If you are a faithful reader of U.S. 1 you were fully apprised of the Princeton Art Museum Family Day referenced in the second letter to the editor below. We previewed the event in our May 13 issue, in an article by Helen Schwartz that also featured an interview with the new museum director, James Steward.

But the April 30 event described in the first letter to the editor below received nothing more than a simple entry in the day-by-day listings of the April 29 issue. All of which underscores our point: There are more treasures to be found in our listings than the ones we choose to highlight with feature articles and photographs. And, of course, if you want to do even more treasure hunting, consult our event listings at www.princetoninfo.com, where we list everything we know into the far future — including Saturday, May 22, 2010, the next family day at the Princeton Art Museum.

To the Editor: Lessons Forged From Foster Care

On April 30 Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Mercer County hosted the first annual Mark B. Levin Education Fund Event at the Jewish Center of Princeton. The lecture by Andrew Bridge, author of the New York Times bestseller “Hope’s Boy,” was a fitting presentation for this event in honor of Dr. Mark Levin, CASA’s past board president and beloved Princeton pediatrician who passed away last June.

Mr. Bridge delivered a moving address to our group of CASA volunteer child advocates, child welfare leaders, CASA supporters and a cross-section of interested people from the community. Drawing from his memoir about his experiences living for 11 years in the foster care system, he illustrated the horrors and ultimately the hope that came out of those experiences. Mr. Bridge has spent the majority of his legal career as an advocate for children within the foster care system and he currently is at work on another book.

CASA of Mercer County is a non-profit organization that recruits, screens, and trains volunteers to advocate for foster children in family court. In this past fiscal year, we have served 161 of the 500 children in foster care in Mercer County. An education fund was established in Dr. Levin’s honor because he highly valued education, and as a pediatrician educated both children and their parents every day. He also was instrumental in training our advocates on medical issues.

CASA would like to thank all of the donors to the Mark B. Levin Education Fund, the Jewish Center, Gil Gordon, the Doubletree Hotel Princeton, Lox, Stock and Deli, JZ Video Production, and The Alex K 3 for making this event possible. The Jewish Center and their staff went out of their way to make this a memorable evening. We were especially touched and happy to have Joan Levin, Mark’s wife there to kick off this first public educational event, which we hope to repeat for many years to come. Those interested in volunteering for CASA or donating to CASA, please go to www.casamercer.org or call 609-434-0050 for more information.

Lori Morris

Executive Director, CASA of Mercer County

Randall Kirkpatrick

Development Director

Art Museum Brings ‘Outside In’

It was our pleasure to welcome the 900 people who attended Family Day (a record number) on May 16, sponsored by the Friends of Princeton University Art Museum! This eagerly anticipated annual event features art projects, live entertainment, a Treasure Hunt, and lunch – all offered free to the community. This year’s theme celebrated Asian art and culture, drawing inspiration from the museum’s impressive collection, as well as the fascinating works on view in Outside In: Chinese x American x Contemporary Art (a special exhibition open through Sunday, June 7).

Throughout the day children were able to create their own works of art: masks, calligraphy, origami, brush painting, Chinese screens, and Chinese knotting. They and their families were treated to selections from the chamber ensemble Music from China, playing traditional Chinese instruments and engaging their young audience in an interactive program. Several groups from the Princeton Chinese Language School delighted our visitors with dance and yo-yo performances. A Treasure Hunt led our guests to discover many of the museum’s own treasures in the collection. Prizes were given to everyone who participated in the exploration.

Special thanks to Susan Cheng and Music from China, as well as art teachers Amarilis Matteo, Phyllis Wright, Brad Holcombe, and Vicky Moy. The museum is extremely grateful to the many students, parents, teachers, and staff from the Princeton Chinese Language School, who generously provided their time and talents: Refen Koh, Helen Nan, Tracy Kuo, Stephen Kuo, Jason Tam, Benjamin Hong, Mei J. Hong, Charlton Hook, Wen Chyi Shyu, Greg Tang, Yachuan Tang, Sheron Tang, Wee-fen Tsui, Shu-Hsin Hsieh and her Senior Dance Troupe (Thea & Ingrid Ma and Emily & Brenda Lin), Grace Kuo and her junior dance troupe, Meiying Huang, Jeffrey Yang, Tian Tu, and Lavinia Zvyth. What a wonderful collaboration!

None of this could have been possible without the dedication of those volunteers and staff members who helped made sure that our Family Day guests would enjoy the festivities and benefit from the museum’s excellent education and outreach programs!

Join us next year on Saturday, May 22, for Family Day 2010.

Liz Murray

Friends of Princeton University Art Museum

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