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The Michener Art Museum Promises Fun for the Whole Family During a Special 25th Birthday Party Weekend

DOYLESTOWN, PA-The countdown has begun to the Michener’s 25th birthday celebration on Saturday, September 21, and Sunday, September 22. Just as at any other birthday celebration, there will be cake, but there will also be two full days of activities, from family arts and an ’80s dance and karaoke party, to performances of music and dance.

Free programs for children and their families begin at 10 am Saturday with painting, printmaking, collage, and book arts studio workshops in the Education Center; scavenger hunts, Museum Mystery tours and guided drawing activities in the galleries; and an exhibition of student artwork in the Education Gallery.

The fun continues at 2:30 pm with the workshop, “Playing with Stories to Build Imagination,” hosted by Ray Gray, a producer, performer, screenwriter, director, author and storyteller who has inspired national audiences for more than 31 years. Gray will use stories to involve his audience in the process of listening to and talking about stories to create an extemporaneous story.

At 3:30, join graphic designer and web illustrator Marc Faulk in the Education Center for a Cartoon Character Design Workshop. Participants will watch a demonstration of cartooning techniques, then use what they have learned to create an original cartoon character or superhero.

For adults, there will be docent-led tours and gallery talks, as well as an architectural walking tour of the Cultural District, led by architectural historian Ken Hinde. From 1 to 2 pm, Michener Chairman Emeritus and founder Herman Silverman will talk about his unique relationship with Pulitzer Prize-winning author James A. Michener, and sign copies of his book, “Michener and Me.” Walk the Michener’s Community Labyrinth for a meditative experience, and hear labyrinth expert Connie Fenty share information about the history and mystery of the labyrinth.

From 2:30 to 3:30 pm, the Michener’s Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest Chief Curator Brian H. Peterson will present an illustrated lecture on the 25-year history of the museum with a focus on its exhibitions. There will be musical presentations in the Edgar N. Putman Event Pavilion, including the Central Bucks West Choir and the Bucks County Country Gentlemen barbershop singers.

There’s still time to make your vote count for the The People’s Choice: Celebrating the Michener’s Top 25. Visitors will have the opportunity to vote on favorite works from the collection. The 25 works that receive the most votes will be exhibited February 8 through July 20, 2014. Stop by the voting panel or vote online through November 2013. Visitors can also reminisce and contribute their favorite Michener Memory by writing on the Memory Wall in the Family Education Center.

Then get out your dancing shoes for a special ’80s Dance Party and Karaoke, from 8 to 11 pm. Revel in the decade of the Michener’s founding in the Putman Event Pavilion, with views of the outdoor sculpture garden. There will be DJ music, refreshments and the galleries will remain open all evening.

But don’t turn into a pumpkin just yet, the excitement continues Sunday when MM2 Modern Dance presents THREE, from 12:30 to 1:30 pm.
THREE is a collection of short stories with dances that are three minutes in length or less. Each member of the company is challenged to create a carefully orchestrated piece in a brief and fixed amount of time. This new collection of works premiered in Florence, Italy, where the company was on tour. MM2 Modern Dance Company, under the direction of Steven Weisz, has established itself as an incubator for new emerging dance artists, in order to cultivate and introduce new work to new audiences.

From 3 to 5 pm, Concert Operetta Theater of Philadelphia presents Thine Alone! The Music of Victor Herbert, performing selections from Fortune Teller (1898), Babes in Toyland (1903), Mlle. Modiste (1905), The Red Mill (1906), Naughty Marietta (1910), The Enchantress (1911), Sweethearts (1913), Princess Pat (1915), and Eileen (1917). Concert Operetta Theater is dedicated to presenting, preserving, and educating audiences about operetta through professional performances from the Golden, and Silver ages of operetta.

Family Day events are free with museum admission. Tickets for the Special 80s Dance Party and Karaoke cost $20 member/ $25 non-member, and include refreshments. Tickets for MM2 are free with museum admission. Tickets for Concert Operetta Theater cost $25 per member/$30 per non-member/$10 per student with valid ID, and includes museum admission.

For more details, visit the Michener’s Special Events page. For additional information about the Michener’s 25th anniversary, visit the 25th Anniversary Blog.

The museum acknowledges the seed money in support of the 25th anniversary from a generous bequest from Gretchen H. Knoell. Additional in-kind support of the opera performance on September 22 is provided by Cunningham Piano Company.

The James A. Michener Art Museum is located at 138 South Pine St., Doylestown, Pa. Museum hours: Tuesday through Friday, 10 am to 4:30 pm; Saturday 10 am to 5 pm; Sunday noon to 5 pm. Admission: Members and children under 6, free; adults $15; seniors $13; college student with valid ID $11; ages 6-18 $7.50; under 6 free. For more information, visit or call 215-340-9800.