The Scott Family Amazeum's Adult Night on Feb. 2 was a perfectly timed escape/release for many of us who had been snowed and iced in for several days. The sold-out event afforded adults "a night off from adulting to play and explore the arts and sciences with drinks, light bites, and hands-on activities," organizers say.
The first Adult Night since the pandemic saw a crowd of some 300 who had the opportunity to create screen-printed tote bags, making them unique by choosing their own colors and patterns; manufacture a pewter "Zing" (the museum's signature lightning bolt) by pouring molten metal into a mold, then allowing it to cool and set up; build wearable fashions with LED lights in the "bling bar"; and watch their creations hover and float in the "In the Making" exhibition's wind tubes.
Organizers tell me future Adult Nights and adult programming will also focus on interactive experiences, centered around Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) learning.
While the Amazeum is known as a children's museum, "less known is educational programming for all ages -- amaZing for all ages," according to a news release. "Upcoming adult programming includes a screen-printing workshop March 2, where registrants can get inky with Amazeum teammates and gain in-depth knowledge of the screen printing process. On May 4, learners can participate in an applied soldering workshop. Try your hand at binding metal and learn the skills to create your very own soldering wearable. With step-by-step guidance and support from Amazeum team members, no previous experience is necessary."
Save the date for the museum's UnGala benefit, set for April 21 at the museum. "Proceeds from the UnGala support access to Amazeum programs, and activities, as well as making it possible for one in five guests to experience the museum for free or at a reduced cost."
Suggested attire for the UnGala -- play clothes -- gives insight into the way it differs from "regular" galas. Guests take part in interactive experiences inside and outside the museum. "Want to finger paint in a black light room? To use your legs to provide kinetic energy to power a glowing, moving art exhibit? It's all possible at the UnGala." Past events have included "Life Size Mousetrap" by Mark Perez, and "Hand of Man," a 25-ton, 26-foot long, hydraulic-powered hand and forearm interactive installation by Christian Ristown.
Located at the intersection of J Street and Museum Way in Bentonville, the Amazeum experiences include a climbable tree canopy, indoor cave, the 3M Tinkering Hub, Hershey's Lab, Nickelodeon PlayLab, the Market sponsored by Walmart, and nearly one acre of outdoor space.
For more event photos -- nwadg.com/photos/society.
Columnist Carin Schoppmeyer can be reached by email at [email protected]
At a Glance
Who: Scott Family Amazeum
What: Guests afforded adults “a night off from adulting to play and explore” at the children’s museum.
When: Feb. 2
Where: The museum in Bentonville
Next: UnGala, April 21
Information: (479) 696-9280 or amazum.org