Friday | April 29, 2022
Momentum continues to build with significant capital support this month from Lisa Brown & Daniel Handler, the Sunderland Foundation, Ellen & Irv Hockaday and the ECCO Select company. Thanks to these fine folks and all of our fearless and steadfast supporters. Every gift, large and small, keeps us on track for our 2023 opening. It’s nice to think that April showers bring May flowers!
If you or someone you know is interested in making a transformational gift to The Rabbit hOle, either personally or through a family foundation, please reach out to Peter Cowdin at
Caaaaps, caps for sale! 

The Rabbit hOle’s fabricators recently returned to work on our Caps for Sale (written and illustrated by Esphyr Slobodkina) exhibit, which will inhabit a section of the west wall of the Explor-a-Storium. This environmental exhibit features the peddler, his shade tree, and a few mischievous monkeys who might tell you off with a “Tsz, tsz, tsz!” if you want your hat back! Slobodkina’s legacy as a fine art printmaker and textile artist informed The Rabbit hOle’s design team as they worked to bring her classic story to life. Important elements to design were the six monkeys who will hang from the tree. Our team has worked on a custom design to create an experience as close to the peddler's as possible.
First, our designer and fabricator Leigh prototyped and perfected a mechanism to make the monkeys arms move
Next, Leigh tested his design by outfitting a monkey figure (built by Simple Mischief Studio) with the finalized mechanism
"Tsz, tsz, tsz!"
Five more monkeys to go!
Visit our website to see more exhibits in progress
Westhues Electric is nearing completion of the first floor light and ceiling power grid, just in time for JE Dunn’s arrival and the kick off of our third and final phase of building renovations. On May 2nd, we’ll begin framing out the first floor walls around the bookstore, the Great Green Room, the café and the makerspace, giving new and dramatic shape to these program areas that trace the boundaries of the world’s first Explor-a-Storium.
The Great Green Room, Tons-of-Fun Room, bookstore, and admissions area will be located on the first floor of The Rabbit hOle
Meanwhile, work on the mysterious discoveries toward the front of the building continues to unfold at its own pace. As indicated in our previous newsletter, a statement from our directors is forthcoming. Until then, we can only say again that every new development is a revelation. The patience and care in excavating, documenting and cataloguing our findings with staff, advisors and outside help has been extraordinary, and we can now say with certainty that The Rabbit hOle was not only meant to be - in effect, it already is...
The three wolves (The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig written by Eugene Trivizas and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury) look on as excavation continues at The Rabbit hOle
We are hiring!

The Rabbit hOle is looking for experienced artist fabricators. Visit our website to learn more and to apply.
A little letter will find its way to you soon!
This Week, Next the Printshop
"This Week, Next Year" is a regular segment to introduce future programming areas within The Rabbit hOle. These experiences will be an integral part of The Rabbit hOle from day one. Read on to discover what lies ahead in the realm of The Rabbit hOle...
Think of The Rabbit hOle’s Explor-a-Storium as an engine that’s driving a much larger machine. The excitement generated inside the Explor-a-Storium, especially among our young visitors, will transfer naturally into programmatic areas of the museum where that story energy can become the catalyst for self-discovery and self-expression. One of those areas will be The Rabbit hOle’s print shop. 

The Rabbit hOle’s print shop will feature an array of printing machines and processes that support the exploration of the book arts for visitors young and old. The shop will include two letterpresses, silk screen capability, a Risograph machine, relief printing, monotyping, and bindery processes. As a working print shop, it will produce a variety of printed products like bookmarks, cards and journals for our bookstore as well as the publication of limited-edition books and folios. As an educational shop it will double as a program area in conjunction with our story lab, enabling young people to engage printing and binding processes to realize their stories in book form. 

There will also be advanced programming for adults around the book arts, as well as open studio opportunities for experienced printmakers. And finally, once we’ve calibrated our initial programming goals, the print shop will become a site for our national author/illustrator residency, where professional children’s book creators can explore and collaborate on book projects outside of the commercial market. 

Reading and writing are two sides of the same coin, and understanding how books are made enriches both enterprises. In this way, The Rabbit hOle’s print shop advances our mission to nourish and empower the reading and writing lives of visitors of all ages.
Book Pairing - Esphyr Slobidkina's modern art, paired with DIY collage. Pairing by Deb, Rabbit hOle co-founder and wildlife enthusiast
Untitled, Deb Pettid, 2022
Mural Sketch No. 1, Esphyr Slobodkina, 1937
Esphyr Slobodkina was a celebrated avant garde artist and feminist in the middle part of the 20th century. A practitioner of abstract art, Slobodkina used paint, textiles, paper and found objects materials to create collages and sculptures.

She approached the page in a very three-dimensional, architectural way. Playing with scale, considering the relationship of objects to the environment and adding visual humor whenever possible resulted in work that is full of depth and emotion. (See some of her work that’s in the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.)

Slobodkina was among the earliest picture book illustrators to use collage, and the technique was an essential part of her process. Her first book The Little Fireman (1938) was a collaboration with Margaret Wise Brown. The illustrations are crisp and strong as she used clear, rich colors, and flat, stylized forms. Even the illustrations from beloved book Caps for Sale began as collages.

Rabbit hOle tip: gather scrap paper from your home, then play with colors and shapes to create your own work of art! If you want to explore other materials or find different papers, Scraps KC is a great resource.
Caps are back!
Caaaaps, caps for sale!

The Rabbit hOle is story and the story is Caps for Sale. Explore your primatial roots with a cap of your own.
Watch This!
How many caps can a fabricator stack? Jordan finds out...
RH tip: Why not try stacking hats yourself? Find all the hats you can and have a contest to see who can make the highest (or most creative) stack!
Social Circle
There's more where this came from...follow us on social media for more updates, photos, and Rabbit hOle goings on!
Curious to see what else is up our sleeves? Visit our website to read more about our mission, exhibits, and other exciting progress