Behind the Scenes look as Decorators set up for the Concord Museum’s Family Trees Exhibit…
Necessity is the mother of invention and Concord creatives have risen to the challenge in this year’s Family Tree exhibit at the Concord Museum which opened this week. It turns out Zoom and Facetime have powered even more creativity than ever before as artists, families, friends and Girl Scout troops bring children’s stories to life through holiday tree interpretations that will blow your mind. But what has been even more inspiring is to see the grit, resilience, creativity and laughter that fused behind the scenes to bring us such holiday joy in the absence of holiday parties and family get togethers.
In a typical year, creative minds would collect to choose a story to interpret and build a tree together over a series of weeks but in fairly normal tempo and in-person construction. Not this year. This year Covid has ignited some inspiring innovations that can’t help but bring a smile to your face in awareness of what we can all accomplish together when we put our minds to it.
One Girl Scout troop used this project to stay connected, as did groups of friends, designing ornaments together over Zoom and having virtual workshop sessions replete with holiday music and bring-your-own snacks. Parents and college kids, newly working from home, were able to participate in ways that weren’t practically possible and formulated family projects that successfully tugged everybody away from Netflix. Equally impressive has been the creativity, care and insight that the museum staff has brought to bear to create a Covid-aware viewing experience for all of us when we go to see these miraculous trees.
Earlier this week, we got an inside glimpse of the decorators setting up their trees. It was magical too see the children’s books come alive as their stories were reflected through the ornaments of each tree. Take a peek at our “90 Seconds Behind the Scenes” of the decorators preparing for opening day of the Exhibit.
In past years, all the decorators would all arrive one morning to decorate their trees together. However, this year, due to the pandemic, a lot of time and thought had to be put into placement of trees, scheduling the decorators and setting up reservations to stay in line with COVID protocol. The staggered slots for decorators to set up the trees allowed each group to be alone in their space for their allotted time. This also gave us a chance to see the different phases. Over the course of two days we were able to walk around the Museum and see the trees in various stages – from decorators lugging in boxes and bags into the Museum, to setting up the actual tree to carefully unwrapping the various ornaments then on to the thoughtful placement of each on to the branches. We look forward to making a reservation and returning to see the Exhibit in it’s entirety and have a chance to linger at each wreath and tree.
A change from past years is the amount of space between trees which will allow visitors to feel comfortable as they roam the galleries. Also, plexiglass book stands have been provided with the book opened to a spread that the decorator chose as her inspiration. This will keep it a touch-free zone and safer for visitors. One group found a creative way to display several pages of the book around the base of the tree… See if you can spot this when you visit.
During this pandemic, more people than ever are making sourdough starters and baking bread. All of you bakers will get a kick out of the theme of the tree in the Center Hall. Be sure to take extra time to look at the detail of each ornament. One Concord family worked hard to bring the The Bread Pet book to life on the branches of their tree.
The adorable children and talented staff of Concord Recreation After School Program and Concord Carousel Preschool found fabulous ways to create a snow globe, complete with faces of the children, modeling their unique face masks. Several other local schools are represented and teachers worked hard to include the children in creating their trees,
The reservation system that has been implemented is another safe step the Museum has taken to keep its visitors safe and follow COVID protocols. Be sure to book your reservation soon!
Family Trees is on view through January 3, 2021, seven days a week from 10am to 4pm. Timed tickets can be reserved online. (closed 11/26, 12/24, and 12/25)
Visit the Concord Museum this holiday season to see 28 trees and wreaths of all shapes and sizes ornamented with inspiration from children’s books. Brimming with whimsy and charm, this creative twist on Concord’s renowned literary legacy is sure to brighten spirits and warm hearts of all ages.