encourages for its programs and exhibits.

Follow the yellow brick road to Holland Museum and step into the pages of a new 1,500-square-foot interactive exhibition opening in the Holland Museum Armory building on September 27 that will run through January 3 featuring the book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” with artwork by W.W. Denslow. Perfect for children between two and 12 years of age, visitors will feel like they’re walking through a storybook as they learn about science, art and history against the backdrop of the first American fairy tale.

“We're thrilled to host an exhibition with such deep roots in the city of Holland and the educational field,” said Chris Shires, Holland Museum executive director. “This exhibition is especially exciting as it cultivates the idea of hands-on learning that the Museum encourages for its programs and exhibits. Being able to step into the 'Wonderful Wizard of Oz' book will allow children to both imagine and learn at the same time.”

The publication of L. Frank Baum’s book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” in 1900 caused a national sensation that led to 13 sequels over the next 20 years, many of which were written by Baum at his cottage, “The Sign of the Goose,” located in Holland’s Macatawa Park. Baum first visited Macatawa Park in 1899 in the middle of writing “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," and the city thus takes much pride in the story and Baum’s connection to the community.

While the timeless tale has been brought to life in many forms, this new colorful traveling exhibition acts as a larger-than-life pop-up book that will dazzle the eyes, stimulate the mind, and instill a love of reading and storytelling. The adventure begins on a farm featuring Dorothy’s house. Using dress-up and role-playing, children will discover life on a farm in 1900 while interacting with learning activities such as: collecting and counting eggs; tending and harvesting corn; and assembling a puzzle of farm animals and their sounds. A peek around the next corner will pull guests into an encounter with tornadoes where the science of a vortex comes alive -- see the force of a storm as it surges from F1 to F5, spin a top in Tornado Alley and witness a storm’s destructive force as it powers through the farm.

Next, participants will be blown through to the Land of Munchkins with its message of tolerance for all people where they can play dress-up with Munchkin clothes in a Munchkin house. Hand puppets in the Land of Oz Puppet Theater help children embrace differences among people as they meet those who live in this fantastic land -- Winkies, China People, armless Hammer-Heads and more. Kindness prevails in the next passage as guests meet the Tin Woodman and learn about the heart with beating, beeping and flashing machines. “Feel the Beat” and “What’s Your Pulse” give children a chance to feel for themselves how activity affects heart rate while helping pump blood through the heart ti see what happens to the color of blood when it has oxygen.

Moving onward, help put the scarecrow together and let him know that everybody is smart in his or her own way. Guests can prove this while helping him solve the brainteaser games and puzzles. “Pick Your Brain” gives visitors a chance to touch the brain of different animals found in the Land of Oz and figure out which brain corresponds with which animal. Venturing into the forest, the Lion will help participants find their courage as they crawl through a dark cave. Try to spot all the hidden animals along the trek through the forest camouflage! Team up with other hands and help solve the task of building the “road of yellow brick” to Emerald City where the stage awaits the next entertainer. Don’t forget to look through the special Oz spectacles that let guests see the city in its entire green splendor.

The Wicked Witch of the West will also make an appearance during the journey through Oz. Guests can help finish building her castle and see what it’s like to be a Winged Monkey. Seek refuge with Glinda, the Good Witch of the South, in her cozy reading nook to catch a breath, relax, click the heels of the huge silver shoes, and dream away as the time-honored story of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" is finished.

The integrated learning in the exhibit incorporates storytelling with art, science, math and history stimulating learning through creativity, play, and exploration. The character building exhibit asks children and their accompanying adults to ponder and discuss questions. In addition, there is a full complement of educational programs that celebrate the integrated learning across the curriculum both for the public and schools.

In addition to this exhibition, Holland Museum will also be hosting an exhibition in the Focus Gallery from October 10 to January 3 called Inspiring Oz: Macatawa Park at the Turn of the Century, which will feature archival images of what Lake Macatawa, then known as Black Lake, looked like when L. Frank Baum visited Holland and drew inspiration from his book.

The exhibition was produced and developed by Great Explorations Children’s Museum of St. Petersburg, Florida; designed and fabricated by Bruce Barry’s Wacky World Studios of Oldsmar, Florida; with a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. It has also been endorsed by the International Wizard of Oz Club and The L. Frank Baum Family Trust, produced with assistance from scholars, collectors and enthusiasts who advised on its development.

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About Holland Museum: The Holland Museum is the catalyst for a dynamic interaction of the past and present that enriches the greater Holland area. By collecting, preserving and communicating what has been, the museum focuses the power of the past to shape the future. Its educational facilities and collections are representative of a diverse heritage and are accessible to all.

About Great Explorations Children’s Museum: Great Explorations Children’s Museum is located in in St. Petersburg, Florida and was founded in 1986 by the Junior League of St. Petersburg and Hands-On! Inc. They pride themselves on providing quality children’s experiences for families in the Tampa Bay community and innovative ways for children to learn.

About Bruce Barry’s Wacky World Studios: Bruce Barry’s Wacky World Studios is located near Tampa, Florida and is a full service theming and design studio for more than 30 years. With a team of more than 30, the studio is able to focus on artistic thematic design, unmatched quality, workmanship and attention to detail in order to unique meet client’s diverse needs.

About Institute of Museum and Library Services: The mission of IMLS is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning and cultural and civic engagement. They provide leadership through research, policy development and grant making. They have many partnerships and national initiatives.

About International Wizard of Oz Club: The International Wizard of Oz Club was founded in 1957 to bring together all those interested in Oz, its authors and illustrators, film and state adaptions, toys and games, and associated memorabilia. Today it has members of all ages throughout the world. It is a nonprofit educational organization.

About L. Frank Baum Family Trust: The L. Frank Baum Family Trust was established to manage the legal and commercial rights to the Oz works. The trust remains active even with the books passing out of copyright in the later twentieth century.

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