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Hammer Museum’s K.A.M.P. event raises $220,000 for children’s programs

Hammer Museum’s K.A.M.P. event raises $220,000 for children’s programs
John Stamos and kids attend the Hammer Museum K.A.M.P. event May 19 in Los Angeles. (Stefanie Keenan / Getty Images for Hammer Museum)

For Sunday’s Kids’ Art Museum Project — better known as K.A.M.P. — at the Hammer Museum in Westwood, actress and storybook reader Sofia Vergara chose “Dragons Love Tacos” by Adam Rubin to share with the gathering of children.

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“I thought it was appropriate for the day of the [“Game of Thrones”] finale,” said the “Modern Family” star, speaking of the dragon-fueled TV juggernaut, before adding another reason: “Tacos are Latin food.”

Standing beside her, husband Joe Manganiello said he planned to read from his own copy of “Sir Toby Jingle’s Beastly Journey” by Wallace Tripp, his favorite book as a child.

Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello at K.A.M.P. on May 19.
Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello at K.A.M.P. on May 19. (Stefanie Keenan / Getty Images for Hammer Museum)

“This is the actual copy I had as a kid,” he said, pointing to his name, written as a 4- or 5-year-old on the inside cover. “It was in a box, and it just came along with me from move to move. So I dug it up for this.”

“I love kids,” said the “Magic Mike” actor, adding that he’d had books shipped to the Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, where he’s from, and started a club for “the children stuck there.”


The event

Elizabeth Chambers reads to children at the museum event.
Elizabeth Chambers reads to children at the museum event. (Stefanie Keenan / Getty Images for Hammer Museum)

The 10th K.A.M.P. offered children an opportunity to create paintings, sculptures, collages and other art projects conceived by working artists. In between art workshops, children could duck into a storybook corner where Vergara, Manganiello, John Stamos, Elizabeth Chambers and Ki Hong Lee read to them.

For his turn as a reader, Lee of “The Maze Runner” said he chose “Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes” by Eva Chen because “it’s about some pretty historic female figures, and it’s important for girls to be empowered and see themselves represented in books.”

The scene

The Kids' Art Museum Project raised money for the Hammer Kids program.
The Kids' Art Museum Project raised money for the Hammer Kids program. (Stefanie Keenan / Getty Images for Hammer Museum)

After slipping past masses of streamers and containers of balloons, guests of all ages entered the museum, where they encountered table after table of artistic possibilities.

Buckets of popcorn, bowls of trail mix and a machine spinning cotton candy awaited guests, as did sandwiches, wraps and salads. And despite the light drizzle on Sunday, some children remained outside to sit and spin in roll-around chairs by British designer Thomas Heatherwick.

The crowd

Brooke Kanter and Sarah McHale served as event co-chairs with participating artists including Math Bass, Alex Becerra, Louise Bonnet, Carolina Caycedo, Sam Falls, the Haas Brothers, John Houck, Alex Israel, Patrick Jackson, Patrick Martinez, Lara Schnitger, Alake Shilling, Samantha Thomas, and Daniel Winter.

Rachel Zoe, left, and Richard Buckley at the Hammer Museum's K.A.M.P. event.
Rachel Zoe, left, and Richard Buckley at the Hammer Museum's K.A.M.P. event. (Stefanie Keenan / Getty Images for Hammer Museum)

Here’s what a few of the artists had to say.

At her “Funhouse Portrait” table, where children made self-portraits according to how they looked in curving mylar mirrors, Bonnet said, “As my work deals with distortions, I thought that having this different view of themselves could be interesting.”

Brothers Nikolai and Simon Haas helped children make clay sculptures.
Brothers Nikolai and Simon Haas helped children make clay sculptures. (Stefanie Keenan / Getty Images for Hammer Museum)

Nikolai Haas said he and twin brother Simon were available to help the children make clay sculptures, “but the cool thing about kids is that they’re often more creative than adults. I think I learn more than they do just by watching them.”

At his “Foot Cast Assemblage” table, Jackson said children could make and decorate molds of their feet. “Children are better at attaching things than we are,” he said, recalling an assistant who spent five minutes thinking before doing anything. “Kids just do it.”

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Event co-chair Sarah McHale, left, and her actor-comedian husband, Joel McHale, join Hammer Museum director Ann Philbin.
Event co-chair Sarah McHale, left, and her actor-comedian husband, Joel McHale, join Hammer Museum director Ann Philbin. (Stefanie Keenan / Getty Images for Hammer Museum)

Thomas called her ready-to-paint canvas airplanes “an exercise in thinking outside the box, in using materials differently, à la Frank Gehry,” the renowned architect.

Giving children a chance to make textured painting with cereal, salt, shaving cream, glue and flour, Shilling said, “The idea is to make paintings with whatever you have at home. You can mix things up and feel like a real scientist.”

The quotes

Brooke Kanter and Sarah McHale at the May 19 event.
Brooke Kanter and Sarah McHale at the May 19 event. (Stefanie Keenan / Getty Images for Hammer Museum)

“Here, children learn how to be creative with all kinds of materials,” said event co-chair McHale. “It makes them see museums differently because they can be involved in a hands-on way and interact with artists whose work you can view in the museum.”

“By exposing them to the work of artists,” said co-chair Kanter, “they’re given the opportunity to go on to creative careers. These kids are the future of supporting arts education and arts institutions.”

The numbers

K.A.M.P. tables offered kids and their grown-ups a chance to get creative.
K.A.M.P. tables offered kids and their grown-ups a chance to get creative. (Stefanie Keenan / Getty Images for Hammer Museum)

Tickets for the more than 1,000 guests, about half of them adults, began at $125; $220,000 was raised for the Hammer Kids program, which offers free events to more than 60,000 children and families each year.

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