New exhibit for children connects fun, feelings and human rights

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News release details

"XOXO: An Exhibit About Love and Forgiveness" opens on Sunday

Make a face to light up a video screen. Hold hands to illuminate a hidden message. Crank your negative emotions through a shredder, or squish your loving thoughts into a secret token for someone special.

A vividly colourful, play‐based exhibition opens this Sunday (October 4) at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR), using hands‐on activities and interactive technology to help children understand, appreciate and express their emotions. Families can explore and discuss powerful feelings about love and forgiveness that underpin human rights.

XOXO: An Exhibit About Love and Forgiveness, created by the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh with support from the Fetzer Institute, will run in the CMHR's new Level 1 Gallery until January 3, 2016.

"When human rights concepts like fairness and respect are introduced at a young age, they can have a lasting impact," said CMHR president and CEO John Young. "This wonderful exhibition will ignite sparks that generate discussion and learning through active play while sharing thoughts with families and caregivers."

Visitors to XOXO will explore 15 hands‐on exhibition stations. They can:

  • Sit on a teeter totter to balance a ball using teamwork, communication and cooperation.
  • Hug a giant egg and hear its appreciative sound.
  • Hold hands while touching sensors to complete a circuit and reveal a hidden message.
  • Create five‐second videos of their faces expressing different emotions to begin to recognize how others are feeling.
  • Release the negative by drawing or writing what makes them angry or sad, then cranking it through a shredder.
  • Write down loving thoughts on paper and compress them into tokens.
  • Create silhouettes of their friends and mount them on light boxes.
  • Speak into a telephone handset and watch how their tone of voice changes the colourful screen.

In addition to the exhibition elements, daily program activities will be offered by CMHR staff, including:

  • Make and take: write a love letter or create a themed craft
  • Stories and songs: Grab a book and get comfy, or join an interpreter for storytime and singing.
  • Lights, camera, action: express your feelings on stage or watch a performance of "The Gift", Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m., starting October 10.
  • Move and groove: Lounge, roll or dance in their free‐play space.

Admission is $8 for everyone aged 3 and up, and free for Museum members. Other fee options that include family tickets and general admission to Museum galleries are also available. More information can be found at Group booking rates are also available for daycares and nursery schools.

XOXO: An Exhibit About Love and Forgiveness is the second exhibition in the Museum's Level 1 Gallery, a 450‐square‐metre space completed in June 2015 with state‐of‐the‐art technology and climate controls that enable the museum to host exhibits of any size and type.

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is the first museum in the world solely dedicated to the evolution, celebration and future of human rights. Using multimedia technology and other innovative approaches, the CMHR creates inspiring encounters with human rights for all ages and abilities, in a visitor experience unlike any other.

Children's Museum of Pittsburgh is a place that delights and inspires children, where they can take off on fantastic flights of imagination daily, and return to earth to ink a silkscreen in The Studio, build and tinker with old and new technologies in MAKESHOP, pump and move water in all directions in the new Waterplay, much more. The Children's Museum welcomes nearly 270, 000 visitors annually and provides tons of fun and loads of "real stuff" experiences for play and learning. In 2006 the Museum was honoured by the American Institute for Architects and the National Historic Preservation Trust. The Children's Museum won a 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service and in 2011 the Museum was named as one of the nation's Top 10 children's museums by Parents magazine.

The Fetzer Institute is an organization that works to foster awareness of the power of love and forgiveness in the emerging global community.

Louise Waldman
CMHR Manager of Communications
Cell: 204–451-5760

Media contacts

Louise Waldman