History, Animated: The past comes to life in Camp History at N-YHS

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Campers strike a pose with Lincoln outside the museum.

Instead of spending your February break watching cartoons, why not learn how to make them? From 9am to 4pm, February 18-21, middle school students in New-York Historical Society’s Camp History program will create stop-motion animated videos based on the history they learn in the museum galleries.

What do history and animation have to do with each other? Well, all Camp History projects use current technologies to study history in new, creative ways. If you have ever been to our museum, you know there are a lot of very new stuff among all the very old stuff. Perhaps you have seen our film, New York Story, in our state-of-the-art theater. Or maybe you have clicked the images on the touch screens by the New York Rising exhibit. Museums, and people in general, invent technologies to help them connect to other people, places, and even times.

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campers clean some very old paper in our conservation lab.

Camp History experiences are unique because campers get unparalleled access to our collections, and they get to work with special guest experts. This February, campers will work with Ken Amarit, artist, crafter, programmer, and independent video game designer based in Brooklyn.  In keeping with the Camp History theme, Mr. Amarit combines present and past technologies in his work.  Mr. Amarit needle felts wool to create the fascinating creatures in his video games. He even uses plants and other natural materials to dye his wool!  His blog has more information about his games and his animation process.

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Check out Mr. Amarit’s studio. You can see the wool Amarit dyes and uses for his creatures.

In addition to working with Mr. Amarit, campers will go “behind the scenes” and meet N-YHS staff including conservators and historians. Space is limited and advanced registration required. Contact camphistory@nyhistory.org before February 6th, 2014 if you are interested in joining the fun!


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This is a clubhouse blog for kids who love history! It is created by the staff of the DiMenna Children’s History Museum and New-York Historical Society.

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