Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Family Day at Crisp Museum celebrates folk art

Friday, November 13, 2020

The Crisp Museum’s Family Day event offered a little something for everyone, featuring make-and-take activities as well as museum exhibits for the Southeast community to enjoy Nov. 7.

Family Day is similar to Cape Girardeau’s Heritage Days event. It provides many of the same history-focused activities, according to Curator of Education Ellen Flentge. This year’s theme is folk, folk art and folk music, she said. At the event, she related the activities to local interests and connections to the Cape Girardeau area, such as teaching about the basket weaving materials that are available naturally in this region.

Activities were created for a variety of age and skill levels, with opportunities to create anything from custom emojis to baskets. Different socially-distanced stations at the museum offered storytelling, quilting, basket weaving, finger weaving and historic toy activities.

“Getting people to use a needle and thread can be used at any age. You can be 80 and start, or you can be two and start,” Flentge said of the quilting activity, in which visitors created a microwavable coaster.

Flentge added that the storytelling activity was created with different prompts for each age group to allow everyone a chance to participate.

Aaron Hendershott from the Missouri Department of Conservation also attended the event with a collection of baskets he created himself. He joins other local creators who displayed their work at the Crisp Museum Saturday.

In addition to folk art, several historic household items from the early 20th Century were displayed for visitors. Items such as a whisk, toaster and radio reminded community member Linda Lovewell of items their families used.

“We lived this,” Lovewell, of Cape Girardeau, said.

Others found the crafting activities to be a relaxing chance to slow down and use their creativity. Art major Xiaohong Liu created a quilted coaster at the Family Day event.

“Sewing something, you feel quiet and you feel peace. It makes you feel comfortable,” Liu said.

Nov. 14 at 10 a.m., the museum will host an “Escape the Museum” event, similar to an escape room, which requires participants to solve puzzles and challenges. Online registration is required prior to the event. For more information on visiting the museum and upcoming events, visit their website.