Kimball opens new Family Creativity Center | ParkRecord.com

Kimball opens new Family Creativity Center

Greg Marshall, Of the Record staff

The Kimball Art Center isn’t just for kids.

The nonprofit art center will offer more children’s activities at this weekend arts festival in an effort to broaden its reach, and membership drive, during one of the most buzzed about days on Park City’s social calendar.

Officials at the Kimball decided to expand the so-called "kids’ corner" of yore into a hub where families can bedazzle hats, apply temporary tattoos, fish for prizes, decorate the street with chalk and blow bubbles.

The Family Creativity Center will spill onto Heber Avenue in front of the Kimball. The price of activities ranges from $2 to $8 and all proceeds go to the nonprofit center for the arts.

"This year, we wanted a family event," Robin Rankin, executive director of the Kimball, said. "Nobody puts the baby in the corner anymore."

Outreach is an important component of the arts festival for the Kimball because it sells the bulk of its annual memberships over Arts Festival weekend, which runs today from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Early tallies show membership sales on par with last year in spite of the sluggish economy. Members receive discounts on the Kimball’s art supply store, coffee shop and classes.

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The Family Center is an impressive undertaking even without taking into account the 15-foot interactive sculpture the Kimball commissioned for the event.

Andrew Smith’s untitled artwork looks like an oil rig and features levers that, when pulled, spray water, according to the artist.

Inside the Kimball from noon to 5 p.m., people can listen to music and sip drinks at the center’s new café.

The feverish activities are a significant shift from 2008, when a large music stage blocked off the Kimball, and only VIP pass holders could enter the building.

This year, the Kimball eagerly anticipates guests strolling through. "What better way to show what we do than to engage people of all ages in diverse activities?" Rankin asked. "We want people to come in and experience what we do."

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