The Church History Museum enjoys a beloved tradition of providing regular interactive, fun-filled programs for Primary-age children.
Curators at the Church-owned facility are anxious for the youngsters' parents and teachers to also come to know the museum as a place of inspiration, edification and learning. A series of "Evening at the Museum" events is being organized for those patrons who are long removed from Primary and Mutual roles.
"We had the realization that adults are the primary audience for Church history," said Angela Ames a Church history educator at the museum.
The museum hosted its maiden "Evenings at the Museum" on Feb. 27 with a visual arts event entitled "Artists at Work." Hundreds of "mature" patrons watched and interacted with a collection of LDS artists of varied backgrounds and media. Featured artists included sculptor Ortho Fairbanks, oil painters Garth and Ann Marie Oborn, rug weaver Charlene Lind, colored pencil artist Sheri Doty and Elizabeth Peterson, who specialized in intricate bobbin lace.
Sixteen-year-old Mary Smart performed harp music for the event that stretched across the museum's central gallery.
The evening was relaxed and informal. Folks were encouraged to lean over the shoulders of the artists as they went about their creative works. The artists answered questions, enjoying the interaction of the appreciative patrons.
"Weaving is a bit solitary, unless you're working together with a group of weavers," said Sister Lind, who learned her skill on the loom in college. It's important that people of all ages are exposed to the visual arts to ensure that media such as weaving continues through future generations, she added.
"We want visitors tonight to have an uplifting and edifying experience," said Sister Ames. "Hopefully, some of our visitors will be inspired to return to their homes to create art themselves."
Future "Evening at the Museum" events include lectures featuring LDS authors Susan Easton Black and Michael Wilcox and an outdoor, Pioneer-themed summer event.
Patrons can learn about upcoming "Evening at the Museum" events by visiting the museum's Web site at churchhistorymuseum.org or by calling (801) 240-4615. The Church History Museum is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is free.