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Elmhurst Museum Day showcases city's cultural attractions

ELMHURST – Three Elmhurst cultural institutions will throw open their doors May 20 to greet visitors participating in the 22nd annual Museum Day in Elmhurst.

Several hundreds of people have participated in the day in years past, which includes free admission and activities at the Elmhurst History Museum, Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art and Elmhurst Art Museum.

Patrice Roche, marketing and communications specialist at the Elmhurst History Museum, said the event "riffs off" the global celebration of International Museum Day, and the city can put together an event that includes three museums that are within walking distance from each other.

"We have a pretty good museum story to tell here in Elmhurst with three museums located close together, each doing very different things but offering something special," Roche said.

The Elmhurst Art Museum's manager of membership and visitor experience, Luisa Castellanos, said the event is an opportunity for collaboration among the Elmhurst museums, and the event has brought about 700 people to the Elmhurst Art Museum, 150 Cottage Hill Ave., in a span of four hours.

"It's absolutely a huge event. ... It's like a regular day, but add a few hundred people," Castellanos said.

The Elmhurst Art Museum's activities for the event will highlight the interactive nature of Elmhurst resident Donna Castellanos' exhibit "Rescuer of Once Loved Things: The Art of Donna Castellanos." Visitors will be able to create messages on typewriters to match their perceptions of themes, make collages from old encyclopedias and participate in a sewing project, Luisa Castellanos said.

Dorothy Asher, museum director at the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art, 220 Cottage Hill Ave., said the museum will showcase a special exhibit of shell cameos, or relief carvings, from Italy and chakra stones, which are items used in ancient Indian healing methods. Children and adults alike will have the opportunity to make rock critters, which are a more elaborate version of pet rocks. About 800 people came to the LIzzadro Museum of Lapidary Art during last year's Museum Day event, Asher said.

The Elmhurst History Museum, 120 E. Park Ave., will showcase the "Snoopy and the Red Baron" traveling exhibit with a photography opportunity with Snoopy and a paper airplane activity, facepainting and a Peanuts character drawing lesson. The Checkerboard Radio Control Club will show model airplanes and a flight simulator that people of all ages can try out to test their flying skills, Roche said.

Two trolleys will take participants in the day's festivities to the three museums, Roche said.

Residents from Elmhurst and the greater Chicago area come for the event, which has grown over the years, she said. Upon visiting each museum, participants can collect stamps they can turn in upon completing their visits to become eligible for prizes, Asher said.

"We're really glad to open our doors as wide as we can," Roche said. "It's a good opportunity for outreach and to share what we have here, this special connection with each other here in Elmhurst. It is really a nice way to showcase each of the museums."


If you go

WHAT: 22nd annual Elmhurst Museum Day

WHEN: 1 to 5 p.m. May 20

WHERE: Elmhurst History Museum, Elmhurst Art Museum, Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art

COST: Free


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