Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Paisley Designs In Fair Trade

If you are anything like me, you might be crazy for paisley. When I was a kid, I always picked out the paisley tie for my dad. Later, when I wore neck scarves, I always chose those with the iconic paisley. And even later, when I became concerned about being a bit more eco-friendly, I'd create gift wrap by drawing paisley patterns on previously used paper. Perhaps that is why I've chosen this symbol often when designing fair trade jewelry for Dunitz & Company. And why now, in the times of Covid19, I wanted to also explore products with paisley design from my Fair Trade Federation colleagues.

But first, some history. Last year, I attended a wonderful exhibit at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, "Power of Pattern, Central Asian Ikats."  I didn't realize until then, that this teadrop-shaped motif with a curved tip originated in Persia and was brought to Central Asia in the fifth century BCE.  During the late eighteenth century beautiful shawls with this pattern were exported to Europe from Kashmir, India. And only after workshops in Paisley, Scotland began mass-producing imitation woolen shawls was this shape called 'paisley.'  In the Uzbek language, this shape is called bodom, which means almond.

OK - so here we go. After searching items showing off the paisley pattern in my fair trade community, I've discovered these fabulous finds.  And these may be perfect for you (we all enjoy buying for ourselves) or make a perfect gift.

Dunitz & Company - Yes, that's me!  You know I had to feature something from my collection. These earrings are new this season and are available for wholesale or retail. Dunitz & Company's Tiny Paisley Drops are always offered in many colors each season. Click to find the perfect color for you. These small earrings are crafted in Guatemala and made with Czech & Japanese glass beads. $20.00

HoonArts  - Are you looking to update your bedroom decor with something spectacular?  This Ikat & Suzani Bedspread Set handcrafted in Tajikistan might be the perfect thing. Check out those wonderfully embroidered large paisley shapes! Rikki Quintana, the muscle behind HoonArts recently wrote a blog post about paisley. Click here to read it.  Rikki has also provided a discount code to encourage shopping on her site. (No, I am not taking any kick-backs.) Use CODE: DUNITZFANS35OFF - BTW, this bedspread set is regularly $425.00, so the code makes it a steal at $276.

Sevya Handmade - If you're looking for the perfect summer top, I have found it for you! Right on trend is this embroidered tunic that prominently features the paisley design. Sevya's Karishma White Tunic is fabulous, absolutely fabulous. Loose and comfie too. Embroidered by women artisans in Northern India on soft cotton. $55.00

Global Gifts - I've discovered the most adorable coin purse, and so affordable too. This Paisley Art Deco Coin Purse sparkles with beads and sequins. Doesn't it feel like a 1920's classic? Crafted in India. Only $18.00

Zee Bee Market - You can never have too many Paisley Earrings!  Click now and you'll find these fabulous earrings available in several colors. I'm particularly proud of these because I designed them. They are hand-crafted in Guatemala and created with wire and Czech & Japanese glass beads and crystals. I love this color combo shown. And I know it's Julio's favorite too. Julio is the brains behind Zee Bee Market. $29.95

Passion Lilie - Is this the most adorable and lightweight scarf ever? Made of 100% cotton in India. You already know it's right up my alley, because I adore paisley.  This Pink Paisley & Orange Stripe Scarf will be great on you this summer. Or why not purchase it for someone you are thinking of? It's so affordable. $22.00

Fair Trade Winds - Looking for tablecloths, runners or napkins? Then look no further than Fair Trade Winds. They have some wonderful paisley designs from India, and better yet, many of them are currently on sale. I'm partial to earth tones and I have a very big dining room table. That means my choice is the Block Print Tablecloth that is 60" x 90". But seriously folks, roam around their site and find the perfect thing for you. You'll definitely feel as if you won big time. This piece shown took 7-10 days to make and, crazy, it's only $47.60

Pachamama Market - Are you familiar with Kashmiri paper mâché? Or perhaps you've seen beautiful items made with this technique and didn't know what it was. These pretties start with wooden eggs which are then covered in recycled paper and painted. No two are ever the same. Lindsay, the mastermind behind Pachamama Market told me that of her stock, at least a third features swirling paisleys. All of the Kashmiri Eggs are fabulous. But, if you're partial to paisley, just let her know. These come in two sizes, Petite and Regular. Buy a few and put them in a bowl. $7.00-9.00

Ya gotta love paisley. And are these some great gift ideas for you or others, or what?  I can't stress enough how your purchases from Fair Trade Federation, fair trade verified members like me, Dunitz & Company and those listed above make a big difference. This is not charity. We all work closely with the artisans that make the beautiful pieces we offer. We assure that the artisans are treated with respect and earn living wages. And, we need to eat too. (Just saying.) Your purchases make a big difference for all of us. And you can see from all the stunning things offered here, we all will make a difference in your life too. -ND

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Fair Trade Gifts Perfect for Mom

I was always told every day is Mother's Day.  And officially it's coming up on May 10th.  So, why not surprise mom with a fair trade verified gift.  You certainly can send her the gift of fair trade jewelry from Dunitz & Company. hint hint!  And/or my Fair Trade Federation colleagues offer all sorts of luscious goodies that will put a grin on mom's face.  Keep reading for some great gift ideas.

Let me know if you order any of the following for your lucky mother. For this post, I asked my FTF colleagues to suggest some of their best sellers perfect for moms.

Global Gifts - has several fabulous brick & mortar stores in Indiana and Ohio, and their staff lives and breathes fair trade. I of course, appreciate the work they do, so so much, because they sell Dunitz & Company jewelry in their stores.  Global Gifts prepared their own Mother's Day Guide which offers up several great gift ideas. And I'm thrilled they're offering our Embroidered Corte Flower Pins. I know first-hand, how moms will love adorning a scarf, hat or lapel with one of these. $20.00

Global Gifts - looking to send mom a card that will surely make her smile and help others too? Global Gifts sells several cards including this one, "Crushing it Mom" which benefits artisans from the Philippines who are survivors of sex trafficking. Definitely peruse the Global Gifts site to find other options. $6.00

HoonArts - Completely drool-worthy. HoonArts collaborates with the Seven Sisters artisan group of Kyrgyzstan to create these amazing scarves that combine silk with wool felted flowers. My favorite is the Red Poppies on Light Grey. Everyone will stop in their tracks when they see your mom wearing one of these. $115.00

Just Tea - If moms around the world are anything like me, they enjoy eating and drinking tasty things.  That leads me to believe that Just Tea's Little Berry Hibiscus will make a perfect gift. Caffeine-free and organic. Each tin comes with a hand carved spoon from Kenya. $15.00

Women's Peace Collection - Have you seen the Women's Peace Collection website before? If you haven't, it's time you do. And they carry Dunitz & Company's fair trade jewelry too. (Yes! This makes me very happy.) I can verify that these Long Almond Glass Earrings are great sellers. And in shades of purple, what would be more perfect for mom? Crafted in Guatemala. (If you search their site, you'll find some other shapes and colors too!) $20.00

Mayan Hands - I'm crazy for Mayan Hand's bags made from recycled plastic. If you didn't know what they were made from, you'd have no idea. Why not surprise mom with a colorful cosmetic bag that is also good for our planet? These are fully lined and have a zip closure. And they are crafted in one of my favorite places, Guatemala. $19.00 

Dunitz & Company - Our (yes, this is my company) Famous Painting earrings are some of our most popular. And we KNOW you love Starry Night and Van Gogh Irises. These are crafted in Guatemala and use stainless steel ear wires. $14.00

Maggie's Organics - If you don't know Maggie's, you should. They have some of the best socks. And now, they have a buy 1, get 1 deal going. Surprise mom with a bunch of fair trade socks.  10% of sales from their cotton Biodiversity Footies will also go to help the Center for Biological Diversity. Check out the cute dragonfly design too. $8.25

Dandarah - You'll be amazed by the beauty of Dandarah's offerings from inner cities and rural areas of Egypt. And for Mother's Day, I know your mom will squeal with joy over a 100% viscose Helyat Handwoven Scarf. Several rich colors are available. Ships from Canada with a price tag of approximately $42.00 USD.

Muichic - Muichic works with women in Colombia to create some really cool Tagua jewelry. Tagua - you know that stuff that looks and feels like ivory, but it isn't. I adore their Amma Tagua Necklace which is quite a fashion forward design in bright pink and orange. Maybe your mom will too. $55.00

Awamaki - Now here's a great idea for mom's who do yoga and meditate. (Covid19 has resulted in my own, more regular TM schedule!) Filled with lavender and flaxseed, Samay Meditation Eye Pillows are sure to allow mom to enjoy some peaceful downtime. Crafted in Peru. $20.00

Sevya - Let's talk about gorgeous! I know your mom would adore and enjoy wearing a Rajika Embroidered Shawl. Perfect for a cool evening just about anywhere. And perfect for making a big fashion statement.  Handmade in Northern India of a wool/viscose blend. $79.00

Goex  - Here's a novel idea. Perhaps you're a dad reading this. And you want to find the perfect thing for mom. How about Mommy & Me matching T-shirts?  One for Momma. One for youngster. You can see this set features an adorable illustration of a fox. These shirts are sewn in Haiti. $25.00 each.

Zambeezi - You probably know about Zambeezi's fabulous lip balms. But did you know they also offer Lavender Soap Bars?  These bars are crafted in Zambia, Africa of sunflower oil, organic beeswax and palm kernel oil which will make you feel soft and provide great lather. If your mother is anything like me, she'll adore this soap. I know I'm totally nuts for handmade soap. At this price, you should purchase a few bars! $6.00 

Mata Traders - Does your mom possess some Boho style? If she does, she might enjoy a comfie Montrose Tie Dress (with elephants)! Hand crafted in India. Click to read more. $82.00 

Passion Lilie - Passion Lilie calls this one "Mom's Favorite Scarf."  And I can see why. This blue floral hand block printed and light-weight cotton scarf feels a bit vintage and a bit ethnic at the same time. I love it. I think your mom will too. $22.00 

Kamibashi - of string doll fame has come up with "Mom of the Year" in many versions. Brown body. Tan body. Red hair. Grey hair. (that's me!). Super cute. $10.00 

Aid Through Trade - Well, you know I'm crazy for beads! Obviously. Aid Through Trade has been working with beaders in Nepal for just about as long as I've been working with beaders in Guatemala. Damian, the owner of Aid Through Trade has always been one of my favorite Fair Trade Federation colleagues. In fact, he's one of the people that wrote a recommendation on my behalf when I joined FTF.  Perfect for Mother's Day from Nepal are Mommy & Me roll-on bracelets. How about bright pink in the shade they call "princess"? $24.00

Sol Jewels - Sol Jewels is a recent member of FTF, working with women in India. They've suggested this coral colored bead bracelet would be perfect for moms. I agree. And it's super affordable too. $9.99

Catalyst Collections - is working with women in Iraq to bring you fairly made and beautiful jewelry.  Their Aya Bracelet combines dyed bamboo coral beads, dyed lapis lazuli beads, glass seed beads, and gold-plated beads. All finished off with a toggle clasp. $45.00 (matching necklace is available.) 

MZ Fair Trade - MZ's Stormy Skies Crossbody bag is sure make your mom the most stylish one in her crowd. MZ's purses are made using traditional Zapoetec designs and created in Oaxaca, Mexico. Their work is really quite stunning. $99.00

Seeds to Sew - And now that you've browsed the list, you'll need the perfect gift wrapping. Seeds to Sew's Enkiteng Bags are lovingly sewn in Kenya and are made with recycled and upcycled fabrics and ribbons. And they can be used over and over again. Why not try their assortment pack? Regularly $32.00, and on sale for Mother's Day!

These are tough times. Most of us are social distancing. There's a good change you and your mom are separated and won't be able to hug in person this year.  I suggest you send some virtual Zoom or FaceTime love and send her a fair trade verified gift.  She'll love being remembered.  And your gifts chosen from this list will result in you doing double and triple duty good. You'll be helping artisans in faraway lands that create these beautiful items by assuring they've earned living wages for their work. And you'll be helping all of us, (that includes me at Dunitz & Company) the fair traders that make bringing their work to North America possible. -ND

Monday, April 13, 2020

Music in the Time of Corona - Feel Good Links

It's been quiet at Dunitz & Company, to say the least. Most of our wholesale fair trade jewelry orders have been put on indefinite hold and, with stores shuttered, new orders are not coming. If you're looking to purchase any fair trade jewelry direct, you can. (I'm packing orders!)  During some of my idle time, I've watched and listened to so many feel-good music offerings. I thought I'd share some of my favorite discoveries here.

Chucho Valdes - and what an amazing jazz pianist he is.  I first saw him perform when I went to Cuba in 2000 for the Havana Jazz Festival. Years later, I saw him perform in Los Angeles. And now I've been watching him 24/7 on Facebook. Valdes has been super generous with his almost daily presentations.  I think you'll enjoy the video performances he has shared with the world during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chick Corea - staying with the jazz theme.  Chick Corea has also been sharing lengthy Facebook live performances recently.  Sometimes he calls them his practice sessions.  He welcomes us to his workshop with lengthy performances. If you like jazz piano, get lost in his presentations.

NY Philharmonic - With this performance of Ravel’s “Boléro,” musicians of the New York Philharmonic send a message of gratitude to the healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. You might cry when you watch and listen

Patrick Stewart - #ASonnetADay  It's definitely is a type music. Stewart's voice and Shakespeare's words are a joy for the ears. He has recorded quite a few for us to enjoy during these trying times. And more are coming.

Dennos Museum Center - at Northwestern Michigan College has started the Live & Local Music Series which you can watch on, what else, but Facebook live. First up on April 6th was a wonderful show by May Erlewine. Definitely check out these wonderful performances. And when we're all out of quarantine, go visit this wonderful museum. And - well, I have to say, they also sell Dunitz & Company fair trade jewelry in their gift shop.


Keith Urban - No more a secret. I sort of dig Keith Urban. He has shared a few lengthy performances you can access from his Facebook page. You might enjoy watching and listening too. And his wife, Nicole Kidman makes us know that she is definitely around.  

Norah Jones - one of the must sultry and beautiful voices of our generation. Check out her Facebook live videos. Gosh she's great.

Zoe B Zak - is the rabbi from Temple Israel of Catskill. Her voice is angelic and beautiful. And she is performing and recording regularly during these challenging times. On one recent Sabbath, she sings songs some of us know, and some we don't. She sings and educates. A client and friend of mine turned me onto these recordings. On this and others, I am so thrilled to see Zoe B Zak wearing kippot from Dunitz & Company. Click here if you want your very own. You can also experience her virtual 2020 Seder.

Dave Mathews - I was lucky enough to see him perform at the Hollywood Bowl a few years back. Now you can watch his concert online which is part of Verizon's Pay It Forward Live series. Matthews performed on March 26th. But as I type this, you can still watch it. Other concerts are scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday evenings during Covid-19 days. Click the link above and you might find something else that interests you.


California Women's Music - Their Facebook page and subsequent Live performance was a fun discovery for me.  On Saturday 4/18/2020, a group of talented ladies performed for all of us, in an effort to raise donations to aid musicians who don't qualify for Cares act funds. ETHER Fest 2020. One of our favorites, Alexx Calise, an often model and positive voice for Dunitz & Company fair trade jewelry, sang a terrific set that you can find about 2-1/2 hours in. Enjoy.

John Fogerty - How fun to catch Creedence Clearwater Revival's frontman take us down memory lane in Rolling Stone's IGTV series, In My Room. In My Room is and will be featuring artists we know and love singing from their homes. How fun to see Fogerty's acoustic versions of  “Have You Ever Seen the Rain" and "Bad Moon Rising." His dog is pretty cute too.

Saturday Night Seder - Looking for a little Seder fun? Watch this compilation of performances from actors, comedians and musicians, many of them you'll recognize. Some share heartfelt stories from their youths. You're sure to identify with some of them. Others will have you in stitches. (Dan Levy had me on the floor laughing.) Ultimately this group hopes to raise money for CDC Foundation's Coronavirus Emergency Response Fund. My favorite performance of the Seder was Ben Platt's rendition of Over the Rainbow, with a wonderful explanation of the song's origins from Judith Light.

Andrea Bocelli - It's truly amazing that on Easter morning, I enjoyed Andrea Bocelli's Music for Hope - Live from the Duomo di Milano with more than 2.8 million other viewers. How powerful is that? I couldn't snag a ticket to any of his past performances at the Hollywood Bowl. I feel lucky to have caught this performance. You can still experience it if you click here.

Are you starved for some good sounds? Perhaps you'll enjoy some of my favorites posted above. One thing is certain. There is no shortage of performances for you to experience online while you self- quarantine.  I'm so grateful to enjoy so many types of music. It gives me lots of options. Let me know what you discover online. Perhaps your favorite will become one of mine. -ND

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Virtual Tours - A Great Way to Visit Museums

I'm social distancing now, just as anyone reading this post is doing.  I'm splitting my time between my home and the Dunitz & Company office, which luckily is only a 1/2 mile commute. It's just me and our mascot, Stetson. Because it's been so incredibly quiet, I thought it might be fun to research museum virtual tours and tidbits. Dunitz & Company is a member of Museum Store Association, and I thought this might be a way to support many shops and institutions that often support me. I've been able to compile this list by researching online, inquiring from my customers and watching my Facebook feed. (I follow a zillion museums!) I will add to this list on an ongoing basis. So check back. And if your museum has virtual tours, video or exhibitions, and is not included, please let me know.

My discoveries are in no particular order.

Chrysler Museum of Art - You'll have fun spending some time in this fine museum. Thanks to Google Arts & Culture, you can tour right from your sofa. Click here. 

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum - Why worry about the cost of admission? Google Street Views let's you check out the artwork on display from your sofa. (By the way, I just have to share that when I was in college, I was a summer intern at the Guggenheim in New York. I worked in the business offices and took the general public on tours of the then Rufino Tamayo retrospective.)

Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts - Keep checking back to the WI Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts. They are pioneering a "Quarantine Quilt".  Click here to check out the submissions they receive for this collaborative project.

Lake Superior Railroad Museum - What a find! Especially if you have kids to entertain. View virtual tours on this museum's YouTube channel. Click here to watch the episodes they are currently producing. Keep clicking back since it seems they are adding a new tour every few days. If you watch the tour provided in the link above, if you look right, you'll see others.

Museum of Flight - Have you seen the inside of a plane? Now thanks to this museum based in Seattle, WA, you can check out the cockpit of just about any type of plane.  You might just encourage some young men and women to pursue a career as a pilot. Link here.

Detroit Institute of Arts - This museum certainly wins my heart because I've spent many hours there. Partially because I grew up in and around Detroit, and I studied Art History at University of Michigan. (Go Blue!) Detroit Public TV, and the DIA have collaborated so you can take many virtual field trips to the museum.

Heritage Square Museum - If you live near or are visiting the Los Angeles area, you should definitely visit this museum. They host so many special events and their docents and volunteers are always decked out in Victorian couture. Can't get there? On quarantine? You can check out their virtual tour and learn a lot about their historic buildings.

Scandinavia House - has created a virtual tour of their recent exhibit, "Cutting Edges: Nordic Concrete Art." Have some fun with this one by following this link. If you peruse their website, you'll see other tidbits of other halls. Definitely worth checking out if you like contemporary art.

J. Paul Getty Museum - You'll be able to scroll through many rooms at the Getty Museum with the help of Google Arts & Culture Streetview.  Want to experience the gardens? Then click here to experience the exterior spaces of this wonderful building. This museum certainly provides a feast for your eyes.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - You may not live in Boston. And you may be 'settling in place' due to Covid-19. In any case, you can spend some time with MFA's virtual exhibits. They've been provided by Google Arts & Culture and there is plenty to see. At the time of typing this, 16 exhibits were available for checking out.

Crocker Art Museum - The Crocker Art Museum is one of my favorites to follow on Facebook. They are always posting photos from their collection with wonderfully thorough descriptions. They've stepped it up even more, given the Covid-19 closure. They've been posting regular virtual tours from their galleries. And their staff has been highlighting their favorite pieces from the Crocker with their reasons for loving their choices. What a great idea, yes?

Free Coloring Books - from 113 museums! I know this isn't a virtual tour. But, I think this is definitely worth mentioning in this blog post. This could provide hours of fun for kids and adults. You will have so much fun scouring all these resources.

National Gallery of Art - Thank you to Google Arts & Culture, again.  At the moment of my writing, you can check out two exhibits, one fashion, the other Vermeer.  Vermeer, luscious. Click here to learn more. If you scroll the home page of NGA, you'll also find some interactive activities, some perfect for children.

Bowers Museum - If you're from Southern California, you're probably familiar with the Bowers Museum. I'm amazed by the fabulous exhibits they consistently offer. It's always worth the trip. Unfortunately their current exhibit, Inside the Walt Disney Archives is shut down due to Covid-19. Lucky for us, they've created a YouTube Video which tours us through the exhibit. If you scroll down their home page, you'll also find the Bowers Video Channel, where you can link to lots of others.

National Museum of Women in the Arts - is now calling themselves a "Digital Museum."  Click through and you'll see what they mean. You'll be able to see their collections online, read about artists featured in their collections and view high resolution art through Google Art & Culture. You'll also be able to read the current issue of Women in the Arts Magazine.

The Phillips Collection - is the home of one of my favorite paintings, Renoir's Luncheon of the Boating Party. What I didn't know (until I started my research) was that the Phillips Collection website has a multimedia section where you can find a host of wonderful videos well worth watching.  You'll be so happy you discovered these offerings.

Corning Museum of Glass - If you're interested in glass making, you'll find lots videos providing a feast for your eyes. Click here and you'll find some video demonstrations that will keep you busy for quite a while. Want to learn and see more? Stream the show 'Blown Away' on Netflix.

Smithsonian Institution - has a host of online exhibits worth checking out. No, it's not video. But there is plenty to hang your hat on. I'm sure if you peruse what's available, you're sure to find some of interest. You'll find presentations from so many museums including the American History Museum, Postal Museum, American Indian Museum and the Portrait Gallery. I spent some time reading about the first lady of song, Ella Fitzgerald.

Canton Museum of Art - The Canton Museum of Art has an amazing virtual presentation of their galleries. You'll be able to scroll through all of their galleries. I was amazed. Screen grab and check it out.

National World War I Museum & Memorial - Once again, thanks to Google Arts & Culture you can see many exhibits from the comfort of your sofa. If you're a history buff, and even if you're not, you're bound to be interested in much that is offered.

Montclair History Center - The Montclair History Center has the right idea during these "settle in place" times.  They're creating a new 'History at Home' series. Every Thursday, starting in April, they will add an educational blog post. They actually posted an interesting article on March 21st, about the Spanish Flu of 1918. Click here to read it.

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles - I was fascinated by the video on the NHM site about the Street Names in Los Angeles. Not your thing? There are several other videos on the museum's site. Perhaps you're interested in dinosaurs. You can learn about the smallest dinosaur discovered yet. 

California Science Center - Stuck at home with kids?  Find videos and instructions for science projects you can do with household supplies you probably already have. Click here to get more information. The staff of CSC is adding a new project daily. Have fun.

The Hammer Museum - The Hammer Museum has a YouTube channel with too many videos to count. You're bound to find a topic that interests you. There are jazz concerts, meditation sessions, poetry readings and discussions about recent movies.  I challenge you to follow this link. You'll be watching these videos all day! And if that's not enough, you can click to watch video profiles of artists from past exhibits or check out their extensive digital archives which record the details of their past shows.

MOCA Los Angeles - Looking for more education video about artists that have had their works shown at MOCA Los Angeles? MOCA's YouTube Channel hosts many for the viewing. Interested in conservation? I was intrigued by the videos, (none too long) discussing the preservation of Jackson Pollock work. If you missed MOCA’s recent exhibition “With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972–1985,” you can watch artist, Sanford Biggers lead a tour through the exhibit.

GRAMMY Museum - Crazy for music? If you're like me, you are. Here's a great find. For the first time, the GRAMMY Museum will debut never-before-released digital Public Programs from their archives. Click this link to see what's being feature each day during the Covid-19 'stay in place' order. I'm looking forward to seeing the footage from Kool & The Gang, scheduled for April 6th.

Cranbrook Art Museum - Looking for that virtual experience strolling through galleries. You can do this at Cranbrook. Click here to experience their 3D Virtual Art Tours. I was particularly interested in these. Why? I grew up in this area and when I was in senior in high school, I taught and toured 6th graders at Cranbrook's Institute of Science.

The Frick, Pittsburgh - The Frick, Pittsburgh website has gone interactive and virtual. If you're looking for activities to do with youngsters, they're posting a new kid-friendly activity each day.  Looking for adult art education? View their exhibitions.  Want to take virtual tours? You can do that too thanks to Google. Walk their Gardens. Or check out their galleries. They also have a wonderful digital archive of their collections.

Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Garden - How cool is this? Check out this virtual tour.  I've actually never been to these gardens in Saginaw, MI. I did however meet and interview Marshall Fredericks when I was in college. I prepared a guide to the outdoor sculpture at University of Michigan when I was a student. And since his work was on campus, he was willing to meet with me. I actually still have a handwritten note he sent me after our visit.

Mount Vernon - Think George Washington. Click away and you'll find all sorts of interesting digital resources on this site. You'll also find this amazing virtual tour.  I was at Mount Vernon as a kid. And of course, I don't remember it at all. They also offer up a bunch of educational videos. The featured video as I type this is about Washington and Chocolate. Yum.

Museum of the American Revolution - Haven't been? Me either. Now you can take a fabulous virtual learning tour from this Philadelphia based museum. This virtual tour is extensive and impressive. Perfect for home schooling. Perfect for history buffs. Definitely worth checking out.

National Museum of the Great Lakes - Scroll your mouse and check out the virtual tour from the NMGL.  You can check out the museum exhibits and the Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship. There are also interactive links relating to their current exhibit (as of 3/25/2020) Port of Toledo: Then and Now.  What a great way to learn about local history.

National Museum U.S. Air Force - This museum is located near Dayton, OH. And I'm guessing many of you reading through my blog post here have not been.  Now you can take a virtual tour of many of their exhibits. You can definitely pass some time away with this site!

Panhandle Plains Historical Museum - You can learn more about the Texas plains by visiting this museums site. There are several videos offered that are also attached to their facebook page. Stroll through their entire museum with this virtual tour. You don't need your cowboy boots to take this tour.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania - OH MY GOSH. If you love trains, take a ride here. This museum has so many virtual tours, you'll be amazed. You can even tour the bathrooms! It really is quite amazing just how beautiful each compartment is. Check out the bedroom from a West Maryland Railway bedroom. Each screen has notes so you know exactly what you're seeing.

National Museum of Natural History - The NMNH is part of Smithsonian, and you're in for a treat with all of their virtual tours. There are so many, I'm afraid you won't know where to start. Start with the Permanent Collections. If you're like me, you'll go straight to the Hirschhorn Sculpture Gardens. I was lucky enough to steal some time there in person when I participated in the 2018 MSA Forward. Were you there?

JFK Library - This presidential library offers up all sorts of interesting digital archives. What's really fun is the "JFK Moonshot" where you can scroll around the moon's surface and learn all sorts of fun facts. Download the app, and you can follow the Apollo 11 mission.

Monterey Bay Aquarium - If you can't get to the Aquarium, the animals and fish will come to you. This aquarium doesn't have a virtual tour. What they do have is several LIVE CAMS.  Check out the Sharks, Coral Reef or some of their other live cams. You'll be amazed. I am.

New York Botanical Gardens - We can't go there right now. But we can take a virtual tour of NY Botanical Gardens current orchid exhibit. Straight from their facebook page is a 20+ minute adventure. Beautiful. Looking for other videos and tours. Click here.

Center for Puppetry Arts - Located in Atlanta, the Center for Puppetry Arts is live streaming on Facebook daily. So many of the shows are perfect for watching with kids. Link to their Facebook.

Ah Tah Thi Ki Museum -  Learn more about the Seminole Tribe of Florida with the resources available from the Ah Tah Thi Ki Museum. Download a story book and coloring book. Stuck at home with kids during the 'stay at home' Covid-19 orders. Pull out your crayons and spend some time coloring.

Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza -  Both educational and interactive, this museum provides an online timetable with information that will fill in all the gaps from that horrific day.

Speed Art Museum -  This was a fun discovery. The Speed Art Museum provides some At Home Art Instruction for families to enjoy on their own turf. Follow the link and discover some projects you might take on at home with the kids. Teach them about Warhol, Frankenthaler and Pollock.

Milwaukee Art Museum - The Milwaukee Art Museum will keep you very busy while you're stuck at home. On their "At Home" page, you'll find all sorts of things to fill your hours. There are several podcasts you can dive into. Their featured collector spotlight, 'Peg Bradley and the Bradley Collection' is worth a listen. Scroll down the page for videos or take a virtual tour of their Windhoven Hall. Enjoy.

Institute of Contemporary Art LA - Lucky you. You can now take interactive virtual reality tours of ICA LA's recent exhibitions. Click through to take a self-guided tour of the Ree Morton: The Plant That Heals May Also Poison and Ann Green Kelly exhibits. You'll also be able to 'walk through' some prior exhibits too.

Arsenal Gallery - New York's only regularly programmed free municipal gallery is indefinitely shut down during the Covid-19 outbreak.  That doesn't mean you can't enjoy their exhibit "After the Ribbon is Cut."  The gallery had a quick open on March 12th and will reopen next year. The NY City Park's videographer created a lengthy walk-through that you can watch now. Click here.

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum - I have to nod my hat to the National Cowboy Museum for loading "social media" tasks to the responsibilities of their head of security. "Tim" has a delightful way of touring the museum on twitter and Instagram during the Covid-19 closure. His social has gone viral. (Maybe I could learn a thing or two from him!) And guess what? They do have a virtual tour hosted through Google Arts & Culture.

I hope you have fun exploring the resources I mustered up for this blog post. It was not the easiest of tasks.  During these tough times, I wanted to support and promote museums. When we're allowed to roam freely again (when Covid-19 has been tackled), I hope you will explore many of these institutions in-person. Visit their museum stores. If you're lucky, you'll find Dunitz & Company fair trade jewelry. Many of those listed are Museum Store Association members.  All provide wonderful opportunities for education and visual pleasure. If you think your museum should be added to this list, please send me links. Be safe and well everyone. -ND