Two men stand next to each other on the LEGO(R) Masters TV show.

March 13, 2024
Community Leaders and LEGO® Masters at the Museum in April

For Immediate Release: March 13, 2024

Bellingham, WA — The Whatcom Museum debuted its Access for All Free First Friday program in January 2024, and on Friday, April 5, programming will focus on community building. The museum has something for all ages as we think about the dreams we have for Bellingham and all who live here.

First, in the spirit of respectful dialogue, the museum is hosting a community builders round table from 1 – 2:30 pm in Old City Hall. Visitors are invited to join a collaborative community discussion as we dream up the future of Bellingham with local leaders representing city planning, mental health services, interfaith alliances, and more. Visitors will engage in small group conversations “speed dating” style with specific questions to consider then share with the room. Swil Kanim (Lummi), a violinist and human rights activist who has received a Whatcom Dispute Resolution Peace Builder award, will moderate.

Next, the museum is also hosting a LEGO® building contest, open to kids and adults 5 and up. Prizes will be awarded for the first-place entry in each age category (5-10, 11-17, 18+), but to be eligible, the LEGO® creation must be original and reflect the community-building theme. What does it mean to you? Show us in bricks! Future LEGO® Masters should register their amazing creations online by March 22, 2024. Contest entries will be on view in Old City Hall March 27 – April 7, and winners – who will receive a prize as well as a LEGO® trophy made by local LEGO® Master TV contestants Brad Bergman and Mike Tarrant, will be announced on April 5, 2024 at the Whatcom Museum. (Aspiring creators need not be present to win.)

For even more LEGO® fun, jump in the Brick Pit in the Lightcatcher in the afternoon to build ’til your heart’s content. Brad and Mike will be on-hand throughout the day to lead mini LEGO® building stations, and they will also be constructing a LEGO® build of Old City Hall live! Stop by from 4 – 6 pm to see this original design take shape and learn how they planned it.

“We want to prioritize accessible programs like Free First Friday that celebrate our wonderful Bellingham community and uphold our belief that museums are spaces where everyone belongs,” said Bridget Girnus, museum educator and program manager. “I can’t wait to see the beautiful LEGO creations our community builds and hear thoughtful reflections at the afternoon round table.”

In addition, the Whatcom Museum is partnering with Pass the Bricks, a non-profit organization that aims to give more children access to play by collecting and repurposing used LEGO® bricks. Drop off your used LEGO® bricks at the museum March 27 – April 14. They will be cleaned and turned into packages for children who wouldn’t normally have access to them.

Visitors will also be able to tour the museum’s newest exhibition, National Geographic’s Greatest Wildlife Photographs, which opened March 9. On Access for All Free First Fridays, admission is free at both museum exhibition buildings – Old City Hall and the Lightcatcher – and both buildings have extended hours until 9 pm (7 pm for the Family Interactive Gallery). More details, times, and LEGO® contest rules available on the Whatcom Museum website

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Adrienne Dawson
Director, Marketing & PR
Whatcom Museum
amdawson@cob.org

About the Whatcom Museum:

The Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, WA, is an American Alliance of Museums-accredited museum and a Smithsonian Affiliate. Notable projects have included the 2019 retrospective exhibition Ed Bereal: WANTED: For Disturbing the Peace, featured in The New York Times, the touring exhibition Katazome Today: Migrations of a Japanese Art, and the co-curated, exhibition Many Wests: Artists Shape an American Idea, which was on view at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., in 2023.

The Whatcom Museum spans three buildings in downtown Bellingham: the Lightcatcher, Old City Hall, and the Syre Education Center. For more information about exhibitions, programs, and admission, visit whatcommuseum.org.