The International Printing Museum in Carson is far more than a collection of antique printing equipment. It provides a number of educational programs for children throughout Southern California.
When was the last time you visited the museum? You’d be amazed how things have changed over the years since its creation in 1988.
The museum hosts a number of fun events throughout the year. The Printing Museum is able to provide its services primarily due to the contributions made by visitors, industry patrons, and individuals like you. So, if you’re looking for some last-minute tax deductions, I’d like to suggest giving to the Printing Museum.
Why donate to the Printing Museum?
The most important thing that the museum does for the industry is introducing young people to the printing industry. It does this is a variety of ways. The founding curator and executive director, Mark Barbour, and the crew of docents at the museum have created a series of fun and educational events that explain the impact of printing on society. These events also promote the career opportunities available in today’s industry. The events include Krazy Krafts Day for Kids, Girls Scouts Book Art Patch Day, and Boy Scout Merit Badge Day.
Krazy Krafts Day for Kids is a great way to explore your creativity through papermaking and marbling, calligraphy, origami, and printing your own cards on antique presses. It’s fun for the whole family, young and old. There’s plenty to do for all ages. This event is a way for every member of the printing industry to introduce the next generation of printers to the industry. Bring your youth group, neighbors, and/or extended family to the museum for a hands-on experience.
If you’re a scoutmaster or your children or their friends are in the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts then you really need to introduce them to one of the most exciting ways to earn a merit badge.
The Girl Scouts Book Artist Badge is a full-day event that gives all girls, not just Girl Scouts, the opportunity to learn about the art of bookmaking through six working stations. They’ll learn about making paper, different ways of binding books, illustrating pages, and more. This is a very popular event thus advanced registration is required.
The Boy Scout Merit Badge Day is also a full-day event giving scouts the opportunity to earn their Graphic ArtsMerit Badge and their Pulp & Paper Merit Badge. They will work through 12 workstations including papermaking, offset press operation, t-shirt printing, and bookbinding. This event, too, is very popular. Advance registration is required and the event is not open to the general public but can always use a little help from any volunteers.
Field trips that come to the schools
In addition to the various events at the museum focused on young people, the museum also has a trailer which houses a “common press” much like the one used by Benjamin Franklin. The trailer is used to take the museum’s living history programs to schools and public events all through California and Arizona.
During the past 20 years over 400,000 elementary school children at more than 3,000 schools have had the chance to learn about the role of printing in the development of China, the American Colonies, and California.
One 5th grader who attended a school field trip to the Printing Museum in the late 1990s was inspired to become a graphic designer and is now a PIASC member and co-owner of Copper Willow Paper Studio.
Additional Events for Young & Old
There are a number of other unique events that are held at the museum throughout the year. One of my favorites has to be the Independence Day Celebration. The banter between the “Confounding Brothers,” Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams, is not to be missed. What better way to celebrate our Nation’s Birthday then reproducing your own copy of the Declaration of Independenceand the Bill of Rights on an antique printing press?
If you haven’t attended the Dickens Holiday Celebration you’re missing an amazing event. This needs to be your new holiday tradition. The event is designed for the whole family. During this annual holiday event, the museum’s galleries are transformed into Fezziwig’s Warehouse. There’s holiday music in the air as guests print their own Victorian Christmas Cards on the antique presses.
During the celebration, you’ll meet Dickens characters like Fagin from Oliver Twist, Mr. Micawber from David Copperfield, and Miss Havisham from “Great Expectations.”
After you’ve walked through the museum and enjoyed the festivities, you’ll make your way to the museum’s theater where Charles Dickens himself will retell his famous A Christmas Carol, becoming Scrooge himself. And, if you’re lucky, he may choose you to play a part in his story.
Don’t miss the English bangers and gingerbread for lunch.
Make sure you make reservations early because this celebration is always sold out.
Printing in Hollywood
In addition to its educational programs, the museum consults for major Hollywood studios and has provided rentals of vintage printing presses for numerous television and movie productions. Have you had the chance to see the television commercial for Dodge Ram trucks? Take a look at it below. And, if those hands look familiar, it’s because they belong to the museum curator, Mark Barbour.
At this time of year, we start thinking about giving to others. This may be due to the holidays or due to the fact that you may need some last minute tax deductions. The Printing Museum is able to provide its services primarily due to the contributions made by visitors, industry patrons, and individuals like you. When it comes to giving, I encourage you to keep the International Printing Museum in your thoughts.
For more information about events at the museum, take a look at their website.