Just Sew Stories: Hmong Culture Comes to Maine

Kue John Lor, the exhibit's co-curator, in traditional Hmong clothing

On Sunday, June 30th, the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine will celebrate the opening of Just Sew Stories: Hmong History Stitched, a new temporary exhibition within the acclaimed We Are Maine exhibit.

Just Sew Stories features more than a dozen costumes, toys and tapestries created in the traditional Hmong style of paj ntaub (literally translated as “flower cloth”). Long an important element of Hmong clothing and decorative arts, this intricate embroidery style evolved as the Hmong people were driven from their native countries during and after the Vietnam War, settling in refugee camps throughout Southeast Asia. As they traveled and resettled – many in the American Midwest – Hmong women used embroidery to tell the story of these migrations. The narrative tapestries they create are known as story cloths.

The exhibition was co-curated by Museum & Theatre staff and Hmong cultural consultant Kue John Lor with support from the Frances R. Dewing Foundation. In addition to the Hmong embroidery (most created by Lor’s aunt, Nao Vang, a Laos native living in Wisconsin), the exhibit features

Nao Vang (far right), paj ntaub artist, with her family in Thailand

interactive components, including felt boards that children can use to create their own story cloths.

In the spirit of cross-cultural learning, the exhibit opening celebration will also feature a short documentary about the Culture Scholars, four Portland High School students from around the world who work part-time at the Museum & Theatre leading programs that encourage families to learn about new cultures and share their own. The Children’s Museum & Theatre’s multicultural programming – including the Culture Scholars program, the We Are Maine exhibit and other endeavors – earned international recognition in 2012, when the Museum & Theatre was one of four children’s museums in the world to receive the MetLife Promising Practice Award.

Announcement: $2 First Fridays start July 5th

On the first Friday evening of each month, we’re open from 5-8pm for a reduced admission rate. On Friday, July 5th, admission will increase from $1 to $2 per person.

The Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine is a non-profit organization. Providing a safe, high-quality experience costs $11.60 per visitor. Increasing our First Friday admission rate from $1 to $2 will help us continue to provide affordable hours for our community. Thank you for your support!

Scholarships are available.

If you cannot afford the new admission rate, please visit our website for a scholarship application. Donors have provided funding for memberships and day passes for families who receive public assistance. We are committed to keeping the Museum & Theatre accessible to all families.

Eating Healthy: Homemade “Pop Tarts”

Hi, everyone! Did you catch our Eating Healthy workshop this morning? Even if you missed it, we’re excited to share today’s recipe with you. Make delicious, nutritious goodies at home, any time!

Today’s recipe:

Homemade Pop Tarts!

Eating Healthy is a monthly cooking program sponsored by Shaw’s and is free with admission. Hope to see you next month!

 

Cooking Healthy: Veggie Burgers

Hi, everyone! Did you catch our Cooking Healthy workshop this morning? Even if you missed it, we’re excited to share today’s recipe with you. Make delicious, nutritious goodies at home, any time!

Today’s recipe:

Beet Bean Burgers!

Cooking Healthy is a monthly cooking program sponsored by Northeast Delta Dental and is free with admission. Hope to see you next month!