The Waterloo Center for the Arts has a recognized heritage of innovative art-based children’s programs. In developing the new Phelps Youth Pavilion the Center aimed for creating a unique children’s museum of the visual and performing arts. The result will be the Junior Art Galleries with innovative hands-on exhibits by the Interactive Group. 

Scheduled to open in mid-2007, new exhibit galleries will immerse young visitors in a range of hands-on activities exploring the visual and performing arts, architecture and the Center’s collections of Midwestern and Haitian art. Designed for children from 6 months to 12 years and their families, the two floors of exhibits will invite visitors to:

  • Drive a Haitian "tap tap" taxi and make steel drum music with their feet.
  • Develop motor skills while exploring fish and birds of the Caribbean.
  • Learn about the American painter Grant Wood and his art in a one-room schoolhouse like the one he attended.
  • Take a time machine journey back into history to explore cave painting, make an Egyptian cartouche and dig up art treasures.
  • Drive a climb-on tractor through "virtual worlds" in Grant Wood's paintings.
  • Build a small scale building and explore how architects design buildings.
  • Create their own self-portraits, stage puppet productions, curate their own art shows... and much more.