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news release The Akron Art Museum Presents an Early Childhood Mashup with BabyFest ’18 and Family Day

For Release: March 29, 2018

Akron, Ohio—The Akron Art Museum invites caregivers and their children from birth to age 4, along with their siblings, to BabyFest ’18 on Thursday, April 19, 2018 from 11:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M.

Akron Art Museum Educator for Early Childhood, Family & Youth Engagement, Amanda Crowe said, "We’ve planned re-energizing, enriching activities for caregivers and their children, including process art-making, storytelling, dramatic play and creative movement, mini yoga sessions, family fitness, baby massage and musical activities. It’s a joyous opportunity to nurture children’s early learning experiences, strengthen bonds between babies and their grown-ups and give babies the chance to socialize with other babies.”

From 2:00 to 5:00 P.M. the museum plans a milk-and-cookies Family Day for older children—ages 4 – 12 suggested, but younger siblings are welcome—complete with an Ed Emberley-style retelling of The Little Red Hen. Kids are encouraged to create their own props including cat ears and frog feet to bring the literary characters to life. Ed Emberley: Better You Than Me is an exhibition of the beloved, award-winning illustrator and picture book author’s work, on view at the Akron Art Museum through July 15, 2018.

Now in its second year, BabyFest will be held in the museum’s Beatrice Knapp McDowell Grand Lobby and is part of the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) annual The Week of the Young Child celebration. Akron Children’s Museum, Akron Zoo and Akron-Summit County Public Library will also present activities during the week of April 16 – 20 for children and their caregivers.

More information about BabyFest ’18 and The Week of the Young Child events can be found on the Akron Art Museum’s website. BabyFest ‘18 is free, and mini-classes offered during the event are limited to the first 150 guests who pre-register. Register online for BabyFest ’18 and Family Day, respectively, at

Akron Art Museum’s Family Day events are designed for children aged 0-4. Siblings are welcome. Adults must be accompanied by a child. Event-related activities and admission to the galleries is free.*

*Excludes optional pop-up children’s photography session.


11 A.M.
Doors open, check-in and sign-up for free classes

11:30 A.M. – 12 P.M.
Session I: Free mini-trial classes begin
• Family fitness with Brittany Gerstenslager, owner/instructor, BrittFit Family Fitness
• Baby, tot, and toddler yoga with Jen Griest Hayes, RYCT, Afterlight Fitness
• Infant massage therapy with Rita Vitale, RN AIMI, Vitality Massage Therapy

11 A.M. – 2 P.M.
Pop-up baby photo sessions with Nat Hansumrittisak, LoveWhatIDo Photography
Pre-registration required:

11 A.M. – 2 P.M.
Community resource exhibits open: PNC Grow Up Great®, Akron Children’s Museum, Akron-Summit
County Public Library, Hike it Baby, and multi-sensory creative explorations provided by Akron Art Museum

12 – 2 P.M.
Storytelling (12 - 12:30 P.M.), book-signing and interactive activity (12:30 – 2 P.M.) by Eric Van Raepenbusch, children’s author/illustrator of Babybeards.

12:30 – 1 P.M.
Session II: Free mini-trial classes continue (same line-up as 11:30 A.M.)

1 – 1:30 P.M.
Music and expressive movement with Janice Pylinski, MM, Music Therapist

1:00 – 2:00 P.M.
Bark for art! With Paws for Reading local therapy dogs: Mickey, Fritz, Stewie and Nick

2 P.M.
BabyFest ends. Experience the galleries with your family, then come back for milk and cookies at 3 P.M.!

3 – 5 P.M.
Families work together to help each other out like the characters in Ed Emberley’s retelling of the classic folk tale, The Little Red Hen. Celebrate your family unit with cookies from Main Street Gourmet, prop design and art-making, and an interactive storytelling experience by Kyle Jozsa of Wandering Aesthetics.

Family Days are made possible by the presenting sponsor PNC with additional support from the R.C. Musson and Katharine M. Musson Charitable Foundation and the Robert O. and Annamae Orr Family Foundation.

For more information about BabyFest ‘18 at the Akron Art Museum, visit the museum at Join the conversation on social media with #BabyFest18_Akron, and follow the museum on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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