News & Press

Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

The ‘Silk Road’ goes interactive

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

The Pacific Asia Museum recently opened “Journeys: The Silk Road,” a new interactive exhibit….Amelia Chapman, curator of education, pushed for a spot that would reach out to people beyond reading and looking at artifacts. “We decided to make it a interactive exhibit, a more family-friendly exhibit,” Chapman said. “People don’t just want to walk around a museum and look at things in cases.”

Visitors can take the learning from this space out to the rest of the museum, where all of the artifacts on display came from Asia or the Pacific Islands, and follow the connections. There is no set way to explore “Journeys: The Silk Road.” Almost everything is hands-on and can be enjoyed in any order.

In the center of the space is a gorgeous tent lush with overstuffed pillows. Parents can just relax here or select a book from a basket to read with their child. The tent also serves as a fun spot for interactive play. On the first Saturday of the month at 10:30 a.m., visitors can gather here for Silk Road Storytime as well.

“My favorite part is the tent experience,” Chapman said. “I think it’s gorgeous, and I’ve seen people enjoying it. It makes people feel comfortable that they can have a seat on the floor if they’ve got a little 2-year-old, it’s fine. It makes them feel welcome and at home.”

There are also six character stations, each with a basket of clothes and hats to try on. To help with dress-up, there are also cards showing how the attire should look. Each stop provides background on its character. Children can take their turns at being a dancer, artisan, camel handler, trader, silk maker and one real person: Xuanzang, a Buddhist monk who went on an epic 15-year pilgrimage from China to India.

Additional items, such as coins, drums and a huge stuffed animal camel, encourage kids to play out their roles, imagining what they would be doing along the Silk Road. There’s a mirror so the children can see themselves in costume. It also is a spot to learn more about Buddha. “It shows how ideas traveled,” Chapman said. “Buddha, of course came from India, but he’s represented in all different cultures.” The material corner offers items to touch, as well as magnifying glasses for a closer look at carved ivory, silkworm cocoons and a gold-covered bowl.

Near the door is a satellite map with three overlays showing the contintent as it is now, where the old Silk Road was and which cities were on the route and what there key products were.”Journeys: The Silk Road” will continue to evolve, chaging exhibits over time.

Michelle Mills staff writer Pasedena Star-News

New Brighton has new Interpretive Panels

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

NEW BRIGHTON, CA – A series of new wayside panels were installed at the park’s campfire center. Written by local historian Sandy Lydon, designed and developed by Sean Laflin, BANG! Creative, the panels share some of the most interesting features of New Brighton State Beach.

Visitors discover the story of “China Beach,” and the 1880’s Chinese Fishing Village built at the base of the cliffs. A second panel reviews the history of the C.C.C. and their role in the early days of building the park. Another panel explains the presence of tens of thousands of offshore migratory birds, the Sooty Shearwaters. In addition, a new touch screen monitor spotlighting local park information has been added to the visitor center.

New Brighton State Beach is located off the Park Avenue exit off Highway 1.

For more information, contact Park Interpreter Jeff Barnes, at 831-464-5620. California State Parks

de la Ossa Adobe given Governor’s Award

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

SAN DIEGO: It is my pleasure to announce that the Los Encinos State Historic Park’s “De la Ossa Adobe Exhibit” project was awarded a Governor’s Historic Preservation Award for 2008 for the treatment and creative interpretation of the historic decorative wall treatments in Room 4.

This is a great honor for all those that have worked on, and supported, these projects along their circuitous path from earthquake, discovery/recovery, and building restoration–then into a major capitol outlay exhibit project. As many of you know this exhibit project hit many unexpected “hurdles” over the years, but owing to the dedication of the Service Centers, Angeles District, AHM Division, volunteer, and consultant staffs, ended up a very successful project. It is a shining example of how historic preservation and interpretation can be integrated.

The discovery of this historic decorative wall treatment led us to new research avenues and a much more informed understanding of the early inhabitants of this National Register of Historic Places property and its resources.
It also provided us with a great example of the value of our cultural resource management mission in stewarding the State’s historical resources—and communicating these significant efforts and stories to our visitors.

My heartfelt thanks go out to the all team members and supporters, and especially to Project Lead, Nancy Mendez, for coordinating the nomination effort.

Jim Newland, Supervising Historian
Manager, Resources & Interpretive Services
Southern Service Center

The ‘Silk Road’ Goes Interactive

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

Oct 4, 2008

The Pacific Asia Museum recently opened “Journeys: The Silk Road,” a new interactive exhibit….Amelia Chapman, curator of education, pushed for a spot that would reach out to people beyond reading and looking at artifacts.

“We decided to make it a interactive exhibit, a more family-friendly exhibit,” Chapman said. “People don’t just want to walk around a museum and look at things in cases.

“The idea that emerged was the Silk Road because it’s something that every person has heard of whether they know what it is or not, and kids are studying it in school,” she said. “This is the ultimate pan-cultural story because it’s the idea of how people, things and ideas traveled in ancient times.”

Visitors can take the learning from this space out to the rest of the museum, where all of the artifacts on display came from Asia or the Pacific Islands, and follow the connections.

There is no set way to explore “Journeys: The Silk Road.” Almost everything is hands-on and can be enjoyed in any order.

In the center of the space is a gorgeous tent lush with overstuffed pillows. Parents can just relax here or select a book from a basket to read with their child. The tent also serves as a fun spot for interactive play. On the first Saturday of the month at 10:30 a.m., visitors can gather here for Silk Road Storytime as well.

“My favorite part is the tent experience,” Chapman said. “I think it’s gorgeous, and I’ve seen people enjoying it. It makes people feel comfortable that they can have a seat on the floor if they’ve got a little 2-year-old, it’s fine. It makes them feel welcome and at home.”

There are also six character stations, each with a basket of clothes and hats to try on. To help with dress-up, there are also cards showing how the attire should look. Each stop provides background on its character. Children can take their turns at being a dancer, artisan, camel handler, trader, silk maker and one real person: Xuanzang, a Buddhist monk who went on an epic 15-year pilgrimage from China to India.

Additional items, such as coins, drums and a huge stuffed animal camel, encourage kids to play out their roles, imagining what they would be doing along the Silk Road. There’s a mirror so the children can see themselves in costume. It also is a spot to learn more about Buddha. “It shows how ideas traveled,” Chapman said. “Buddha, of course came from India, but he’s represented in all different cultures and, even though he’s represented in different ways, there’s five things that are usually always there, which you can also see throughout our whole collection.”

The material corner offers items to touch, as well as magnifying glasses for a closer look at carved ivory, silkworm cocoons and a gold-covered bowl.

Near the door is a satellite map with three overlays showing…where the old Silk Road was and which cities were on the route and what their key products. “Journeys: The Silk Road” will continue to evolve, changing exhibits over time.

Michelle Mills – staff writer Pasedena Star-News

New Brighton State Beach has new Outdoor Interpretive Panels

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

Aug 8, 2007

NEW BRIGHTON, CA—A series of new wayside panels were installed at the park’s campfire center. Written by local historian Sandy Lydon, designed and developed by BANG! Creative, the panels share some of the most interesting features of New Brighton State Beach.

Visitors discover the story of “China Beach,” and the 1880’s Chinese Fishing Village built at the base of the cliffs. A second panel reviews the history of the C.C.C. and their role in the early days of building the park. Another panel explains the presence of tens of thousands of offshore migratory birds, the Sooty Shearwaters. In addition, a new touch screen monitor spotlighting local park information has been added to the visitor center.

New Brighton State Beach is located off the Park Avenue exit off Highway 1.

Historic de la Ossa Adobe Reopens

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

ENCINO: After an earthquake 13 years ago forced its closure, de la Ossa Adobe at Los Encinos State Historic Park is once again open to the public.

Staff and docents welcomed visitors with an opening celebration featuring refurbished rooms, new interpretive displays and video, and period dances led by the Yesteryears Dancers.

Over the past year, BANG! Creative, working under the direction and supervision of the California State Parks has designed and developed the various 9 room interpretive experiences. The improvements include new historically based interior paint schemes, new motion sensitive lighting, historic furnishings and vignettes.

One of the more unique rooms features exposed adobe block and construction shoring left intack from the salvage efforts after the earthquake. Visitors can view a new 7-minute video that showcases news footage, preservation and restoration efforts that resulted in the discovery of authentic faux murals and wall treatments now on display.

Free guided tours of the adobe are available Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m., or by reservation.

Historic de la Ossa Adobe Reopens

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

July 22, 2007

ENCINO:  After an earthquake 13 years ago forced its closure, de la Ossa Adobe at Los Encinos State Historic Park is once again open to the public.

Staff and docents welcomed visitors with an opening celebration featuring refurbished rooms, new interpretive displays and video, and period dances led by the Yesteryears Dancers.

Over the past year, BANG! Creative, working under the direction and supervision of the California State Parks has designed and developed the 9 room interpretive experiences. The improvements include new historically based interior paint schemes, new motion sensitive lighting, historic furnishings and vignettes.

One of the more unique rooms features exposed adobe block and construction shoring left intact from the salvage efforts after the earthquake. Visitors can view a new 7-minute video that showcases news footage, preservation and restoration efforts that resulted in the discovery of authentic faux murals and wall treatments now on display.

Free guided tours of the adobe are available Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m., or by reservation

Topanga State Park Public Input Meeting

Thursday, October 5th, 2006

by K. Graham

Los Angeles – California State Parks welcomes the public’s input toward the development of interpretive exhibits in Topanga State Park, located in the communities of Pacific Palisades and Topanga in the City of Los Angeles. A public meeting is scheduled at the Skeet Lodge at Trippet Ranch in Topanga State Park (20825 Entrada Road, Topanga, California 90290) for October 19, 2006 with a greeting period at 5:00 pm, and the formal meeting starting at 5:30. Please dress warmly.

Improved interpretive facilities are being planned at three areas within the park; Trippet Ranch, Hub Junction and Los Liones Canyon. At Trippet Ranch, the historic Skeet Lodge will be renovated for use as an interpretive center. At Hub Junction, which is a confluence of several major trails, interpretive panels will be constructed. The proposed work at Los Liones Canyon will augment the current outdoor classroom and native plant demonstration garden by enhancing the interpretive trail to better serve all visitors.

An interpretive plan and exhibit plan now under development will cover the improvements at all three sites. Bang! Creative will be presenting a Schematic Plan to the public for review and comment, this plan will include: proposed interpretive goals, discussion of the visitor experience and an exhibit area walk-through describing general content of each exhibit and the interpretive techniques proposed.

For more information or for accessibility concerns, please contact K. Graham at (818)880-0350 x111 or at kgraham@parks.ca.gov. For driving directions and general park information, please visit our website at www.parks.ca.gov

New Cuyamaca Visitor Center Opens

Wednesday, July 5th, 2006

California State Parks announced today that the new visitor’s center at Cuyamaca
Rancho State Park, with new exhibits, displays, sights and sounds, will be opening with a
formal dedication set for 1:00 p.m. Saturday July 8. The public is invited. The event is free, no
day-use fee will be required, and after the brief dedication ceremony visitors will have the
opportunity to experience the new exhibits.

“This is a product of over twelve years of planning and efforts” said Cuyamaca
Superintendent Laura Itogawa, noting that the planning was well underway before the fire.
Located east of highway 79 between Paso Picacho and Green Valley, the visitor’s
center is near the site of the old Dyar House. The Dyar house had served as the Park
Headquarters and Museum for many years; however, it was destroyed by the October 2003
Cedar Fire.

The new exhibits at the center will offer such things as a close-up view of a mountain
lion and several other seldom seen forest critters, along with a look into the different ecological
communities on the mountain. One major exhibit tells the story of the CCC, the Civilian
Conservation Corps, which developed the park in the 1940s.

“This is really the first time we have told this important story” said Itogawa, “It is long
overdue and we think the public will enjoy knowing more about this fascinating piece of
history.”

A variety of authentic Native American artifacts are displayed as well as a replica of the
Stonewall mine. Richly textured exhibits and subtle sound effects are designed to immerse
visitors in the experience. A well-stocked nature store is conveniently located next door to the
exhibit area and knowledgeable park volunteers will be present to help visitors find books and
maps or even plan a hike.

The project was funded through Proposition 40, the $2.6 billion dollar “California Clean
Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhood Parks, and Coastal Protection Act of 2002.” Voters
passed this bond act by a 56.8 percent margin on March 5, 2002. For more information please
call 760.765.3020.

by Brian Cahill, CA Dept. of Parks and Recreation, in Sights, Sounds, and Critters Ready to Go!

Adobe Makeover Complete

Thursday, March 2nd, 2006

By Kate Woods, in The Weekend Pinnacle Online

Historic Castro-Breen Adobe of San Juan Bautista illuminates the lives of those who called it home

It may not sport the once-planned robotic tech of a fake horse whinnying or an animated rubber chicken flapping its wings, but San Juan Bautista State Park’s newly renovated Castro-Breen Adobe is sure to be a winner among school children.

On March 11, the historic building that was home to Military Gov. Jose Tiburcio Castro and the prolific Breen family in San Juan Bautista during the 1800s will re-open its low-hanging doors to the public. The two-story adobe, a centerpiece in the town’s Mission Plaza, has undergone a three-year, state-funded $1.65 million makeover that, more than anything, preserved the building itself – especially from earthquakes.

Inside, visitors will get a crash course of what life was like for the Spanish Californians and Irish-American people who lived in the building, and for the Native American Mutsun who lived outside its doors. Life-sized wooden cut-outs of the adobe’s most prominent occupants, accompanied by a few replicas of artifacts, timelines and many educational panels, tell the Castro-Breen story, geared toward the thousands of field-tripping fourth graders who traditionally have filed through the adobe’s doors every year since the 1960s.

“We wanted to give equal weight to the Castros and the Breens,” said state park interpreter Pat Clark-Gray, as she gave reporters a sneak preview of the restoration earlier this week. “Before it was more Breen. And we also wanted to give more information about the Mutsuns.”

Clark-Gray said the new tour that awaits school children complies with a new state standard for fourth-grade history and social studies. But it’s an important story for all residents of the area. The Castro-Breen Adobe was the first outpost of “civilization” established in San Benito County. It was home to the first military governor of the state and then the first Anglo family to settle in the area.