The Whatcom Museum is excited to offer a variety of in-person summer programs and activities for people of all ages. From the return of a community art project in June called Whatcom Squared to summer camps for kids to History Sunset Cruises, the Museum hopes to offer history and art experiences in a fun, safe way.
Community members will turn the Lightcatcher building’s glass Lightwall into a massive “stained glass” patchwork by creating artworks on large transparent squares as part of the second offering of Whatcom Squared. During the month of June, the Museum will have 3-foot-square plastic sheets available for free for community members to pick up and take home to draw on. The Museum hopes people will show what a Whatcom summer looks like. Squares can be picked up at the Museum’s Lightcatcher building and need to be returned by June 27.
“We’re so excited to be able to welcome people back to the Museum, and there’s nothing I like more than seeing all the kooky and creative ways our community expresses itself,” said Drew Whatley, lead educator at the Museum. “…I would love to see a whole rainbow of colors from dozens of different squares totally transform the Lightcatcher building, but the coolest part will be how the community places its own stamp on the building.”
The Museum will hang the transparencies on the window squares inside the building to create a huge mosaic of stained glass. By playing with and changing one of the central elements of the building, namely the light that floods in the Lightwall during summertime, the community can make the Museum their own. In addition to offering transparencies for people to take home, the Museum will host two work parties on June 5 or June 26 to help people find inspiration, and with markers and supplies available for use.
More information is available at www.whatcommuseum.org/whatcom-squared.
The Museum is offering “superhero” summer camps this year at the Lightcatcher building for children ages 4 – 10. Half-day science- and art-themed camps will be led by Museum educators for children 4 – 6 years old. Kids will grow crystals, build marble mazes, and create other STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) activities at the science camp, or learn about different artists and their techniques, while creating their own paintings at the art camp. Full day camps for children 7 – 10 years old will focus on roleplaying games and how to create them, or photography and filmmaking.
Camp sessions are a week long and begin July 12, with one offering of each camp type. More information about session details, what parents can expect, and fees can be found at www.whatcommuseum.org/learn/camps. The Museum will follow health and safety protocols for summer camps, including wearing face coverings, regular hand and surface sanitizing and more.
After missing last summer’s annual History Sunset Cruises due to Covid-19, the Museum is excited to resume these beloved waterside history lessons aboard San Juan Cruises’ Victoria Star boat. History Cruises will sail Tuesdays, July 13 – August 31, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Participants get great close-up views of parks, businesses, industry and neighborhoods from Bellingham Bay, with Bellingham historians Brian Griffin or Doug Starcher serving as tour guides. They tie their knowledge of local history with up-to-date facts about bayside activities. Their narrative of history, trivia and current events makes cruise guests feel they are becoming experts on their community and gives new understanding of the area to both locals and visitors.
Tickets are $35 for Museum members and $40 for non-members. No group rates will be offered this year due to capacity limitations. Children ages 5 and younger are free but must be pre-registered. Purchase tickets through Eventbrite.com or in-person at the Museum Store inside the Lightcatcher, 250 Flora St. More information about History Sunset Cruises can be found at www.whatcommuseum.org/explore/history-sunset-cruise/.