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Children’s Museum creates unique way to introduce Kwanzaa to new generations

The Bronzeville Children’s Museum is closing out its 20th Year Anniversary Celebration with its Annual Kwanzaa Program. Children ages 3 to 9, and adults, are invited to attend the First Day of Kwanzaa on December 26, to learn how to celebrate this weeklong cultural and historic event. In keeping with the seven principles of Kwanzaa, the first day celebrates UNITY.

The Bronzeville Children’s Museum at 9301 South Stony Island Avenue in Chicago, Illinois is the place for this exciting event. Admission is FREE for members and $5.00 per person for non-members.

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Brownsville Children Museum

The Museum is celebrating 20 years of family, community, culture, and history. With over 20,000 children having visited the museum since it opened, it is still the first and only African American Children’s Museum in the United States.

There are over three hundred children’s museums nationwide. The children this year have visited from as far as Northwest Indiana, and in Illinois from as far north as Wilmette and as far west as Oak Brook.

It has been the Bronzeville Children’s Museum’s mission to expose all children, ages 3 to 9, and adults, to the history, culture and contributions of African Americans and Africans of the Diaspora through unique exhibitions and programs. The celebration of Kwanzaa is one of its special programs.

Bronzeville

The celebration will take place on the First Day of Kwanzaa on Wednesday, December 26 starting at 1:00 p.m. and ending at 3:00 p.m. Children and adults are invited to wear African inspired clothing. Activities for the children will include music, crafts, face painting and a special candlelight ceremony with the children singing “This Little Light of Mine.” The program will be highlighted with a visit from the KWANZAA KING!!

The idea of a Kwanzaa King is new and unique to the museum. As the regally dressed King makes his grand appearance to greet the children, he will be adorned in a robe befitting African royalty with a Kente cloth sash and hat. Drummers will sound his entrance with excitement. The Kwanzaa King will give away a Kwanzaa book containing activities that explain and teach children and their families the seven principles of Kwanzaa.

The 20th Year Celebration includes the opening of the Museum’s exhibition, “STEM READY.” This exhibit features a green screen experience that enables children to be on television. There are also other STEM related activities designed to expose the children to the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) in their lives and how important it is to learn science and mathematics in their school journey.

Young people also learn about African Americans who have developed important STEM related inventions.

The STEM exhibit was generously funded by ComEd, the Institute of Museum and Library Service, Harris Bank, and the Richard Driehaus Foundation.

There are interactive activities such as “You Are What You Eat,” which focuses on learning how to have a healthy eating lifestyle, and “African American Inventors Changing Lives.”

A calendar of programs presented by the Bronzeville Children’s Museum throughout this year included “Martin Quest” in January; Annual Black History Month program in February; Women’s History Month program in March; Smart Money program in April; Juneteenth program in June; Dreamers and Dream Makers program in July; “Not So Scary Halloween Film Festival in October and the calendar finale, the annual Kwanzaa program in December.

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