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Namaste India Expands Museum’s Nationally Traveling Exhibit Series

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ST LOUIS, MO- In a time of limited travel, The Magic House has continued to take families from across the country on trips around the world by way of developing culturally immersive nationally-traveling exhibits, created on site at The Magic House.

This week their most recent exhibit, Argentina’s Niños, is heading to Naples, Florida after being on display in The Magic House’s World Traveler Gallery since November 2019. Kenya’s Kids is returning to The Magic House on September 5 from Chattanooga, Tennessee where it has inspired children and families at the Creative Discovery Museum since early 2020.

While previous exhibits have featured the cultures of China, Kenya and most recently Argentina, The Magic House is proud to announce development of a new exhibit focusing on Indian culture.

Namaste India will join the Museum’s nationally traveling cultural exhibit series when it opens in May 2021. The goal of the series is to build interest and empathy for diverse cultures from around the world with a strong local connection. The interactive exhibits transport children to authentic environments familiar in their own lives such as a school, home, market and means of transportation. Children are able to appreciate the similarities and unique differences of the lives of children in other parts of the world. The exhibits are designed for children ages 3 to 12 years and their families.

Like the other exhibits in the series, Namaste India will be designed to provide a passport to the world for all children to experience the Indian culture firsthand, even if they may never have the opportunity to travel outside of their own community. “For children growing up in an interconnected global society, it is imperative that they have exposure to develop appreciation for diverse cultures,” said Beth Fitzgerald, President of The Magic House. “Our world traveler series not only helps us to introduce new cultures to children in the United States, but it invites families to truly celebrate the diversity of our world!”

To assure authenticity and cultural accuracy, all exhibits have been created in partnership with St. Louis cultural organizations such as the Argentine Society of St. Louis, the St. Louis Chinese Culture Center and Vitendo4Africa and advisory committees made up of representatives from each culture. Namaste India will likewise be created in partnership with the St. Louis Indian community. The Magic House has formed the Namaste India advisory committee, made up of 32 professionals from around the St. Louis area, all of Indian heritage. Formed with input from the St. Louis Mosaic Project, the committee plays a critical role in the exhibit creation process.

“We are so grateful for the dedication and leadership of our Namaste India advisory council and their willingness to share their rich culture with the St. Louis community and beyond. We believe that our role as exhibit developers is to be good listeners and bring to life the key cultural aspects that the committee wants to explore and celebrate,” said Fitzgerald.

“We hope that this new exhibit will encourage global awareness and cultural appreciation and showcase the beauty, diversity and vibrancy of India,” said Mahendra Gupta, member of the Magic House Namaste India advisory committee and Former Dean and Virgil Professor, Olin Business School, Washington University. “We are excited to bring new traditions and experiences to St. Louis families, as doorways to new languages, celebrations and traditions.”

The Magic House’s cultural exhibit series not only provides a unique learning opportunity to children and families in St. Louis, but also throughout the United States. The new exhibit will tour the country as a part of the Museum’s nationally traveling exhibit rental program, visiting other children’s museums, history museums and more following its debut at The Magic House.

Having just closed Argentina’s Niños on August 23, the Museum will reopen Kenya’s Kids on Saturday, September 5 with the hopes of debuting Namaste India in spring of 2021. The Magic House is actively fundraising in support of the development and creation of the exhibit. If interested in supporting this effort, donors are invited to contact The Magic House at [email protected] or donate online at https://www.magichouse.org/namasteindia/.

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