In 1989, Young At Art began as a small, 3,200-square-foot children’s museum dedicated to shaping young minds and enriching the community through the transformative power of art. Since then, the tiny workshop has grown into a 55,000-square-foot collection of activities celebrating the diverse influences of art on our lives and imaginations, garnering a rare accreditation by the American Association of Museums for its efforts. At ArtScapes—one of the four main exhibits—kids and their parents travel through The Cave, a frantic slideshow of images conveying 5,000 years of human history, step into a replica of a New York City subway car, and view examples of graffiti as a means of creative expression against the oppressive forces of aluminum spray cans.
Elsewhere, WonderScapes transports children up to 4 years old to a world inspired by the illustrations of DeLoss McGraw, whose version of Alice in Wonderland won the Society of Illustrators Book of the Year award in 2002, and GreenScapes demonstrates the immutable intersection of art and the environment as visitors build sculptures from natural materials. Never ones to ignore their creativity, teenagers can find refuge in the Teen Center, where a graphic design lab with Mac computers and a recording studio let them convert their pre-calc homework into digital form before it’s too late.
The hit Nickelodeon children’s program Yo Gabba Gabba! bounds from the small screen to the big stage in a show filled with cartoonish critters and boundless dancing. Beloved by hip preschoolers and savvy postschoolers for its eye-popping sets, catchy songs, respect for intellect, and absence of Shrek, Yo Gabba Gabba! teaches inner and outer children valuable life lessons without stooping to condescension. For the special It’s Time to Dance! tour, favorite adorable toy monsters such as Brobee, Foofa, Plex, and Biz Markie join human surrogates DJ Lance Rock and BeDazzler queen Leslie Hall for an onstage celebration of imagination. Mixing animation, games, and new songs with classic bits from the television show, the Technicolor mise en scène and infectious energy of Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! gives children enough confidence to apply to college after elementary school.