SPRINGFIELD (MA)—The Springfield Museums present Magic Makers and Storytellers, School Vacation Week, February 21-25! Daily performances by hilarious sleight-of-hand artist Scotty Swan ensure that magic—and FUN—is in the air at the Springfield Museums!
But as they say, “Wait! Wait! There’s more!”
Writer, cartoonist, and filmmaker Joe Young will share his creative wisdom during a workshop Monday, February 21. Okra Dance Company will perform—and hold a workshop for members only, February 22 and 23. And the week will culminate with a book fair, February 25, in partnership with Olive Tree Books-n-Voices: the only Black, woman-owned bookstore in the region.
“We are so excited to offer this magical week that celebrates imagination and ingenuity,” said Larissa Murray, Director of Education. “We are especially excited to spotlight Black inventors, story tellers, and authors during Black History Month.”
This family friendly, interactive week includes daily hands-on activities that engage the mind and body. All activities are free with museum admission.
Magician Scotty Swan, 11 am & 1 pm
Kids and parents alike get ready to enter Urban Wizards Academy! With his unique blend of comedy, magic, pop culture references, silly puppets, amazing close-up illusions and hysterical audience participation, Scotty Swan keeps his audiences laughing non-stop.
Black Inventors and their Inventions, 11 am-3 pm
Explore the many innovative discoveries made by Black inventors. Visitors will have several different prompts to explore while solving problems and learning history.
Write your own Story, 11 am-3 pm
Come try your hand at storytelling by writing your own mini comic strip about your museum experience!
Make a Magician’s Wand, 12-4 pm
Design your own magician’s wand to use in creating your own magic and sleight of hand out of an ordinary pencil!
MORE ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Springfield resident Scotty Swan works as a family-friendly entertainer using sleight-of-hand tricks as well as puppetry for his shows. “There’s a lot of random improvised silliness,” Swan said in a recent Daily Hampshire Gazette interview.
Joe Young, a Connecticut native, is an award-winning cartoonist, filmmaker, producer, writer, and teaching artist. In 1999, Young received the prestigious Daily Point of Light Award from the White House for volunteering his time in bringing the arts to otherwise access-less youth. He and his work have appeared in People, Ebony, GQ and Jet Magazine, the Boston Globe, New York Times, C-Span, CNN, the Black Family Channel and other national media outlets.
Okra Dance is a collective of accomplished professional performing artists-educators of African descent who use dance, music and storytelling to center the legacy of artistic innovation by peoples of the African diaspora, and in particular, the creative resistance and resilience of enslaved Africans and their descendants despite unabashed inhumanity towards them. Their presentations are inspiring and interactive.
OLIVE TREE BOOKS-N-VOICES
Olive Tree Books-n-Voices owner Zee Johnson and staff are committed to their love of books. Johnson’s philosophy is: “A book is not just a book. It is an investment of your past, present and future.”
February 21, 11 am and 12 pm
Workshop with Writer, Cartoonist, and Filmmaker Joe Young
Connecticut native Joe Young is the award-winning creator of the comic Scruples and the executive director of the Hartford Animation and Film Institute. His work has appeared in People, Ebony, GQ and Jet Magazine, the Boston Globe, New York Times, C-Span, CNN, the Black Family Channel and other national media outlets. (Science Workshop, Springfield Science Museum)
February 22 & February 23, 1 pm
Okra Dance Company: American Dance from Africa to Broadway
The Okra Dance Company presents dances from various cultures around the world, with an emphasis on African American heritage. This performance takes the audience on a fun-filled journey through the evolution of popular American dance, from its African roots and European influences, to the dances of today. (Davis Auditorium, Lower Level, D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts)
February 25, 11 am-2 pm
Local Authors Book Fair
In partnership with Olive Tree Books-n-Voices, a Black, woman-owned bookstore right here in Springfield. (Blake Court, D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts)
Members Only: African Dance Workshop
February 23 @ 11:30 am–12:15 pm
For information on membership:
Member families are invited to join teachers from Okra Dance Company for a special 45-minute African dance workshop. The group will learn a dance and perform it afterward during the Okra Dance show!
Space is limited and available first-come, first-serve on the day of the workshop.
About The Springfield Museums
THE SPRINGFIELD MUSEUMS are located on the Quadrangle at 21 Edwards Street in the heart of downtown Springfield, Massachusetts. The nationally accredited and Smithsonian-affiliated consortium of museums includes the Springfield Science Museum, the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, the Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History, the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden, and the Amazing World of Dr. SeussMuseum, the first and only museum dedicated to the beloved children’s book author and Springfield native.