Calwa Students to Open the Fresno Met

November 13, 2008 12:56:46 AM PST
After three years of construction and funding issues -- Fresno's Met Museum will re-open its doors this week to its renovated historic building in a brand new outdoor setting. Action News got a sneak peek inside and learned why ten students from Calwa Elementary School will have the honor of cutting the ribbon at tomorrows re-opening ceremonies.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
For more information on the continuous, round the clock three days and nights of activities celebrating the re-opening of the Fresno Metropolitan Museum of Arts & Science click on this link: www.fresnomet.org
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Until then it is crunch time on Van Ness Avenue in downtown Fresno where an inviting open space of lawns, benches and a children's garden awaits visitors to the new Fresno Metropolitan Museum of Arts & Science.

Inside, the finishing touches are being added top to bottom, from framing and paint to stocking the gift shop and organizing the entrance for the crowds.

Our camera was only allowed on the first floor for this pre re-opening visit. We had access to this level and the 'Science and Art center' and educational hands on gallery for fun for kids of all ages. A number of youngsters who came with a reporter from the Reedley Exponent newspaper took to that space like ducks to water, indoors or out they loved it.

A few miles from downtown Fresno ten students at Calwa Elementary School can't wait see it too. They've forged a strong connection with the new Met. Dana Thorpe the Executive Director of the Met told us that, "This particular story has stood out, it has warmed our hearts and again it has inspired us and kept us going."

Last September Calwa School was among the schools around the Valley that raised money to help finish the job of renovations that has kept the Met closed for the past three years. The week long drive at Calwa School added up to more 15-hundred dollars to donate. They brought in their allowance money, their penny collections and cash from their families. Calwa is a modest community of hardworking families like Anna Herrera's who explained that, "They were pretty supportive when I told them that we needed to fund raise for the metropolitan museum." Anna's classmate Sergio Anguian was the very first to bring in a contribution. It was the 20 dollars he'd been saving. He wanted to donate it to the cause and his Mother agreed that he could.

Sergio told us why, "So we could have a better community and other kids could go to the museum." And Calwa school's gift didn't stop giving according to Dana Thorpe, "It served not only as an inspiration to us as staff to get through this project but it also inspired other donors who were either considering giving a gift or those who even considered to give a 2nd, 3rd and 4th gift. This story has been phenomenal."

Their efforts brought these 10 students an invitation to "cut the ribbon" at Thursday night's official re-opening. After they turn in their scissors they'll be the first official visitors.

Following Thursday night's official opening, the Fresno' met museum will open Friday morning for 55 continuous hours of exhibits, live music and performances inside and out. It sounds like an opportunity to check it out for yourself! See you there.

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