marketplace-2_1On Saturday, September 24, 2016, the Family Museum will open Voyage to Vietnam: Celebrating the Tết Festival, a new exhibition to promote understanding of Vietnamese culture. Children and their parents throughout the country will delight in the opportunity to discover the beauty, sights, and sounds of Vietnam through its most important celebration of the year, Tết.

Funded through a highly competitive national initiative by the Freeman Foundation Asian Culture Exhibit Series and developed by Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, the Voyage to Vietnam exhibition is traveling to nine children’s museums as part of a national tour. Through the initiative, the Family Museum was selected as one of the nine museums nationally to be funded to host Voyage to Vietnam: Celebrating the Tết Festival for a three month period. The Freeman Foundation Asian Culture Exhibit Series is funded by the Freeman Foundation and administered by the Association of Children’s Museums.

Voyage to Vietnam: Celebrating the Tết Festival showcases traditions, customs, and values exemplified by the annual celebration of Tết. Through interactive exhibits, families will immerse themselves in Vietnamese culture; gain appreciation for traditions, values, and daily experiences of people who live in Vietnam; and discover similarities and differences between their lives in the U.S. and the lives of children in Vietnam.

Visitors will be welcomed into the exhibit through the New Year gateway and transported to the Tết Festival in modern day Vietnam. The immersive Marketplace experience is the perfect place to select traditional flowers and faux food items to prepare for the celebration. Back in the Home section of the exhibit, families can pose for interactive family photos and dress up in customary Ao Dai (a long tunic worn over pants). Children can try on a giant Lion Dance Mask and engage with the parades, games, and music that allow families to share the festivities with others. It is perpetually midnight in the Courtyard area of the exhibit where the visitor-created Fireworks burst in the night sky and signal the coming of the New Year.

scooter_1“The award from The Freeman Foundation made it possible for Children’s Discovery Museum to share our commitment to building global awareness and understanding with children and families throughout the U.S.,” said Children’s Discovery Museum Executive Director Marilee Jennings.  “We are extremely grateful for the generosity of The Freeman Foundation and for the enthusiastic support we received from our local Vietnamese Advisory Committee members, who helped us to learn about Vietnamese culture and the importance of Tết. Their commitment to sharing their stories and traditions enabled us to create an exhibit that met the cultural goals of The Freeman Foundation, and will also capture the imagination and hearts of thousands of family visitors around the nation.”

Elly Gerdts, Marketing Coordinator for the Family Museum said, “We are extremely excited and honored to have been chosen as one of the nine stops for the national tour of Voyage to Vietnam: Celebrating the Tết Festival. This exhibit offers a unique opportunity for our guests to explore the culture of Vietnam through hands-on, interactive activities. We are thankful to work with Translations Unlimited, Inc. from Davenport, Iowa, who has helped us bring this one-of-a-kind experience to the Quad Cities.”

Voyage to Vietnam: Celebrating the Tết Festival will be open at the Family Museum from September 24, 2016 through January 15, 2017.

Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written almost 30 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.