Crayola partners with The Franklin Institute to launch its world's 1st traveling exhibition

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- While many Philadelphia museums have been hit hard financially amid the COVID-19 pandemic, The Franklin Institute looks to recovery with big plans for the year 2021.

Built in the year 1934, the well-known science museum and research center has been a landmark for both local families and tourists in the City of Brotherly Love. But as business closures struck amid COVID-19, so did their plans for the current business year.

"Because of the coronavirus pandemic, all of the cultural institutions around the Delaware Valley have been hit hard. We've all suffered some losses," said Derrick Pitts, chief astronomer at The Franklin Institute.

The Franklin Institute has teamed up with Crayola to host the world premiere of Crayola IDEAworks: The Creativity Exhibition.

This exhibition will be the first of its kind and set to launch at the museum beginning February 13, 2021.

Abigail Bysshe, who is the vice president of experience and business development at The Franklin Institute says she was approached by production company Agency808, who was working with Crayola on another project.

"They really wanted to take these two great brands that existed in Pennsylvania and bring them together for this experience," said Bysshe. "It's the first time Crayola has done a traveling exhibition."

Bysshe believes the collaboration created such a great synergy surrounding Crayola's brand and science education.

An effort to build back attendance, this exclusive travel run looks to inspire visitors of all ages through a variety of activities.

Which also looks to empower creativity and imagination.

"We are very excited to be the first to host Crayola's first traveling exhibition in the world," said Larry Dubinski, president and CEO at The Franklin Institute. "Of course, they chose The Franklin Institute to partner with as the institute continues to show its strength as one of North America's premier locations for traveling exhibitions."

Dubinski says from the day they had to shut down in March, he and his team immediately focused on getting back open safely for the Philadelphia community.

"We've seen attendance at 20 percent pre-COVID levels," he added. "The visitors that have come have had an amazing experience. To learn about science, have fun as they come out of their homes."

While looking ahead to 2021, Dubinski says his team will continue to follow safety protocols throughout the museum and provide a great experience overall for all visitors with new planned exhibits.

"We're very excited to be the premier location for Crayola in this exhibition going-forward, as it will have people engaging and thinking in creativity top of mind," Dubinski said. "Those are the skill sets that anybody needs no matter what their age as we go forward."
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