The University of Mississippi Museum will cater to a much younger clientele with its first ever museum stroller tour set for Saturday, April 9.
The museum’s newest program, Buie Babies, invites families and young children to experience art in a fun and safe environment. Created in partnership with Excel by 5, a community-based certification designed to improve a child’s overall well-being by age five, this event will include a stroller tour of the current special exhibit, “Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry: 40 years of color, light and motion,” followed by an infant playtime. The event is free to all and begins at 9 a.m.
Emily McCauley, curator of education at the museum, said that they created this event to try to reach a younger audience.
“Our Free Family Days have grown significantly in recent years, as well as our Mini Masters toddler program, but we wanted to try a new program to reach out to even younger children,” McCauley said. “We had seen other museums have success with stroller tours and though it was a fun idea to try!”
The stroller tour, specifically designed for infants and toddlers, will allow both parents and children to view the exhibit without fear of disrupting others.
“People assume that they can’t bring small children to a museum because it would be a distraction to others,” Abby Linney, a public relations intern at the museum, said. “Buie Babies is an event where parents don’t have to worry about their children being perfectly silent.”
Through this event, the museum wants to introduce families with children to art, but also show parents that the museum is an accessible and fun place for children of all ages.
“Our hope is that this program will introduce families to the museum who may not have thought of visiting with an infant before,” McCauley said.
Through its partnership with Excel 5, the museum tries to offer free programming and events that will benefit children and help teach them to love and respect the arts.
“It is important to instill the arts in children at a very young age that way they grow up with a strong base,” Linney said. “I feel that adults who have an emotional connection to the arts probably went to museums and explored the arts as a child.”
Buie Babies not only gives residents a chance to explore the exhibit, but also to socialize and meet new families.
“I think this event will be a great opportunity to meet new people, socialize and spend time with other parents who have young children,” Linney said.
For more information on upcoming events and exhibitions, visit www.museum.olemiss.edu.
Emry Hayes is a intern for HottyToddy.com from the Meek School of Journalism and New Media. Emry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.