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Wonder Works, a Childrens Museum in Oak Park, kicks off Hispanic Heritage Month celebration with a Free Admission Day

Nordstrom sponsors free day on September 20 to begin month-long celebration

Oak Park, Illinois - September 11, 2003 - Wonder Works, A Childrens Museum in Oak Park, will kick off Hispanic Heritage Month with a free admission day on Saturday, September 20. Nordstrom is sponsoring the free day as well as a variety of special events during Hispanic Heritage Month.

During the museums free day, visitors can participate in a clay sculpting workshop from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and watch the renowned dance troupe, Ensemble Espaol from Northeastern Illinois University, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Inspired by the gigantic Olmec head sculptures found in Veracruz and other parts of southern Mexico, artist Jesus Oviedo will show visitors age five and up how to mold clay heads. Participants artwork will be on display during Hispanic Heritage Month. Oviedos workshop is courtesy of Art Resources in Teaching (A.R.T.), an organization that teaches hands-on art making programs in elementary schools.

Ensemble Espaol will perform a number of Spanish dances, some with audience participation. The troupes founder and artistic director, Dame Libby Komaiko, received the highest honor from the King of Spain, who decorated her for her artistic, cultural and educational work throughout the United States.

During September and October, the museum will present weekly art projects, an "adventure path maze" and story times celebrating Hispanic themes. Wonder Works will also host local artists and a chef to help children explore Hispanic history, customs and food. Following are some of the additional special events:

  • Saturday, Sept. 27, 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
    Feather art workshop:
    In ancient Mexico, the Amantecas (feather craft workers) were in charge of creating beautiful and elaborate head-dresses, fans, textiles and battle shields. Artist Dolores Mercado will help participants create a project using feathers. Ages 3 and up.
  • Saturday, Oct. 4, 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
    Papel picado art workshop:
    Learn about the origin of papel picado, which is cut out banners used for different holidays and festivals in Mexico, from artist Dolores Mercado. Participants will make a banner and a cut-out paper flag. Ages 8 and up.
  • Saturday, Oct. 11, 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
    Panamanian mola art workshop:
    Artist Jennifer Raia will show participants how to make brightly-colored appliqu panels based on the traditional clothing worn by Panamanian women. Ages 6 and up.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 15, 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Pupusas cooking class:
    Chef Fredy Hernandez will teach children how to make an authentic El Salvadorian recipe for pupusas (stuffed tortillas).

Space is limited for the art workshops and cooking class, and reservations are required. Call Wonder Works at 708.383.4815 to make a reservation or sign up at the museum. Participants must be accompanied by an adult.

The special events are included in the price of admission, which is $5 per person. Children under one and members are free.

Contact: Deborah Gill, 312.884.0054 or Gale Zemel, 708.383.4815