ST. LOUIS, Oct. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Two new exhibitions, opening Halloween weekend at the World Chess Hall of Fame (WCHOF), will use the chess board and its pieces as both an interactive learning experience for children and an opportunity to engage the community in a dialogue about race, peace and conflict, and inequality, among other issues.
Kings, Queens & Castles, created in collaboration with The Magic House, St. Louis Children's Museum, will open Saturday, Oct. 31. This innovative, interactive family exhibit brings the game of chess to life and provides an engaging introduction to individual chess pieces and game strategy. On view at the WCHOF through Sept. 11, 2016, the exhibit will then travel to the Magic House (Oct. 1, 2016 – Jan. 16, 2017) and nationally to select children's museums, libraries and other family facilities.
Admission to Kings, Queens & Castles, located on the second floor gallery: $5 for visitors over 5 years old; Free on Tuesdays; Free for WCHOF Members.
Ladies' Knight: A Female Perspective on Chess examines how a game often dominated by men inspired 12 contemporary women artists to create chess artwork that explores societal issues. The exhibit is scheduled Thursday, Oct. 29 through April 17, 2016 and will feature chess sets by Yoko Ono; Jennifer Shahade, a two-time U.S. Women's Chess Champion; Saint Louisan Yuko Suga, whose pieces explore race relations in U.S. cities; and nine other female artists. Their diverse interpretations of the game range from the playful and feminine to the serious, and encourage dialogue about subjects like crime, language, trust, notions of beauty and addiction. A signing by Shahade of her book, Play Like a Girl!: Tactics by 9 Queens followed by a lecture is scheduled for Nov. 11 at the World Chess Hall of Fame.
Admission to Ladies' Knight: A Female Perspective on Chess, located on the first floor gallery: Free with a suggested donation of $5.
"We are excited to have these two very diverse displays running simultaneously, both of which reflect topics, issues and experiences that are reflective not only of our society today but, historically, going back nearly 1,500 years when the game first evolved," Shannon Bailey, chief curator at the World Chess Hall of Fame, said. "Exploration, integrity, foresight, intellectual curiosity, competition — it's all there."
Designed for children (recommended age: 3-11) interested in learning more about the game, Kings, Queens & Castles will feature an array of interactive elements, including a drawbridge leading to a castle, a dress-up station that transforms children into royalty, chess play stations and life-sized chess pieces. Kids can download an app that creates a personalized memory book of their visit and connects to a digital chess game.
"This unique exhibit is designed to provide an age-appropriate introduction to chess, a timeless game that develops important 21st-century skills," said Beth Fitzgerald, president of The Magic House. "We look forward to sharing our interactive learning experiences with the families visiting the World Chess Hall of Fame."
On Saturday, Oct. 31 the WCHOF will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and — as part of the Central West End's Halloween celebration — at 12 p.m. children visiting Kings, Queens & Castles will receive a complimentary chess set and a coupon for a lunch item that can be redeemed at Kingside Diner across from WCHOF. There will be a number of family-friendly activities on the Saint Louis Chess Campus that day, including craft activities on the WCHOF's patio and Chess Blitz Tips being offered to visitors outside the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (4657 Maryland Ave.), located across the street from the WCHOF. Shop Q Boutique for a wide array of child-friendly gifts, activity books, custom apparel, costumes and more both in-store and online.
About the World Chess Hall of Fame
The World Chess Hall of Fame is a nonprofit organization committed to building awareness for the cultural and artistic significance of chess. It opened on September 9, 2011, in the Central West End after moving from previous locations in New York and Miami. The World Chess Hall of Fame is located at 4652 Maryland Avenue, housed in an historic 15,900 square-foot residence-turned-business, and features the U.S. and World Chess Halls of Fame, displays of artifacts from the permanent collection and exhibitions highlighting the great players, historic games and rich cultural history of chess. The organization offers a rich visitor experience, which includes a wide range of programming and a beautifully curated boutique, Q Boutique. The World Chess Hall of Fame partners with the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis to provide innovative programming and outreach to local, national, and international audiences.
About The Magic House, St. Louis Children's Museum
The Magic House is a not-for-profit participatory museum that provides interactive learning experiences for children and families and encourages experimentation, creativity and the development of problem-solving skills within a place of beauty, wonder, joy and magic. The Magic House is located at 516 S. Kirkwood Rd., one mile north of Highway 44 in historic downtown Kirkwood. For more information, please visit www.magichouse.org, or call 314-822-8900.
SOURCE World Chess Hall of Fame