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Please Touch Museum: There’s Nothing like Experience


Nancy D. KolbDear Children’s Museums,

You know you’re doing something right when adults are using their particularly coy nephew or the overly-animated kids next door as an excuse to step foot inside your museum to reap all of its cool benefits.

The long-established Please Touch Museum has been a staple in Philadelphia child’s play since its debut in Center City during the late 1970s and undeniably ages gracefully with time. Now standing tall at its new location inside the dazzling Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park, the Please Touch Museum’s next face-lift is far from cosmetic, and will be felt among its executive staff. On September 8th, it was announced that Laura Foster will succeed current President and Chief Executive Officer Nancy D. Kolb when Kolb officially retires on November 20. The date is significant for Kolb as it marks her 21st anniversary with the museum. Following in Foster's footsteps, Concetta Anne Bencivenga has been promoted to Executive Vice President. 

Foster, the museum’s current Executive Director, has been at the Please Touch Museum for 18 years and has played an integral part in the success of “the Children’s Museum of Philadelphia.” Serving as Vice President of Development, Director of Development and Marketing, and other ranks in the past, most will feel at ease with the managerial transition of the PTM. Additionally, her extracurricular activities, past and present, also prove she’s very much up for the job (she has served as President of the Association of Children’s Museums, has been elected to the board of the American Association of Museums and served as Adjunct Associate Professor in the Museum Studies Department at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia---just to name a few).

Foster, with the help of her PTM Team, will probably have a few new tricks up her sleeve to make the museum better than ever, but until then, there are plenty attention-grabbing exhibits to experience at this very moment. Heighten your mind’s eyes and have your own “Alice in Wonderland” experience equipped with a maze, hall of doors and a Mad Hatters Tea Party. Treat your little one with a good ‘ole, old-fashioned story-time session in the “Fairytale Garden” for some daily motivating merriment. And, of course, October suggests lots of harmless, chilling fun. Children can have a “not-so-spooky Halloween” on Saturday, October 31st and go trick-or-treating throughout the museum’s exhibits, then later get colorful with holiday-appropriate activities like paint with creepy crawlers (and reduce your admission price $1.50 that day!). There are a lot more special events and weekly discounts where that came from, so grab a child and get interactive, you big kid.

For her work at the Please Touch Museum, Nancy Kolb will be honored at the 2009 Visionary Woman Awards on Wednesday, October 7th from 6-9pm. The reception will take place at Moore College of Art & Design. Architect Billie Tsien will also be receiving the Visionary Woman Award, which celebrates leading women in the visual arts in Philadelphia. 


Please Touch Museum

Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park

4231 Avenue of the Republic

Philadelphia, PA 19131


Monday through Saturday - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sundays - 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission is $15 for adults & children age one and over.

Museum members and children under one are free.

On-site parking is available.

For more information, call 215-581-3181, or visit www.pleasetouchmuseum.org