By Mark Robinson
The executive director of the Museum of Miniature Houses is thinking bigger, with an upcoming weekly series of artistic encounters aiming to draw new visitors and new interest in the facility located in Carmel’s Arts & Design District.
Elaine Mancini, the museum’s executive director since November, is leaning on her experience in marketing communications and tourism promotion to increase awareness, attendance and funding for the museum at 111 E. Main St. She has found that “once we get people into the museum, they love it.” It’s getting them to take that first look, which is the genesis of the encounters program.
Artists from all areas – musicians, singers, songwriters, storytellers, oral historians and more – will take turns leading an encounter each Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. For the opening encounter on Jan. 28, Mancini has secured world-renowned musician Csaba Erdelyi – the only person to win the prestigious Carl Flesch Violin Competition playing a viola and currently lead viola for the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. Other acts lined up include a group of soloists, a Carmel High School duo playing acoustic guitar and percussion and a singer performing Irish songs around St. Patrick’s Day.
The second Wednesday of each month’s encounter will be geared toward children under 12. There will also be times when Mancini asks attendees to draw something in the museum that inspires them or write a story about a museum object or theme. “Most people are quite creative and imaginative when they are given the correct atmosphere to show that,” she said.
Admission to the encounters is free (donations are appreciated) and guests are encouraged to check out the entire museum when they attend. Advance reservations for the encounters are appreciated so the museum has an idea what attendance will be. Anyone interested in performing at an encounter is encouraged to contact Mancini. For more information or to make reservations, call 575-9466 or visit www.museumofminiatures.org.