WASHINGTON (Aug. 10, 2010)—National Geographic Museum will host two interactive traveling exhibitions that spotlight the natural world this fall. “Geckos: Tails to Toepads,” open from Sept. 24 through Jan. 5, 2011, showcases more than 75 live geckos from around the world and highlights their fascinating adaptability and wide range of habitats. “Wild Music: Sounds & Songs of Life,” on display from Oct. 1 through Jan. 2, 2011, explores the biological origins of music and the soundscapes that surround and musically inspire both humans and animals. Both exhibitions will be in the Museum’s 17th Street building.
With more than 1,250 known species, geckos range from shadowy nighttime hunters with unbelievable camouflage to neon-colored nectar eaters that scamper around in daylight. “Geckos: Tails to Toepads,” from Peeling Productions at Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland, features live geckos in re-creations of their diverse habitats to draw visitors into the geckos’ realm. The exhibition also includes a series of computer and hands-on interactives through which visitors can experience gecko night vision, learn unusual facts from gecko experts, listen to gecko voices, activate video clips of geckos in action, try to spot camouflaged geckos and build a custom gecko for various environments. A custom activity area will feature a coloring station and book nook, with periodic drop-in programs for families.
“Geckos” is a ticketed exhibition. Beginning in early September, tickets may be purchased online at www.ngmuseum.org; via telephone at (202) 857-7700; or in person at the National Geographic ticket office, 1600 M Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., between
9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Ticket prices are $7 for adults; $6 for seniors, students, military personnel and National Geographic members; and $4 for children ages 2-12. Children under age 2 are admitted free. Prices for groups of 25 or more are $6 per person, and K-12 school groups are $4 per person. For more information on group sales, call (202) 857-7281 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Madison, a Loews Hotel, is the Museum’s hotel partner and will be offering gecko-themed packages for guests.
From tiny insects to giant whales, nature is filled with creatures that create distinct musical masterpieces to communicate with and relate to one another. “Wild Music: Sounds & Songs of Life” invites visitors to engage in hands-on activities to explore how different animals form their sounds and inspire music around the globe.
Visitors will be encouraged to not only hear the music that surrounds them every day, but to see and feel it too. Among the exhibition’s highlights is the “Pictures of Sound” section in which visitors discover how sound patterns look by learning to read spectrograms that show the frequency of song changes over time. In the “Jamming Room,” a soundproof practice studio, visitors can play and compose songs using pre-recorded audio soundscapes, touch-activated Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) instruments and animal voices, acoustic percussion instruments and live vocals. In the “Underwater Microphone” section, visitors explore how sound is transmitted underwater as they experiment with a hydrophone in a water-filled tank and listen to mechanisms such as a bubbler, trolling motor and ratchet.
Admission to “Wild Music” is free. The exhibition is a production of the Science Museum of Minnesota, the Association of Science-Technology Centers and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro School of Music, with major support from the National Science Foundation and additional support from Harman International Inc. and the NEC Foundation of America.
On Saturday, Oct. 16, the Museum and National Geographic Kids Entertainment (NGKE) will join forces to celebrate World Animal Day. Activities will include animal-themed crafts; book readings; music and movement classes; and screenings of the NGKE series “Mama Mirabelle,” “Toot & Puddle,” “Are We There Yet World Adventure” and “Iggy Arbuckle.” The following Saturday, Oct. 23, National Geographic Live will present “Music On…Stage: Will Calhoun,” featuring the former drummer for the band Living Colour, who will incorporate nature sounds into his performance. The World Animal Day event is free; tickets for “Music On…Stage” are $20 and can be purchased at www.nglive.org or by calling the box office at (202) 857-7700.
National Geographic Museum, 1145 17th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed Dec. 25. For information on both exhibitions, the public should call (202) 857-7588 or visit www.ngmuseum.org.