Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Video: Children's Museum American Pop and DANCE! Exhibits Preview



Read about the exhibits here: 

American Pop and DANCE!: New Exhibits at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis


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Disclaimer: Styles and Smarts is part of a group of bloggers/YouTubers/media peoples that The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis invites to exhibit openings, in exchange for live tweeting and social media coverage. All opinions and comments are 100% mine, and are in no way influenced by the Children’s Museum.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

American Pop and DANCE!: New Exhibits at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis

American Pop at the Children's Museum

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis a local institution, someplace I've visited off and on since I was a little girl (I have home movies somewhere of my brother playing in the the old-old-old version of what is now ScienceWorks as a toddler). Sometimes I go on my own (or with my nieces or nephew when they visit) and these days, sometimes I'm fortunate enough to be invited to a media preview event and get a sneak peek at a new exhibit. Last week was the case of the later, as I got to go check out the new American Pop and DANCE! exhibits before they opened to the public over the weekend. 

According to the museum's press release:


"Popular culture influences almost every aspect of our everyday lives. Toys, books, performing arts, TV, music, and clothes are all ingredients that help create individual personalities. 


The world’s largest children’s museum is taking a peek into the past to see how it might influence our future when it opens The Galleries for American Arts and Popular Culture, featuring a permanent exhibit—American POP—and a temporary exhibit—DANCE!"


American Pop is divided into four categories: Toys and Games; TV, Film and Music; Fashion and Textiles; Comics, Art and Literature. Highlights in American Pop include a pair of Lady Gaga's shoes, the Beatles' autographs and a Han Solo with Tauntaun figure set (which apparently Tony from Geeking in Indiana owned)



a pair of Lady Gaga's shoes at the Children's MuseumHan Solo and Tauntaun figures at the Children's Museum


DANCE! is connected to American Pop and features some famous costumes and displays that demonstrate how to do some famous dances from various decades and allow you to dance along! Learn The Charleston, Hustle and the Macarena to name a few. 

DANCE! at the Children's Museum

Chauncey finally got to come along to one of these events, and it made it even more fun because we were encouraged to come in costume! The asked for costumes either showing off our favorite pop culture icons/characters or a costume from our favorite dance era. I wanted to do something unexpected as a "couple" cosplay and threw together Bulk & Skull from the Power Rangers for Chauncey and I. I'm not sure a lot of people got who we were, but we had fun anyways.

Bulk and Skull cosplay
Thanks to Tony from Geeking in Indiana for the pic!


American Pop and DANCE! are now open to the public and both are included in museum admission. American Pop is a permanent exhibit, but the contents will likely change over time to allow the museum to show other items that are currently in storage. DANCE! is a temporary exhibit, but I expect it will stick around for at least a good while before it changes to something else. But why wait and risk missing it? Go check it out NOW for yourself!


Disclaimer: Styles and Smarts is part of a group of bloggers/YouTubers/media peoples that The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis invites to exhibit openings, in exchange for live tweeting and social media coverage. All opinions and comments are 100% mine, and are in no way influenced by the Children’s Museum.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

My Top Comic Convention Tips!

I've been fortunate to have attended a lot of comic conventions in the past few years. The first few I honestly had no idea what to expect, I had so many questions. I'm a planner by nature so this didn't sit well with me at first, but I've learned a lot since then about how to make sure I have a good time.

The husband and I with Stan Lee at Cincinnati Comic Expo (2016)
The husband and I with Stan Lee at Cincinnati Comic Expo (2016)

DO Check out the schedule and map beforehand. Even when I attend cons at my home convention center (the Indianapolis Convention Center), I always check out the map for the event as every organizer will use a slightly different layout. Also, familiarizing yourself with the event schedule will give you an opportunity to at least make a game plan for each day you are attending, and also give you a heads up if you need to register for anything before the con starts.

DON'T Try to do and see everything. It's unfortunate when you look at the con schedule and realize that John Barrowman's panel is at the exact same time as that Pokemon trivia contest. Unless you have a TARDIS or a Time Turner, you can't be in two places at the same time. You'll have to prioritize what you really want to see, do and participate in. And don't forget to build in time to take a rest, eat and socialize if you have friends going.

DO Wear comfy clothes! Of course if you're cosplaying you are at the mercy of your outfit, but if you aren't in costume, comfort is key. You'll likely do a lot of walking and standing, and inside the convention halls tend to not be carpeted which is hard on the feet and knees. With all of the fun nerdy t-shirts out there, jeans/shorts and a tee are your best friend along with sensible shoes. I also recommend some sort of light jacket or longer sleeve top to layer as the air conditioning can be a crapshoot inside (sometimes it's freezing cold, sometimes it's barely on).

DON'T Forget to read up on all of the convention policies (usually posted on their website and/or Facebook page). Make sure you know all of the rules regarding bags, cosplay props, photos/video, etc.

Me as the 10th Doctor on vacation at Indiana Comic Con (2017) My Fem! 6th Doctor at Lexington (2016)
          Me as the 10th Doctor on vacation at Indiana Comic Con (2017) My Fem! 6th Doctor at Lexington (2016)

Now onto some of my favorite things to do while attending a convention:

-Panels: These can vary from Q&A sessions with celebrity guests to how to make cosplay armor from foam. The celebrity panels can sometimes be very popular and you sometimes have to line up early so watch for signage and check the schedule.

-Artist Alley: My wallet takes a hit at almost every show I attend in artist alley. There are so many talented artists out there making wall art, comics and more covering pretty much every fandom you can think of.


Me in Artist Alley at a con (image source)

-Cosplay: This includes panels about cosplay techniques, the cosplay contest/masquerade, group photo shoots and just enjoying the cosplay you encounter while out and about. And you don't have to cosplay to appreciate it. Just remember if you see a cosplay you like and want a picture, always ask first. Also, and I can't stress this enough, COSPLAY IS NOT CONSENT!

As for my tips about what to bring, it just so happens that I recently made a video about what I personally take with me to most conventions.


One thing I didn't mention though is CASH! CASH is your friend at cons. Sometimes the celebrities don't take plastic. Not all vendors take plastic, and even if they do, sometimes they can't always get it to work. Plus cash can be a good bargaining tool, especially if you wait to make your purchases on the last day and vendors are willing to make a deal so they don't have to lug all of their wares home.

I hope that you find my tips and tricks helpful as you plan on attending a convention, regardless of whether it is your first or 500th. I still have several that I'm planning on attending this year, most of them are here in Indiana. Although I kinda wish I was attending the upcoming Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con later this month. With guests like Ray Park (Darth Maul in the Star Wars prequels), Adam West (1960's TV Batman), Burt Ward (1960's TV Robin) and Stan Lee (STAN LEE! The father of most things Marvel and the King of movie cameos) it looks like it'll be a fun time.

Plus it's in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Convention Center which isn't that far away from the strip, so you could make a bigger vacation out of it. I love Las Vegas: the shows, the shopping, the dining! And the travel deals page on the Vegas.com website is the gateway to all sorts of ways you can save money on your travels, money that can be spent in the dealer's hall instead. *wink wink*

John Barrowman and I at Cincinnati Comic Expo (2016)
John Barrowman and I at Cincinnati Comic Expo (2016)


Saturday, June 3, 2017

Video: What's In My Con Bag



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