Playful Learning Landscape

Through a grant from Arts Equity Reimagined fund, NN was able to work with consultants from the Playful Learning Action Network and the Temple Infant & Child Lab between 2021-2023 to learn about the science behind activating art to create playful learning exhibits within our urban community landscapes. 

“Playful Learning Landscapes applies the science of how children learn to spark interactions with caregivers, other kids, and the environment to increase fundamental learning and skills. A landscape can be any place where a community gathers naturally. A landscape could be a bus stop in a neighborhood, an empty lot, or destinations such as a library, supermarket, hairdresser, or playground. Playful Learning Landscapes integrates playful learning into community spaces to transform social interactions and the physical architecture of the landscape with innovative design.”  -Playful Learning Action Network

From 2021-2022, NN convened a working group of 7 artists from around the region to create designs from the values that grew out of the community.

During that time, NN held 2 community listening sessions to learn about what folks valued.  Along with the artists, 90 participants of all ages attended these sessions and shared their thoughts through art, written and spoken word, and games. It was during these sessions that the locations for the installations were identified as the practice field at the high school, Second Ave Playground, and Neighborhood North.  Additionally, 60 5th grade art students contributed drawings and text that share what they love most about Beaver Falls.  These drawings were integrated into the design of one of the installations, creating one side of the Puzzle Wall at the high school.

Our working artist group designed 3 exhibits that reflected the values and goals that our community indicated were most important- sports, storytelling, collaboration, and learning.

By 2022, the designs were ready to be turned over to our fabricators to fashion our artists’ vision into concrete reality.  After a year of production, our Playful Learning Landscapes were installed in September 2023 by 3 local installers!  We think these exhibits may be only the beginning!!

What did it take to complete this project?:

Thank you to our funders: