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Kids invited to museum to make their own memories

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Parents, grandparents and caregivers are invited to gather up the kids and bring them to Kauffman Museum for a special “Third Thursday” activity.

The museum on the Bethel College campus is open late March 16, including the current special exhibit, “Memory Matters: Works by Gesine Janzen” and its “Kids Make Memories” activity center.

Admission is free that evening, with the children’s activity from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

“Drawing on the current theme of our 2016'17 special exhibit, the ‘Kids Make Memories’ project provides templates and materials for children to construct their own mixed-media memory installations, using the model provided by Gesine Janzen’s works,” said Kauffman Museum Director Annette LeZotte.

In the exhibit “Memory Matters,” Janzen’s installations juxtapose reproductions of old family photos and letters with vintage textile fragments and contemporary prints to “create a visual dialogue between the past and the present and to explore the interconnectedness yet independence of time and memory.”

Children can choose from seven different projects in “Kids Make Memories”: Discussion Questions; Creating Silhouettes; Mastering Handwriting; Writing a Letter; Diagramming a Family Tree; Creating a Colorful Self-Portrait; and a take-home activity, Formulating a Memorable Story.

There is also a social media component whereby children’s installations can be posted online in a virtual art gallery.

On March 16, there will be design templates, colorful silhouettes, cursive writing samples and special papers to assist children in assembling their own installation. Prompt cards with questions will help encourage children and families to explore “Memory Matters” and talk about their own family memories.

In addition to the March 16 special evening, the self-guided “Kids Make Memories” activities are available during the museum’s regular business hours (Tues.-Fri., 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun., 1:30-4:30 p.m.; the museum is closed Mondays and major holidays).

“Kids Make Memories” will be available for the remainder of the special exhibit display, through May 28, 2017. Those who complete all seven activities can earn a special “Memory Makers” certificate to document their accomplishment.

Kauffman Museum is grateful to the Kansas Museums Association for an Institutional Project Grant to help fund “Kids Make Memories.”

Admission is free on Third Thursdays. At other times, admission to “Memory Matters: Works by Gesine Janzen” as well as the permanent exhibits “Of Land and People,” “Mirror of the Martyrs” and “Mennonite Immigrant Furniture” is $4 for adults, $2 for children ages 6-16, and free to Kauffman Museum members and children under 6. For more information, call the museum at 316-283-1612 or visit its website,, or Facebook page.

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.