Elsewhere offers playshops for publics and school groups that explore new ways to learn, create and imagine at Elsewhere. Each session explores the history of things, collaboration and play through creative interactions and investigations. Playshops are learning opportunities for kids of all ages and lifelong learners.

Past Playshops have included:

  • PLAYABLE PIZZA | An introduction to improvised instruments and musical production.
  • CAST-IRON CHEF | a cooking showdown in the kitchen for budding chefs, emphasizing working with at hand resources, creative improvisation, and collaboration.
  • OBJECT STORIES| Using objects in the collection to share personal stories, develop creative writing, and think about things differently.
  • REFRIGERATOR PLAYS | Presenting food based stories in the fridge.
  • SENSORY SURVEY | A tactile survey of the building to consider its construction and maintenance.
  • DESIGN/BUILD| Creating temporary structures out of Elsewhere objects to learn principles of sculpture and construction.
  • SCREENPRINTING | Using the Printworks to make a new screen or fresh print.
  • PUBLIC MENDING | Bring your clothes and mend together with other visiting artists and friends.
  • TEXTILE MESSAGES | Using yarn and thread to sew a message and leave your trace.
  • HUNTING & GATHERING | Scavenge the museum for your favorite things and leave behind a curated collection.
  • HOME MOVIES | Learn movie making basics and create your own film using our collection of materials.
  • SOUNDSCAPES | Create field recordings of sounds heard at the museum.
  • OUT AND ABOUT | A survey/ scavenger hunt of the South Elm Neighborhood and the place of the museum in it.

The Learning Factory

Learning Factory is a collaborative zine that explores concepts of learning as they relate to Elsewhere’s museum and education programs. Inside find featured excerpts from Elsewhere’s collection as well as lesson plans and ideas on your future history of education. (September 2011)

Playshop Curricula


COLLABORATIVE FOOD MAPS | Help create a dish to feed 20 people

COOKING SHOW | Broadcast a-live from the Kitchen Commons, share your culinary tastes and cooking experiments

CAST-IRON CHEF | Face off with visiting artists and Elsewhere communities in a cooking showdown

MEMORY DINNER/RECIPE EXCHANGE | Share an old family recipe, create a meal based on your food memories

A-LIVE KITCHEN | Grow, ferment and culture alive ingredients like kombucha, keifer and sprouts

INDOOR PICNIC | Host a microgranting dinner with neighbors and friends

REFRIGERATOR PLAYS | The refrigerator can be an installation


Alleyway Garden

VERTICAL GARDEN | Help our garden grow – water, weed, and care for our herbs, veggies and leafy greens

BIKE EXCURSIONS | Check out a bike to ride around town, and help maintain our collection with bike maintenance

LAUNDRY LINE | Hang, fold and put away linens and other laundry for the museum

COMPOST | Stir the compost and help create rich nutrients for the garden

MUSHROOM FORAGING | Spray our inoculated shiitake logs with water, and harvest any fruiting bodies


Fabric Workshop

BUTTONS | Practice your sewing skills by learning how to sew on a button

PUBLIC MENDING | Bring your clothes and mend together with other visiting artists and friends

QUILTING |Use fabric scraps to make a quilt, share stories and quilt together ideas

SCREENPRINTING | Use the Printworks to make a new screen or fresh print

HOOKRUG | Use fabric scraps to create a rug for the museum

TEXT-ISLES | Use yarn and thread to sew a message and leave your trace


Museum of Natural History

COLLABORATIVE TIMELINE | Work with friends or visiting artists to create a timeline of real and fictional events

GRANDMA MUSEUM | Create a museum of natural history in your own life, using your grandmother’s objects as inspiration

HUNTING & GATHERING | Scavenge the museum for your favorite things and leave behind a curated collection

HOARDICULTURE | Use what’s in your pocket to make your own collection, photograph and document



COWORKING | Invite friends to co-work and share ideas – ask a curator for internet access

SURREY CINEMA | Broadcast video works from our six-person bike surrey

MOBILE THEATER | Use your mobile media device to broadcast Elsewhere happenings (#elsewheremuseum, @elsewheremuseum)

TECH-MORPHING | Imagine new uses for obsolete technologies

HOME MOVIES | Share a favorite or self-produced movie with a film screening

SOUNDSCAPES | Create a field recording of sounds Elsewhere

GRAPHOLOGY | Analyze your handwriting, confirm your personality


Press Office

CITY | Enter the CITY, an improv role playing game that imagines Elsewhere as a giant urban metropolis

NEWSPAPER | Share your gossip, and news with CITY Newspaper – create a competing rag

A-LIVE TV | Broadcast alive from Elsewhere with your own TV show

TIME MACHINE | Capture every moment, create a time code, and send to the cloud

IMAGE-ARIUM | Capture the museum with a photographic essay


Living Library

ZINE-MAKING | Create a self-published magazine or print resource using library selections

READ-IN | Organize a public reading of a text, take turns reading and pass on to others

BOOK OF BOOKS | Contribute to the Book of Books by reproducing your favorite library selection

BOOK CHORUS | Read, sing, re-interpret your favorite story or literary selection

READING RAINBOW | Write a book report on your favorite book, and share on the Radio/ALIVE TV

RADIO RADIO | Broadcast alive from the Living Library – share music, read a text or conversation

STORYBANK | Deposit a story, withdraw other people’s stories


Storefront Theater

TOUCH TELEPHONE | Gather friends to sit down in a circle so you can touch each other’s shoulders. The first person writes a message on someone’s back and then “passes” to the next person

PUBLIC SWINGS | Swing out onto the world

PUPPET THEATER | Stage a puppet show with visiting artists and friends

INSIDE/OUT THEATER | Perform, sing, and play on stage