Los Angeles Times to Hold First KidCity

Interactive demonstrations, exhibits by California African-American Museum, California Science Center, EPICC/City of Los Angeles, Museum of Latin American Art, Natural History Museum, NASA, Griffith Observatory, L.A. Memorial Coliseum

LOS ANGELES, June 18, 2003 – The Los Angeles Times will launch its newest family event, KidCity, a free two-day outdoor educational adventure designed for children ages 7-13, which will be held Saturday, July 19, and Sunday, July 20, at Exposition Park, 700 S. State St., Los Angeles.

The weekend event will be held from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day. Parking is $6.

KidCity will celebrate childhood learning, reading and literacy through interactive science and nature demonstrations, cultural and historical exhibits and performances, book readings and storytelling, the performing arts, sports, and fun-filled games and recreational activities.

KidCity is the first major children's event at Exposition Park involving all five Exposition Park venues: California African-American Museum, California Science Center, City of Los Angeles' Exposition Park Intergenerational Community Complex, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Sports Arena, and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

"KidCity is two days of everything fun for kids from the worlds of science and nature, arts and culture, literacy and sports," said Sheryl Collins, event manager. "Working with our Exposition Park neighbors and programming partners, we've built a master-planned community in the heart of multi-cultural Los Angeles where kids can learn to play and play to learn. It's a one-of-a-kind showcase designed to pique children's innate curiosity about the world around them."

Designed as an urban community, KidCity will feature four city-themed areas – City Center, The Neighborhood, The Garden and The Beach – each of which will include a variety of interactive exhibits and demonstrations, ranging from the arts, science and technology to nature, history and culture.

KidCity will include six unique stages:

• Heritage Stage – Kids will learn about the history and culture of the state's diverse ethnic communities through arts and crafts, dance and storytelling.
• California Science Center Stage – From the power of air to that of chemical reactions, demonstrations will show the power behind science.

• Live Action Stage – A celebration of dance,

music and the martial arts

• Mervyn's Stage – The younger set takes to the

runway as they model the latest kids' fashions and accessories.

On Saturday, the first Los Angeles Times Above & Beyond

Awards will recognize the academic achievements and community

service of 15 outstanding children.

• Natural History Museum Stage – Discover the

wonders of the animal kingdom through live animal shows, wild

animal presentations and more.

• Reading by 9 Storytelling Stage – Share the

joy of books through storytelling, readings, song and dance.

Appearing on stage will be Emmy Award-winner Debbie Allen, who stars in and choreographs the NBC television series, "Fame," and who also directs the Debbie Allen Dance Academy; Karin Anna Cheung, lead star in MTV Films' "Better Luck Tomorrow;" Kiko Ellsworth, who stars in ABC Televisions' daytime drama, "Port Charles," and in the upcoming Sony Pictures production, "Bad Boys 2;" and Arlen Escarpeta of the NBC television series, "American Dreams."

For the younger set, WB cartoon characters Bugs Bunny, Taz, Sylvester and Tweety will make guest appearances.

Interactive Demonstrations

KidCity will feature more than 60 themed exhibits and interactive workshops:

Science & Technology

• Kidspace Children's Museum – Budding robotic engineers design and build futuristic robots that really work.

• NASA Mars Exploration Exhibit – Contestants

in the FIRST Robotics Competition explain how they engineered

their high-tech creations. NASA scientists show Mars exploration

rovers in action and conduct three-dimensional panoramic tours

of the "red planet." Explore the wonders of space

at JPL-NASA's Space Photography Station.

• Griffith Observatory – Don't let the sun stop

you: here's how to daytime stargaze and observe sunspots and

solar flares safely.

• Los Angeles Department of Water & Power –

See how solar energy powers a spectacular water fountain.

• International Robotics – Meet SICO, one of the

most sophisticated mobile robots in the world. Witness the

science and engineering that makes a hovercraft work.

• KTLA News Pavilion – Get a behind-the-scenes

view of a TV newsroom. KTLA News reporters Gayle Anderson,

Eric Spillman and Jennifer York will be on hand to help kids

conduct a make-believe newscast from the KTLA News desk.

• "Build your own" workshops – Super

slime, rocket stompers, UV bracelets, kaleidoscopes and parachutes

The Arts

• California African-American Museum – Discover

how the Underground Railroad used quilts to guide fugitive

slaves to freedom in the early 1800s. Create your own personal

journal, complete with hard covers and ribbon bindings.

• Museum of Latin American Art – Explore traditional

Latino arts of mural painting and mask making.

• Hands-on Art – Sidewalk chalk-painting, coloring

wall, arts and crafts activities


• Natural History Museum – Learn from museum experts

how to find dinosaur fossils and preserve them on a re-created

dinosaur fossil dig. See and touch an amazing assortment of

fossils and artifacts.

• Windows-on-our-Waters' TidePool Cruisers – An

up-close view of the sea creatures that depend on a clean

environment to survive. Follow the path that trash takes from

city streets to the ocean.

• Eco Station – Get an up-close look at tropical

birds, "at risk" mammals, endangered species and

exotic reptiles.

History & Culture

• Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Exhibit – Meet

the historians who best know the colorful history of this

famous landmark and the athletes who competed on its field.

An Olympic memorabilia exhibit will feature a 1932 Olympic

disk, 1984 Olympic torch and original Olympic photos, books,

medals and uniforms.

• Los Angeles Times Pavilion – An exhibit chronicling

The Times' 122-year history. Watch a virtual tour of how the

newspaper is put together.


• Be a Junior Journalist – Create your own Los

Angeles Times' Kids Reading Room Page.

• Meet a Newspaper Editor – Mary Ellen Walker,

editor of The Times' Kids Reading Room Page, shares her behind-the-scenes

secrets for creating the page from scratch.

• Reading by 9 Reading Gazebo – Enjoy readings

by popular children’s book authors including D.J. MacHale,

author and creator of the popular "Are You Afraid of

the Dark?" series from Nickelodeon, and Wendelin Van

Draanen, Edgar Allen Poe Award-winning author of the "Sammy

Keyes" mystery series.

• Ask the Reading Experts – Los Angeles Unified

School District literacy experts answer parents' questions

about how best to help their children learn to read.


• Kids skate park – Free-style skateboarding and

safety tips

• World of Gymnastics – Demonstrations by Olympic-caliber


• Individual sports – Martial arts and rock climbing


• Team sports – Basketball, volleyball, baseball,


• Sports fun – Sumo wrestling, Velcro wall, bungee

run, bungee challenge

Detailed information about event participants, demonstrations and interactive sessions will be published in the official Los Angeles Times KidCity event program, which will appear in the July 13 edition of The Times. Event information also is available online at

KidCity title sponsor is Mervyn's. Presenting sponsor is Bank of America. Major sponsor is The California Wellness Foundation. Media sponsors are KTLA-TV, KDIS-AM Radio Disney (1110) and KKBT-FM "The Beat" (100.3).

Event sponsor information is available by calling 1-800-LA TIMES, ext. 72037. Exhibitor information is available by calling 1-800-LA TIMES, ext. 77334.

About Reading by 9

Launched by the Los Angeles Times in 1998, Reading by 9 is a multi-year initiative aimed at helping Southern California kindergarten through third-grade students read at grade level by the age of nine. The program is conducted in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties, and is supported by almost 50 business, civic, education, media and philanthropic organizations.

About the Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Times, a Tribune Publishing company, is the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the country and the winner of 30 Pulitzer Prizes, including three this year in national reporting, feature writing and feature photography. The Times publishes five regional editions covering the Los Angeles metropolitan area, Orange and Ventura counties, the San Fernando Valley, and an Inland Empire edition covering Riverside and San Bernardino counties, as well as a National edition.