The i.d.e.a. Museum in downtown Mesa begins a revamping of ArtVille – its colorful, imaginative town for little ones to discover art and nurture their creative thinking – on Monday, Aug. 14. The updates – which include reimagining some of the spaces – continue through the fall, with limited interruptions to activities in the gallery featuring soft blocks, a pixel wall, gears and building materials, imagination rooms and performance stages.
“We’re always looking for new ways to promote imaginative play, which is critical to early learning and skills development,” said Dena Milliron, curator of education for the museum. “The changes coming to ArtVille include updating Art’s Living Room, Art’s Kitchen, Art’s Garden and the Puppet Theatre. These enhancements are aimed at increasing learning opportunities and child-caregiver engagement.”
The first enhancements will begin in Tot Square, a padded space aimed at supporting babies and their caregivers. The museum will remove the pony walls for resurfacing and new paint, plus deep clean the mats. Tot Square is expected to reopen by Friday, Aug. 18. In the meantime, caregivers and babies will still be able to play together in a carpeted space in the same area, featuring infant toys.
The next upgrade phases include retrofitting the Puppet Theatre into the Veterinarian Clinic, replacing the living room with Art’s Library, reimagining the kitchen and garden into a farm-to-table café. The puppet activity will move into the Performing Arts Center. ArtVille is expected to remain open during the renovations.
Additionally, more programs for preschoolers are under development. Currently, ArtVille offers Skill Builders drop-in activities on Tuesdays – included with admission – to help prepare little ones for school.
ArtVille activities are aimed at children ages 0 to 4 years old. Admission is free for members; nonmembers are $9 per person age 1 and up.
More about ArtVille, a socks-only space: http://www.ideamuseum.org/artville.html
Discover more museum activities, including classes, at www.ideaMuseum.org.