Art adventures: Arizona Capitol Museum

When the Arizona legislature is in session, hardly a day goes by without members of the local or national media reporting on controversial happenings at the Arizona State Capitol. But this is nothing new.

When my oldest daughter (now an ASU student interested in history and cultural anthroplogy) was in grade school, she spent a year home schooling. We spent lots of time at the Arizona State Capitol — exploring museum exhibits and sitting in on legislative hearings.

Back then, the hot button issue was cash rebates and tax credits for folks buying alternative fuel vehicles or converting vehicles for possible alternative fuel use. While the practice sounded good in theory, it became a wildly unwieldy enterprise as costs of the program soared past expectations and spiraled out of control.

I was inspired to revisit the Arizona Capitol Museum after seeing the cast of Greasepaint Youtheatre’s “Schoolhouse Rock” do a run-through of the show the night before opening their May 6-15 run in Scottsdale. It was a lot more fun than watching some of those House hearings back in the early ’90s.

The musical “Schoolhouse Rock” is based on an animated educational TV show that ran on ABC-TV during the ’70s and ’80s. Topics treated by “Schoolhouse Rock” included grammar, science and math — as well as history and civics.

Hence songs like “Just a Bill/The Preamble,” “Great American Melting Pot,” and “Sufferin’ Till Suffrage” — which you can enjoy all over again with your kids at Greasepaint Youtheater this weekend.

I took oodles of photo during my latest trip to the Arizona Capitol Museum just last week, when Christopher and I went to explore the exhibits and grab a bite in the Capitol Cafe, located in the basement of the executive tower.

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Watch for a future post featuring photos of children’s artwork displayed along the corridor connecting the executive tower, where Governor Jan Brewer’s office is located on the 9th floor, and the Arizona Capitol Museum (with doors that open into a courtyard flanked by the Arizona Senate and Arizona House of Representatives buildings).

There’s plenty of material in this slide show for crafting your own version of an “I-Spy” museum adventure or scavenger hunt of sorts. There’s even a Press-A-Penny machine on the museum’s first floor where you can treat your children to one of three nifty designs if they’re successful with your homemade game (you can define success any way you like).

Of course, my children would have preferred viewing the slide show themselves, then coming up with a list of objects for me to identify or locate. And I’d never settle for a single pressed penny as my prize. I’d insist on all three.

— Lynn

Coming up: A trio of Shakespeare posts — featuring new seasons, teacher reflections and student reviews


One response to “Art adventures: Arizona Capitol Museum

  1. Just wanted to thank you for the wonderful article. Our hope is that we continue serving Arizona residents, our children and the tons of visitors that come every year to the Arizona Capitol Museum.


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