MARCH 17, 1997

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Plans underway for new children's museum on Eastside

children's museum by Deborah Stone
Plans are in progress for the Across the Bridge Children's Museum, a highly participatory and interactive facility for youth, to be located on the Eastside. This museum will focus on education, integrated technology, and history, as well as art, culture, and environmental science.
   The mission of the museum is to stimulate children's intellectual and creative potential while instilling a respect for our area's cultural resources and diversity of people. "The exhibits in the museum will encourage hands-on participation and give children the opportunity to use all their senses, logic, and creativity. The exhibits will provide a balance to classroom and home education," founder Amy Bruno said.
   The idea for an Eastside youth museum was the brainchild of Joy Rigor-Kaplan and Amy Bruno. Both Eastside women saw the need for such a facility in their area, not only to benefit younger children, but also to appeal to preteens. Joy had incorporated Across the Bridge as a non-profit organization in 1992, while Amy was working on a similar mission with a group called The Exploratorium.
   The two are presently looking for a donated temporary 3500-square-foot site on the Eastside to house the first of the museum's exhibits, entitled "Symmetry: A Universe by Design." This show will comprise twenty-six exhibits relating to the various aspects of symmetry and will challenge visitors to discover and create symmetries using various props and equipment. It is tentatively scheduled for June through August, 1997.
   "This is an excellent temporary exhibit that we hope will be an attention-grabber and generate a lot of enthusiasm in the community," Bruno said. Following this exhibition, Across the Bridge plans to develop new high quality exhibits of their own that will integrate various aspects of technology. The goal is to move the exhibits from city to city on the Eastside using temporary donated sites while building a positive reputation in the community. Funding for a permanent home for the museum will be an ongoing process that will take a few years.
   On March 27th at 7 p.m. at Lombardi's Restaurant in Issaquah, there will be an informational social event and fundraiser for the community. Call Amy Bruno at 392-4510 for details.