Maybe you threatened to run away and join the circus when you were little, but your child is a savvy New Yorker. "I'm joining Blue Man Group!" he yells every time you say no more cookies. According to Adam Green's "Talk of the Town" piece about the new Blue Man Creativity Center, it's time to take the tyke seriously.
You see, there's a not-yet-accredited nursery school on Lafayette founded by Blue Man Group founders Chris Wink and Matt Goldman, and the program follows a model that "emphasizes empowering children by encouraging their creativity" (or Goldman explains, "We wanted to create the school that we wish we’d had"). The 40-odd kids that attended the first sessions last week were 2- to 4-years-old, but Wink and Goldman hope to eventually expand it to fifth grade (which is great for the older children, though, sadly, Tobias Fünke still won't qualify).
Also, the activities sound awesome:
Every day at the center will end with a ritual called Glow Time, during which the shades are lowered, the regular lights are turned off, and black lights are turned on, illuminating the parts of the room (including work created by the students) that have been painted with special UV paint. The collection of Blue Man-inspired educational gewgaws on hand is a far cry from flash cards and Play-Doh. There’s a hypnotic Bubble Machine, with kid-controlled colored lights; a futuristic Water Machine, with a mini-whirlpool; and a trippy installation, left over from the B.M.G.’s 2003 tour, of giant computer-animated dragonflies that can be made to light up, flap their wings, and fly.
So, parents, breathe a sigh of relief: Despite the messy habits of the Blue Men in charge, your little ones won't be coating themselves in head-to-toe paint. (Your real concern: What if Stomp opens a competitor?) Really, there's just one catch, according to Green: "They decided against teaching their pupils how to catch paintballs in their mouths ('Maybe in second grade,' Goldman said)." Maybe? We can only hope. How else are these pampered city kids going to get trained for Kid Nation? —Lori Fradkin
Cool for School [NYer]