Tag Archive | "Childrens Museum of the East End"

Ciencia@CMEE Celebrates Science

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George and Mia Castiblanco attend a fiesta in celebration of Ciencia@CMEE (Science at CMEE), an afterschool program designed for families whose first language is Spanish, on April 12. Developed and taught by educators Leah Oppenheimer and Barbara Blaisdell, the program, which grew out of suggestions made to CMEE’s Latino Parents Advisory Council, is underwritten by the Long Island Community Foundation.

CMEE Challenges Families with Second Annual Egg Drop

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By Tessa Raebeck

Can your family construct a container that will help an egg survive a drop? Find out Saturday, at CMEE’s (Children’s Museum of the East End) 2nd Annual Egg Drop Challenge, sponsored by Macaroni Kid Hamptons.CMEEEggDropFamilies can bring containers from home or come to a hands-on workshop from 10 to 11:30 a.m. to design and construct a protective capsule with all materials, including eggs, provided by CMEE. At noon, each container will be put to the test in CMEE Square.

The egg drop challenge has several guidelines: Participants must be able to insert an egg in the container just prior to the challenge. Designs cannot involve glass, liquids, helium or other gasses lighter than air. The container’s weight cannot exceed one pound and the egg compartment cannot exceed one foot in length or width. Use of parachutes is allowed, but the chute must deploy itself after the container is dropped.

Admission to the Egg Drop Challenge is free for members and $10 for non-members. The optional design workshop is $2 for members and $4 for non-members. Workshop space is limited. For reservations, call the museum at 537-8250.

Kids Groups Get Creative With Fundraising

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While big ticket benefits with cocktails and sit down dinners have become a de rigueur part of the summer social season out here, there are two local non-profits taking a different tack with fundraising efforts this summer.

This weekend, both the Children’s Museum of the East End (CMEE) and Stages, A Children’s Theatre Workshop, Inc. will host benefits while the sun is still high in the sky. And don’t worry about a babysitter — this time around, kids are encouraged to attend.

“CMEE’s Under The Sea” family fair is Saturday, July 25 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and comes on the heels of last year’s traditional adults only gala which was held for the first time at the museum itself.

“People said, ‘What a gorgeous space, why not always do it here?’” notes Stephen Long, CMEE’s executive director. “The gala had always been instrumental in raising awareness of the museum, people said, ‘Here’s a chance to show what you’ve done.’”

“Since it’s an institution devoted to kids, the fundraiser should include them as well,” adds Long. “I had a lot of parents say even when money is tight, they’ll still spend money on their kids. We wanted a fundraiser that featured the kinds of things we do on a day-to-day basis. There will be art activities, pony rides, petting zoo, bouncy castles, carnival games, magicians, face painters and a balloonologist.”

Also premiering at the event will be the Hamptons TumbleBus, a brand new kids-centered business started by two local moms. From the outside, it’s a regular school bus, but inside, it’s another story. The seats have been removed to make way for a fully equipped gym for tiny tumblers ages 2 to 8, complete with padded floor, rings, a trampoline, balance beam and more. TumbleBus owners — Bridgehampton residents Cathy Wallick and Michelle Kennedy — plan to bring tumbling programs to youngsters all over the East End through schools, libraries and non-profit groups like CMEE.

And like CMEE, which was founded by a group of moms, Wallick and Kennedy, who have five children between them, started Hamptons TumbleBus as a way to address what they saw as a need in the community.

“With the national obesity problem, we wanted to help children by starting them at a young age to develop self confidence, motor skills and a love of fitness that will continue throughout their life,” says Kennedy. “With this program, we can come to people who may not have this kind of thing available. We’re two local moms and we want to develop something for people here, make it affordable and help children.”

“At a young age structure is so important,” adds Wallick. “We do a warm up, sing songs, stretch, then do the circuit followed by a cool down, and the parachute or something else fun. By then, they’re feeling confident and know exactly what they’re doing. You can see it in their faces when they get it — and they keep moving — they’re not sitting around.”

Also not sitting around are the young actors of Stages — founder Helene Leonard has long made sure of that. The acting program has trained legions of East End children, and on Sunday, July 26, five of Leonard’s teenage actresses will transform into fairy tale princesses for an afternoon of tea and face time with little fans ages 3 and up at the first annual “Princess Party” from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Grenning, Gallery, 17 Washington Street in Sag Harbor.

“It’s by kids, for kids,” says Leonard. “It came out of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and the way the little girls reacted to the characters. It’s so wonderful. This is how powerful theater can be.”

Princesses will be stationed throughout the space and little girls will have a chance to talk to them and have their photos taken. There will also be a performance and an auction with the types of items little girls love. The party also features goodie bags, cake, a chocolate fountain and, of course, a place to buy tiaras and wands. If all goes well, next year Leonard hopes to include a pirate component to satisfy all the little boys as well.

“We thought how nice to make it an event that would be different and you’d want to take your children to,” says Leonard. “It’s not standing around at a cocktail party, writing a check and going home. It’s unusual to be able to include your children in a benefit situation. I think people are looking for something different to do.”

“Dads are welcome to come too,” adds Leonard. “Princesses need their escorts.”

Stages’ princess party is $60 for an adult and child. Additional children are $35 each. No reservations are required and princess attire is recommended.

CMEE’s family fun fair is $500 for a family of four. Individual tickets are $125 ($90 for children). CMEE is located at 376 Bridgehampton Sag Harbor Turnpike. Call 537-8250 to reserve.

CMEE Cash Crunch May Force Downsize

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The Children’s Museum of the East End is in “cash crisis” according to board treasure Adeline Neubert.
“We have been doing quite well living hand to mouth, but now that the sales are down for the summer event,” said Neubert, “it’s definitely a serious cash crisis. We’re still paying off a $3.8 million mortgage.”
Neubert said CMEE’s goal is to raise $500,000 by the end of summer. If that goal is not met, at best CMEE could be looking at having to downsize and at worst, closing their doors altogether.
Neubert said the museum normally counts on the “CMEE Under the Stars” annual benefit to get them through the summer and well into the fall. The event usually raises $300,000 on average and last year, the benefit sold roughly 400 tickets. This year, only 170 tickets were sold prior to the event. The benefit was originally to be held Friday, July 11 under a tent at Ludlow Farm in Sagaponack. Instead, the decision was made to hold the event on the museum’s grounds on the Sag Harbor/Bridgehampton Turnpike.
“As we were planning the event it became evident to us that we needed to downsize it,” said CMEE’s new executive director Steve Long. “We are certainly struggling. We thought instead of spending all kinds of money to put on a huge party, we wanted to be fiscally responsible and maximize the number of dollars going to support the museum.”
Long said though the economic crunch is evident, he did not want to characterize this as a “make or break fundraiser.” He said it was not like the museum would be closing their doors on Saturday if they didn’t raise $500,000 on Friday.
Long said the museum was pulling out all of the stops to try and focus on fundraising and to keep the worst from happening. He said they are looking at new opportunities for earned income, additional grant writing and reaching out to new donors Neubert said the latter, reaching out to donors, is critical.
“There is a misperception that our donors are all wealthy New Yorkers,” she said. “In fact, we have a very dedicated but small group of supporters and donors and the base at large is quite small.”
She said the focus now is to reach out to new donors who hopefully see the importance of CMEE as a local, educational and cultural resource.
Long said, “There is a real need for a hub for children and we want to be that hub, that cultural crossroads where people of different kinds of backgrounds come and learn together,” said Long. “And if we’re not doing it, then who is going to?”
“We’re the only museum out here that puts the needs of children first. That’s what makes the institution so special,” he continued. “A lot of museums around the area and the country put their collections first and for us it’s not about the collection, it’s about the kids.”
Long said in his short tenure as director, only about two and half weeks, he feels one of the community’s concerns is that the museum does not provide enough educational opportunities for older children.
“We’re interested in hearing from the community how we can serve the needs of as many children as possible,” he said. “That’s our mission.”

Above: Dancers at CMME Under the Stars fundraiser on Friday July, 11. Photo by Mike Heller.