A Climber for ARTitorium
ARTitorium on Broadway is seeking support for a Luckey Climber. A Luckey Climber is an interactive, three-dimensional, vertical maze that creates creative and unforgettable play experiences for kids of all ages. Idaho’s weather limits outdoor play for many months of the year, and our children need more artistic, creative, and playful experiences year-round. With this piece of equipment, ARTitorium will be able to provide more than 15,000 children and adults per year with an interactive, visually impactful, art-inspired indoor playground. It will be a central feature of our interactive art center, located in downtown Idaho Falls and would expand our wide variety of technology-based and hands-on art activities for kids 0-12 years.
A Luckey Climber is a unique work of art that children become part of as they climb around. We have an incredible amount of unused vertical space within ARTitorium that would be perfect for such a monumental and imaginative climbing sculpture. A Luckey Climber will provide all visitors to ARTitorium with a visual treat; encourage kids to engage in problem-solving, spatial thinking, balance, social interaction, and cooperation; and will improve their abilities to focus and learn while engaging with the 18 other attractions and 10+ art projects that ARTitorium has to offer.
Children benefit immensely from physical activity and should be getting at least 60 minutes per day. Being active not only improves physical health and mental wellbeing, but it also helps kids dramatically with behavioral and emotional regulation, which in turn helps them to better focus and learn. Studies have shown that exercise can improve memory and executive functioning: the ability to focus, stick to a plan, and be flexible in changing conditions. This seems to be true in both the short term: kids demonstrate improved cognitive abilities immediately after physical exertion; and in the long term: kids who are more physically fit tend to perform better academically.  These facts, with the consideration that we live in an area with very long and snow-filled winters, mean that it is not be an understatement to say that parents and caregivers are desperate for more indoor activities that provide an outlet for physical exertion while also offering meaningful and educational activities.
There are over 80 Luckey Climbers around the world, but the closest ones to Idaho Falls are in Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada. It would be an added benefit to ARTitorium and to Eastern Idaho as a whole to be the only location within the six closest states to have one of these amazing installations.
 health.gov/moveyourway/get-kids-active, accessed 4/8/2022
 https://bold.expert/how-does-physical-activity-benefit-classroom-learning/, accessed 4/8/2022
 http://parentingscience.com/exercise-for-children/, accessed 4/8/2022
ARTitorium’s Vision is to provide welcoming, fun-focused, and imaginative experiences in the arts for kids and families. We are a valuable and meaningful resource for caregivers and teachers across eastern Idaho. Our core values include:
- To inspire kids 0-12 years of age to interact with, explore, and create art;
- to embrace mess and noise as a mode of creativity;
- to focus on hands-on, tactile, immersive, and play-based attractions; and
- to collaborate with kids and caregivers on the development of new exhibits and programs.
Our permanent attractions include a Virtual Gallery, with over 300 artworks from national museums, a green screen studio, creation stations with custom art-making software, a Virtual Symphony, created in partnership with the Idaho Falls Symphony to teach kids about the orchestra, stop-motion animation stations, immersive murals, a magnet wall, a light table, and a 9-ft twister slide. Each month, we install large-scale collaborative art projects on different areas of the walls and floor as well as different art projects for kids to work on independently.
ARTitorium opened in 2014 and was the first facility of its kind in the world. Over 130,000 people have participated with us since opening day. Over the years, we have updated many attractions and added new features in order to maintain a high quality and meaningful experience for our patrons. We have learned a lot along the way about what caregivers in eastern Idaho are looking for in an educational, indoor play space for their children. ARTitorium provides amazing opportunities for kids to create artwork and to interact with meaningful digital art content. However, it does not currently offer children much in the way of physical activity. There is a ramp up to the slide, a Green Screen to dance in front of, and some fort-building supplies, but that’s all. As we approach our nine-year anniversary, we would like to add a visually impactful, art-inspired, playground activity to take ARTitorium into the next phase of its life.
ARTitorium represents a major investment by our community. It could not have happened without support from local businesses and individuals as well as national and regional granting organizations. It is currently thriving, with our busiest daily attendance to date and almost 100% positive reviews. However, this kind of facility cannot sit still. Children are hard on exhibits and technology rapidly becomes obsolete. It is crucial that we are constantly evaluating our current offerings and planning for the future. After nine years of software updates and small-scale additions, the time has come to dream big. A Luckey Climber will be a tremendous asset to the facility and we’re extremely excited to offer this unique experience to our patrons.
ARTitorium caters to kids and families in eastern Idaho. Over 5,000 students visit each year on field trips from elementary schools in Bonneville, Jefferson, Madison, Butte, Clark, Fremont, Bingham, Bannock, Caribou, Power, Oneida, Franklin, and Bear Lake counties. Additionally, over 10,000 people visit during regular hours or participate in one of our family programs or art classes every year. There is a great need in our area for informal arts experiences for kids. Formal education in art is extremely limited in schools and children are being increasingly required to focus on teacher-led academic activities instead of exploratory and creative play. Many caregivers do not have the resources or the confidence to provide art experiences at home and over 40% of elementary students in eastern Idaho are from low income families, for whom access to the arts may be even more of a challenge. ARTitorium provides an important service in the region by offering low cost opportunities for kids to play with art in a fun, dynamic, messy, social, and safe space.
Concept/Schematic Design: $5,000
Custom Climber Fabrication: $200,000
Contingency (site work, shipping, permits, and taxes): $15,000
We are at the beginning stages in fundraising for this project. The Idaho Falls Arts Council has committed $5,000 for the concept and schematic design and will be able to cover all contingency costs. We are actively seeking grant and sponsorship support to pay for the fabrication of the Climber.
Brandi Newton, Executive Director, Georgina Goodlander, Visual Arts Director, and Brad Higbee, Technical Director, are the key leaders of the Idaho Falls Arts Council. The Executive Director provides overall oversight for the organization, is responsible for performing arts programming, and leads all development initiatives, including corporate and individual sponsorships and our membership program. The Visual Arts Director is responsible for all visual arts programming, including curating the two galleries in the Willard Arts Center; managing ARTitorium on Broadway; and coordinating a large scale annual arts festival for kids – the Roaring Youth Jam. The Visual Arts Director also assists the Executive Director with development by serving as the primary grant writer for the organization and securing sponsorships for ARTitorium on Broadway and the Roaring Youth Jam. The Technical Director manages all audio-visual aspects of any show or event presented by or coordinated with the Idaho Falls Arts Council. This includes coordinating with major production companies and artists, overseeing a large number of technical staff members and crew, maintaining and upgrading equipment, and providing technical support.
This project will be led by Georgina Goodlander, Visual Arts Director. Georgina has managed operations, programs, and attractions for ARTitorium on Broadway since prior to its opening in 2014. She spearheaded the updated Virtual Gallery experience (2017), a new Magnet Wall (2018), and the new Virtual Symphony interactive (2018). Prior to moving to Idaho, Georgina worked at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C. for eleven years, most recently as Deputy Chief of Media and Technology. She was responsible for the museum’s websites, social media, e-marketing, and a variety of technology-based exhibits including the nationally touring The Art of Video Games exhibition that opened in 2012. Georgina will be supported by Whitney Blackburn, ARTitorium Lead for the Idaho Falls Arts Council, and Julie Hill, ARTitorium Education Specialist. Whitney is a freelance artist and muralist who has over six years’ experience working with children and art. Julie worked in art education for 11 years as an art specialist for a local public charter school and has been developing and leading educational programs at ARTitorium since 2014.
We will contract with Luckey LLC., to design, fabricate, and install a Luckey Climber at ARTitorium. Luckey LLC is a design-build firm that creates bespoke children’s climbing sculptures for institutional and commercial clients worldwide. Led by kid architect Spencer Luckey, they have refined the art with their one-of-a-kind Luckey Climbers, constructing more than 80 unique structures in the United States, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Made of bent plywood or rotationally molded plastic climbing platforms suspended by steel pipes and cables, Luckey Climbers are both jungle gyms and visually elegant works of art. (www.luckeyclimbers.com/)
The Idaho Falls Arts Council is governed by a 17-member Board of Directors. Current members are: Coleen Niemann-Chair, Dana Kirkham-Vice Chair, Kevin King-Past Chair, Steve Parry- Treasurer, Amy Brumfield-Secretary, Mary Lynn Hartwell, Chad Hammond, Linda Hughes, Liza Leonard, Jason Littlefield, Marcée Medor, Terry Miller, Rae Moss, Ralph Perez, Ann Riedesel, Kathy Simpson, and Laramie Wheeler.