Tag Archive | "CMEE"

East End Weekend: Highlights of July 18 to 20

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"Calabrone" by Ramiro. Courtesy Grenning Gallery.

“Calabrone” by Ramiro. Courtesy Grenning Gallery.

By Tessa Raebeck

Summer is in full swing and there’s plenty to choose from to do on the East End this weekend. Here are some highlights:

 

The Grenning Gallery in Sag Harbor is hosting an opening reception for Ramiro’s Solo Show on Saturday, July 19, from 6 to 8 p.m.

“Ramiro solo show this year steps forward into a more mystical and hopeful realm,” owner Laura Grenning wrote in a press release.

“Anchoring the exhibit is a suite of four substantial figurative works, with each painting representing a season of the soul.  Although well known for his expert likenesses in portraiture and grand figurative work, Ramiro’s distinguishing characteristic is, ironically, his ability to let go of the discreet reality of the eyes when necessary.  With this, he infuses his narrative compositions with mystery that allows the paintings to endure the critical test of time,” added Ms. Grenning.

The Grenning Gallery is located at 17 Washington Street in Sag Harbor. For more information, call (631) 725-8469.

 

Water Mill’s  Parrish Art Museum is hosting its second edition of Gesture Jam, an adult figure drawing class in which artists sketch live models in a high-energy environment, Friday, July 18 at 6 p.m.

Facilitated by local artist and educator Andrea Cote, this year’s Gesture Jam will be held outdoors on the museum’s terrace and include live musicians Nicolas Letman-Burtanovic on bass and Sean Sonderegger on saxaphone. Local dancers Adam and Gail Baranello are the models.

“Imagine going home with drawings that look like you’ve been to some sort of psychedelic cabaret, and feeling that way too. Andrea Cote’s Gesture Jam classes have just that effect,” Parrish Curator of Special Projects Andrea Grover said in a press release.

The Parrish Art Museum is located at 279 Montauk Highway in Water Mill. For more information, call (631) 283-2118.

 

Celebrities are coming to Bridgehampton for CMEE’s 6th Annual Family Fair on Saturday, July 19 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The Children’s Museum of the East End‘s largest fundraiser, this year the fair will have a magical theme.

George Stephanopoulos, Dan Abrams, Jane Krakowski, Joy Behar, Julie Bowen, Molly Sims and Tiffani Thiessen (of Saved by the Bell fame) are some of the CMEE supporters expected to be in attendance.

Children and their families can enjoy magical arts and crafts, water slides, games and entertainment, music, food, and CMEE’s brand new nine-hole miniature golf course.

CMEE is located at 376 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike on the Bridgehampton side. For more information, call (631) 537-8250.

 

A painting by Georges Desarmes. Courtesy Christ Episcopal Church.

A painting by Georges Desarmes. Courtesy Christ Episcopal Church.

Christ Episcopal Church in Sag Harbor is hosting its fourth Haitian Art & Handcraft Sale all weekend, July 18 to 20, to benefit the village of Chermaître in partnership with the Vassar Haiti Project.

An opening reception will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday and the sale will continue in the Upper Parish Hall on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Two hundred original paintings and a large assortment of unique and affordable gifts, including silk scarves, jewely and iron sculpture, will be on sale.

Many women in the village, Chermaître in northwestern Haiti, are struggling to start small businesses to support their families by selling the crafts they create and the coffee they grow. Proceeds from the church sale will go toward building a community center in the village to support those women.

For more information on the charity, call (970) 946-7614 or visit haitiproject.org. The Christ Episcopal Church is located at the corner of East Union and Hampton Street (Route 114) in Sag Harbor. For more information, call the church at (631) 725-0128.

 

The gallery at Sag Harbor’s Canio Books is hosting artists Ron Focarino and Jeanelle Myers, with her latest assemblage series, Plains Reverie, with an opening reception Friday, July 18 from 5 to 7 p.m.

“Myers work reflects the influence of her Nebraska roots, echoing the work of Wright Morris and Joseph Cornell,” the gallery said in a press release. “Myers incorporates a diverse array of found objects including old letters, metals, writing implements, fabric and many other materials into her compelling assemblages.”

"Golden Scarab" enamel sculpture by Ron Focarino. Courtesy Canio's Books.

“Golden Scarab” enamel sculpture by Ron Focarino. Courtesy Canio’s Books.

Artist Ron Focarino will also be exhibiting, showing his “creature creations, delightful enamel sculptures of insects, including a dragonfly, crane fly, scarab and others,” according to Canio’s.

The exhibit runs July 11 through August 5 at Canio’s Books, 290 Main Street in Sag Harbor. For more information, call (631) 725-4926.

The Romany Kramoris Gallery in Sag Harbor presents the artwork of Anna De Mauro and Thomas Condon, with an opening reception Saturday, July 19 from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Sculptor and painter Anna De Mauro is a figurative artist working from the live model.

“Her work process includes observation from life to record instinctual responses to the subject, passage of time and impressions of the metaphysical and the human condition,” the gallery said in a press release.

Thomas Condon lives part-time in East Hampton and focuses on the local landscape here on the East End, as well as the urban scenes of New York City.

The show runs July 17 through August 7 at the Romany Kramoris Gallery, 41 Main Street in Sag Harbor. For more information, call (631) 725-2499.

CMEE Hosts 2nd Annual Music Fair

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A child enjoys the instruments at the CMEE Music Fair last year. Photo courtesy of CMEE.

By Genevieve Kotz

The Children’s Museum of the East End will host its second annual Music Fair on Saturday, June 14, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The fair, which is free and open to families with children of all ages, will let kids learn about music with hands-on, interactive programs and well-known East End performers.

At the fair, attendees will be able to join an improvisational mural painting alongside artist Bob Crimi and musician Jim Turner and join a sing-along with Inda Eaton.

Mr. Turner has recorded albums, played on TV and radio, and appeared in musicals both on and off Broadway as well as being a regular sight at on the East End music scene.

Ms. Eaton is a singer-songwriter and educator who co-founded Ideas to Inspire, which is a music-infused supplemental education program that explores inspiration, song writing and self-expression.

Kids will also be able to jam Ina Ferrara of Music Together by the Dunes, enjoy a Catherine Shay production, create their own tin drum and rain stick, get their face painted and explore instruments throughout the museum grounds.

For more information on CMEE, visit its website at cmee.org.

CMEE Unveils Bridgehampton’s First Miniature Golf Course

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An aerial view of the new miniature golf course at CMEE in Bridgehampton, which will open this Saturday, May 24. Photo courtesy CMEE.

An aerial view of the new miniature golf course at CMEE in Bridgehampton, which will open this Saturday, May 24. Photo courtesy CMEE.

By Tessa Raebeck

Children must be accompanied by adults—and adults must be accompanied by children.

This is the principle at the new miniature golf course at the Children’s Museum of the East End in Bridgehampton, where a collection of nine bright and colorful holes opens Saturday in the museum’s backyard on the Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike.

Bridgehampton’s first miniature golf course is a far, but welcome, cry from the traditional theme park courses of pirates, dinosaurs and waterfalls. The holes are laid out in designs that are best described as wacky, with blue, orange and red adornments complementing the putting greens.

Players move through the nine holes in a clockwise motion, starting with an optional practice green. One hole has a loop de loop, another dots that chime with music when struck. Each has a distinct look—and a distinct lesson.

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Photo courtesy CMEE.

“Each hole teaches something different about math and physics,” said Paul Johnson, marketing assistant at the museum.

Keeping with the mission of CMEE, an organization at the forefront of combining play with learning on the East End, the mini golf course incorporates interactive play with the basic principles of physics.

Rather than studying a flash card, kids can learn Newton’s Law of Inertia (an object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by an unbalanced force) by hitting a ball. Newton’s Second Law (force equals mass times acceleration) can be understood by catapulting that ball through the loop de loop.

In planning the course, CMEE surveyed 7-to-10-year-olds to find out what their favorite mini golf holes were. Once the most popular designs were established, they worked with science teachers at the Ross School’s Innovation Lab and other local schools to figure out how to incorporate learning.

At every hole, a descriptive panel explains how to make the shot and what to learn while doing it.

The first hole, “What’s Your Angle?” teaches players how various degrees will affect their putt.  In the corner of the L-shaped hole, a blue fan attached to a pole directs, “Move Me!” It can be positioned at different angles to reflect a player’s putt toward the hole—or away from it as the case may be.

The sign marking the hole asks several questions, such as whether the angle is acute, right or obtuse, for children to figure out as they play.

Rather than your standard score card, each player gets a folder complete with both the scoring reports and further explanation of the respective lessons and challenges of each obstacle.

After the first hole, players wrap their way around the “whimsical” course, playing through a green with ridged hills, another with parallel loops of different sizes, and various slopes, angles, rocks and other obstacles, learning as they go.

The miniature golf course is the first exhibit realized by the museum’s capital campaign, now in its second year. CMEE is more than halfway toward a fundraising goal of $2 million, which it hopes to reach by the end of the summer.

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Photo courtesy CMEE.

“This is kind of the first fruit of that labor,” Mr. Johnson said.

In addition to paying down the existing mortgage, establishing an endowment and helping to cover costs of the museum’s day-to-day operations, the campaign will also fund the expansion of museum exhibits and several new additions, including a room dedicated to energy and electricity, a redesigned ship exhibit and a new pizza oven for the play kitchen.

“Energy: Wind, Water & Solar” will allow children to experiment with the forces of nature while learning about conservation and the environment.

In the four-level pirate ship, children will be able to navigate the seas with climbing tubes and ladders, hoist the sales and clamber up ropes to a 25-foot-high crow’s nest. Six simple machines at the ship will teach the foundations of engineering.

All the projects, like the miniature golf course, will include bilingual signs for Spanish and English-speaking visitors. The mini golf course is entirely wheelchair accessible.

CMEE’s course will be unveiled in an invite-only ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 24. Executive Director Stephen Long and Board President Amy Tarr, as well as elected officials and museum supporters, will be on hand to give remarks. Coffee from Java Nation and SweetTauk lemonade will be served. In addition to playing the course, guests can take golf clinics led by Kate Tempesta of Urban Golf Academy.

Following the event at noon, the course will officially open to the public, with games at just $5 a head for groups of up to five players.

In the future, CMEE hopes to use the course after hours for mixers and other private events.

Visitors will find the ninth and final hole is the most challenging, but also the most rewarding.

“It works almost like a pinball machine,” Mr. Johnson said, adding that although the course incorporates learning, it is designed, above all else, to be fun.

Struck into a corridor on the green’s right side, the ball hit the top of the green and ricocheted back towards the hole, knocking green, silver, blue, red and orange pin balls with a satisfying chime after every hit.

“Isn’t that fun?” asked Mr. Johnson. It was.

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.

Katy’s Courage 5K Brings Community Together

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Runners sprint from the starting line on Long Island Avenue at the start of the 2013 Katy's Courage 5K Run on Saturday. Photo by Michael Heller.

Runners sprint from the starting line on Long Island Avenue at the start of the 2013 Katy’s Courage 5K Run on Saturday. Photo by Michael Heller.

By Stephen J. Kotz

Runners of all ages and abilities will converge on West Water Street in Sag Harbor this Saturday for the fourth annual Katy’s Courage 5-K run.

The event will raise money for scholarships, pediatric cancer research, and, perhaps most importantly this year, a new bereavement program for children the organization has recently founded in conjunction with the Children’s Museum of the East End in Bridgehampton.

“We hope a lot of people will come out,” said Katy’s mother, Brigid Collins Stewart. “It’s early in the morning, it’s a beautiful course, and it’s the kind of race that draws everyone from elite runners to mothers with baby carriages.”

The entry fee, if paid in advance, is $25. The fee on the day of the race is $30. Check-in starts along the waterfront on West Water Street at 7 a.m. and runs through 8:15 a.m. The race starts at 8:30 a.m.

Prizes will be given for the top three male finishers, the top three female finishers and the top three males and top three females in nine different age categories, ranging from 14 and under to 80 and older.

Despite enduring the heartbreak of losing her daughter more than three years ago, Ms. Stewart said events like the 5-k run, an annual student classical concert, and a skate-athon at the Buckskill Winter Club in East Hampton help ease the pain and remind her of her daughter’s impact on others.

“She still inspires people. There are people I don’t even know who still call me to tell me what a great inspiration she was,” said Ms. Stewart. “We were very proud of her—and we still are. She went through a lot as a child and even though she did get a bum deal she handled it well.”

Ms. Stewart said she expects anywhere from 1,200 to 1,500 runners to take part in this year’s run, and she was keeping a somewhat nervous eye on the weather report, which calls for a chance of rain and temperatures in the low 50s, for the weekend.

If proceeds keep pace with last year, Katy’s Courage will raise about $30,000 from the run, making it the charity’s biggest money maker.

“We’re excited because this is the first year we have fulfilled our third goal, Katy’s Kids @ CMEE,” Ms. Stewart said.

Although still in the development stage, Katy’s Kids @ CMEE will offer bereavement programs for children, including private and group therapy with mental health professionals with a special focus on play therapy. Ms. Stewart said the goal is to have pilot programs operating by the fall.

The Stewarts became convinced of the value of play therapy in helping children cope with the loss of a loved one from firsthand experience. Their son, Robert, was only 6 and staying with his grandparents when Katy died.

“Robert was upset and told us, ‘I never got a chance to say goodbye,” recalled Ms. Stewart.

She said she and her husband first tried to talk about Robert’s grief with their son, but learned that children grieve in their own way and need time and the right situation to open up. A friend recommended the family visit the Children’s Bereavement Center in San Antonio, Texas, where they saw Robert make great strides in his own healing journey through play therapy.

“We believe so much in play therapy, and there is really not much available out here,” Ms. Stewart said.

Proceeds from Saturday’s run will also help underwrite a $10,000 scholarship that Katy’s Courage awards each year to a Pierson High School senior. The stipend is paid out over four years and presented to a student who leads through example characterized y by kindness, goodness, respect and empathy toward others.

The third beneficiary of the run is the Katy’s Courage Fund for Pediatric Cancer Research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, which the Stewarts began with a $25,000 donation in 2012.

Ms. Stewart said the run would never be the success it has become without its many sponsors and other community volunteers. “We are grateful to all our sponsors,” she said. “Everyone gives what they can.”

She said that Ben Krupinski is a major sponsor, through his 1770 House and Citta Nuova restaurants as well as his building company. Other major sponsors include Wainscott Sand and Gravel, Mickey’s Carting, Suburban Sanitation, Riverhead Building Supply, the Bagel Buoy, Sag Harbor Beverage, and Starbucks Coffee.

Boy scouts run the water stations and still other students run the Katy Bug Lane Boutique, which sells baked goods, hair accessories, bracelets and other small items, and the Sag Harbor Fire Department helps set up and take down the event. Nina Landi is the race director and Bruce and Kelly McMahon also provide invaluable help.

“It takes a village,” said Ms. Stewart. “Everyone goes out of their way to help.”

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.

Katy’s Courage Partners with CMEE to Provide Grief Counseling for Children on the East End

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CMEE Executive Director Stephen Long, Jim Stewart, Robert Stewart and Brigid Stewart Collins play with a sand table at CMEE on Tuesday, March 4. Photo by Tessa Raebeck.

CMEE Executive Director Stephen Long, Jim Stewart, Robert Stewart and Brigid Stewart Collins play with a sand table at CMEE on March 4. Photo by Tessa Raebeck.

By Tessa Raebeck

Katy’s Courage and the Children’s Museum of the East End (CMEE) have announced a new partnership, Katy’s Kids @ CMEE, to provide counseling opportunities for children experiencing grief or heartbreak, as well as support for their families.

Kathryn Stewart was a Pierson Middle School student and beloved member of the Sag Harbor community who died in December 2010 at the age of 12 from a rare form of liver cancer. In memory of their daughter, Brigid Collins Stewart and Jim Stewart founded Katy’s Courage, a not-for-profit dedicated to education and support for families and children through support for counseling services, scholarship and pediatric cancer research.

Still in development, the collaboration will fulfill the organization’s goal of providing group counseling and play therapy for grieving children. The organization’s aim is to provide private and group sessions with mental health professionals to children who have lost someone through death, or who may need support due to divorce, adoption, immigration or other issues. Katy’s Kids hopes to be piloting programs by the fall of 2014.

After Katy passed away, a close friend of Ms. Collins Stewart’s recommended the family visit the Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas in San Antonio. They hoped the trip would help Katy’s younger brother, Robert, 6 at the time, process and understand his grief, as well as teach his parents how to emotionally support him so the family could heal together.

“It was such a transformative experience for all of us,” Ms. Collins Stewart said, adding that she and her husband quickly knew there was a real need for such a center closer to home.

Last spring, the vision of bringing similar support to the East End began to materialize through conversations Ms. Collins Stewart and Mr. Stewart had about their belief that healing for children centers on play therapy. Hoping to start a center, they came across a familiar East End problem: the lack of affordable real estate. A friend mentioned CMEE, and, after meeting with Executive Director Steve Long, both parties, realizing their uniform missions, decided to forge a partnership.

“They were very welcoming and very happy to have the community collaboration,” Ms. Collins Stewart said of CMEE. “Their mission really is, as an organization, to reach out and address issues that concern families in the East End community, so really we feel like it’s a perfect fit.”

When the family traveled to Texas, they were immediately impressed by the beauty and warmth of the bereavement center, which works with children between the ages of 3 and 18. Each room offers a type of play of some sort, such as a dress-up room, a room for dance and art rooms.

“Every room is a different way for a child to express [his or her self],” said Ms. Collins Stewart. The expressive therapeutic play models will be recreated at CMEE.

The child gets to choose where they want to play. In Texas Robert chose the sand tray room, where the therapist asked him to take a tray of sand and build a world for Kate.

“As he built the world,” recalled Ms. Collins Stewart, “he would say things or she would ask him questions and that was the first experience we had. And what was amazing about it to us was that through this play, he was able to articulate what he hadn’t really been able to say before. So, we knew that it was what small children— and most children, really—need to be able to talk about their feelings. They can’t just always express themselves without having the metaphor of play to work with.”

To learn more about Katy’s Courage, call 725-7437 or email info@katyscourage.org. To make a tax-deductible donation, send checks payable to Katy’s Courage to PO Box 3251, Sag Harbor, NY 11963 or donate online.

 

Upcoming Katy’s Courage Events:

Katy’s Courage Skate-a-thon at Buckskill Winter Club

This Saturday, March 8 at 4 p.m. Katy’s Courage is hosting a Skate-a-thon at the Buckskill Winter Club, 178 Buckskill Road in East Hampton. Pre-event registration is $20, including skate rental, and 100 percent of the proceeds to benefit Katy’s Courage. Skaters can collect pledges from friends and family for either a fixed amount or per lap skated (i.e. 25 cents a lap) or register on the day of the event with no pledges for $35. The top fundraiser wins a free membership to the Buckskill Winter Club for the 2014-2015 season.

Classical Students for Katy’s Courage

Bay Street Theatre hosts the 6th Annual concert to benefit the Katy’s Courage Fund for Pediatric Cancer Research on Sunday, March 23 at 4 p.m. Ten student musicians will perform a classical concert to celebrate the life of Katy Stewart. There is a suggested donation of $15.

Katy’s Courage 5K

The Katy’s Courage Annual 5K to benefit the Katy Stewart Scholarship Fund is Saturday, April 5 starting at the staging area at 21 Water Street in Sag Harbor. Check-in time is from 7 to 8:15 a.m. and the race starts promptly at 8:30 a.m. The course is rather flat with a few small hills around the village. All ages are welcome and awards are given to the top three males and three females overall, as well as the top three in each age group. Registration is $25 beforehand and $30 on the day of the race.

Laughing Pizza: Rockin’ for the Kids

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By Vee Benard


Billy Schlosser, Lisa Michaelis Schlosser and their daughter Emily are more than just your average family — collectively known as “Laughing Pizza,” the musical trio specializes in creating family-friendly pop hits for kids between the ages of 4 and 15. As part of their recent cross-country tour, Laughing Pizza will be hosting a “Pajama Pizza Party” on Friday, August 6, at the Children’s Museum of the East End in Bridgehampton.

According to Lisa, the lead vocalist for Laughing Pizza, the group’s name derives from “two things that are best when shared…Laughing and pizza are things we enjoy as families, and this ties in with the message of our music.”

Laughing Pizza took root in the early 1990s, when both Lisa and Billy were songwriters and performers in the indie rock scene in New York. After taking up positions as songwriters for Warner/Chappell, one of the major American music publishing companies, they were asked if they ever wrote songs for kids.

“Of course we said yes,” laughed Lisa, “we always say yes.” Fortunately, this transition into the unfamiliar territory of kids pop music proved to be smoother than predicted.

“We tried it, and it happened so easily for us,” explained Lisa, “…we just wrote our usual pop songs, but made them ‘younger.’” And so Lisa and Billy became the songwriters for a young Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, as well as for a handful of shows on Cartoon Network.

It was the birth of their daughter Emily in 1995, however, and her entry into the musical world in the early 2000’s, that really pushed Lisa and Billy to form Laughing Pizza.

“We had little Emily,” Lisa explained, “and yet there was such a deficit of fun pop music that we could share together as a family. We really did this for her. It was a completely organic thing.”

And now, at age 15, Emily has joined the ranks of the very musical Schlosser family as a fully collaborative songwriter and musician in Laughing Pizza, playing five instruments and singing backup vocals in the band, which has achieved wide critical acclaim since its formation in 2002.

Laughing Pizza is now a regular fixture of PBS and has had appearances on the Today Show, CNN, NY1 and CBS. In addition, the Schlosser family has performed at the White House two years in a row—most recently alongside teen pop-sensations Miley Cyrus (a.k.a. “Hannah Montana”) and the Jonas Brothers.

Despite the stigma that might come along with being a “kid-friendly” band, Laughing Pizza has a base in classical music training—both Lisa and Billy are award-winning songwriters and former music teachers who attended Juilliard and Berklee (respectively) in their younger years. Their knowledge of the technical aspects of music making provide depth and versatility to their songs.

It is Emily’s musical aptitude, however, that was the most shocking. Unlike her parents, she was never classically trained, but rather learned music, as Lisa explained, “by feel.”

“She has just been adding more and more to the group,”  Lisa beamed. “She is songwriting, rapping and she’s an amazing drummer…it’s just a natural thing for her.”

Laughing Pizza’s songs, which seek to “bridge the gap from Barney to Britney,” aim to be something for the entire family to enjoy. Though their target audience for their television appearances lies within the 4 and 9 year-old range, Laughing Pizza draws diverse crowds for their live performances.

“One of our favorite compliments,” Lisa shared, “is when people say ‘I listen to your music even when our kids aren’t around.’”

“The media is so segmented,” she said. “There is programming for the teeny-weenies and then the tweens, but then there is this weird empty area where kid’s aren’t being served.” She explained that this pushes this between-stages audience bracket to either stoop down to less mature programming or to grow up at too fast a rate.

Laughing Pizza’s music is not the only vehicle through which the Schlosser family promotes the benefits of living and working as a family. Indeed, their very projection as a real-life mom, dad and daughter that “plays and stays together” is a healthy image for kids of all ages.

“It is heaven,” said Lisa of working with her husband and daughter. “It is unbelievable that we get to have this life together as a family. I know it sounds incredibly corny but we are just so fortunate—the most amazing part of this amazing experience is being together.”

The Pizza Pajama Party on August 6 will mark Laughing Pizza’s third collaboration with the Children’s Museum of the East End (CMEE). The evening will consist of a live concert, featuring six dancers from The Broadway Dance Center in New York, who will be performing the choreography of Stacey Webster (with some help by Lisa and Emily), as well as a pizza dinner. Pajamas are optional, and “grownups” are invited to participate in the festivities.

“We absolutely love the people at the museum,” said Lisa, who is eagerly looking forward to Friday’s event. “We view the Hamptons as our home away from home.”


Laughing Pizza will perform this Friday, August 6, at 6 p.m. at the Children’s Museum of the East End, 376 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at door. For more information call CMEE 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.

Playing With Numbers: Exhibit strives to make math accessible

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Trying out the CMEE exhibit

If you ask friends today which subject they most feared and hated in school, a disproportionate number of them will likely reply “math.” Memories of mean teachers and baffling equations can still make many a former kid blanche.

So why are there so many math phobic adults among us?

“The way teachers were teaching us, it was either right or wrong,” recalls Eva Petersen, educational outreach coordinator for the Children’s Museum of the East End (CMEE). “There was no gray area in math. I never understood why I was learning it.”

Ultimately, says Petersen, real world connections matter which is why CMEE’s new exhibit, which opens this weekend, is all about making math accessible. “Fun 2, 3, 4: all about a number of things” is an exhibit for ages 5 to 12 with 16 hands-on stations designed to encourage visitors to interact with number based concepts and lessen math anxiety. It comes to CMEE on loan from Sciencenter in Ithaca, N.Y.

“This exhibit ties in with how we do math in everyday life,” explains Petersen. “It shows math elements with creative perspectives and has a wider appeal.”

And that’s very important. Though teaching methods have changed drastically in the last quarter century, there is still apparently a disconnect when it comes to math. According to CME’s research, close to 30 percent of eighth graders on the East End are not fully meeting New York State math standards.

Something, it seems, happens between early grades when kids score high in math and adolescence when many seem to lose confidence in the subject.

“From my perspective, a museum should first and foremost serve community needs,” notes CMEE’s executive director Stephen Long. “In researching some of the math scores on the East End — as well as the county, state and country — it seems to be trend. Students are meeting standards in third grade, but by eighth grade, it drops off.”

CMEE hopes that by bringing this exhibit to the East End, it will reinforce in younger children the notion that math is exciting and practical so it will be less intimidating when they become adolescents.

 “It helps teachers to put math into every day concepts for their students,” notes Long. “Historically, math has been taken out of every day world and taught in  a vacuum. This is about estimating and thinking exponentially.”

The museum has already given local teachers a preview of the exhibit so they can use it in conjunction with what they are doing in the classroom.

“They can put what they’re teaching into better context,” notes Petersen.

In addition, Long explains that CMEE is contacting East End schools to find out where math standards are lagging. That way, when school groups visit, programming can be tailored to focus on math areas a particular class is struggling with as a whole.

The exhibit itself is very hands on and designed to get kids thinking. There is the pizza game in which a whole is divided into parts, a wall sized graph where visitors will place stickers representing their height and age (also a good way for the museum to gauge their target audience) and an estimating game in which two players compete by trying to hold a button down for exactly 15 seconds.

Another exhibit gets kids to think about math in a way that really impacts them personally — in the piggy bank.

In “Double Your Allowance,” kids are given the choice of receiving either $1 a week for 12 weeks, or 1¢ the first week and double that amount each consecutive week. So who comes out ahead in the end? The answer can be found at CMEE.

There are also math activities to put current events into perspective for adults. With questions looming over the fate of the $700 billion Wall Street bailout and average Americans watching their own portfolios plummet, one exhibit that parents will likely find intriguing (if not enjoyable) is the “how many is a million” machine.

By turning a handle, visitors move a series of interconnected gears in a case that count up to a million. When the magic number is reached, the last gear breaks a small glass at the end of the case.

It’s expected that very few glasses will be broken over the run of the exhibit.

“It takes a really long time to get to a million,” notes Petersen.

The exhibit runs through December 31, 2008 and opens this Saturday, October 4 with a member’s preview from 10 to noon. It opens to the general public at 1 p.m. CMEE is located at 376 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Turnpike. For more information, call 537-8250. 

 Above: CMEE’s executive director Stephen Long and educational outreach coordinator Eva Petersen try out the exhibit