Photo courtesy of Nicole Chynoweth

Photo courtesy of Nicole Chynoweth

For this week’s post, I interviewed Nicole Chynoweth, a Point Park student who works at the Toonseum.

In my opinion, the Toonseum is a little museum that can often be looked past in its Cultural District location. Nicole talks about what college students might find interesting at the museum, and some gems that are close by.
The Toonseum is open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. It is closed Tuesday. The suggested admission is only $5. It is located at 945 Liberty Ave. in Downtown. 
Q: What is your role at the Toonseum?
I call myself the intern that just never went away. I was the viral marketing intern in the spring of 2011. I was responsible for all of our Facebook and Twitter interactions, and I helped plan a few events. I also wrote and edited some of the informational materials used in a couple exhibits. After my first internship with the Toonseum, I continued volunteering for events during my junior year. My volunteering this semester has evolved into another internship. This time around, I am working with Mandi Bridgeman, director of marketing and programming, most of the time. I help plan and run events, blog about upcoming exhibits, promote our events and exhibits, and write and edit press releases and exhibit information. When I feel like being a rebellious intern, I ditch my important tasks to make crafts with recycled comic book paper.
Q: What does the Toonseum bring to Pittsburgh?
The Toonseum is one of just two museums in the United States dedicated exclusively to the cartoon arts. There is nothing else like it in Pittsburgh. The Toonseum gives the people of Pittsburgh the opportunity to see cartoon art from all over the world, from numerous decades. It’s a place where you can learn about your favorite Saturday morning cartoon from your childhood or the origin of Spiderman. It is educational entertainment for all ages.
Q: Why should college students visit the Toonseum?
All too often I hear college students say, “There is nothing to do in Downtown Pittsburgh.” I highly disagree because there are so many gems in this city, and you just have to find them. The Toonseum is one of these gems.
Q: Are there any interesting collections or pieces that students should know about?
We are currently installing our permanent collection, “Charlie’s Hall of Legends,” presented by Starkist. It features original production cells and original comic book pages and strips. My favorite piece is a production cell from “The Pink Panther.”
Q: Any upcoming exhibits?
We are currently exhibiting “The Scoreboard Art of Kensington Falls Animation,” which features iconic original art from animated scoreboards of the Pirates, Steelers, Penguins, and several other teams. We are also exhibiting “New Action Evolution: The Art of David Leblanc,” which are incredibly colorful, abstract pop art paintings of superheroes.
Q: What upcoming events are happening?
We are having an exhibit opening party for “New Action Evolution” on De. 8 from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Admission is $5 and gives attendees the chance to get a signed print from Leblanc himself. We are also having The Island of Misfit Toons Christmas Party on Dec. 14 from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m., where will be celebrating the holidays with cocktails, food, Christmas music, a photo booth, a make-your-own-ornament station, and more. Admission is $10, but if you bring a gently used or new toy to donate to Play It Forward Pittsburgh, you will receive half off of your admission. The event is 21 plus.
Q: Any other things to do or places to eat near the Toonseum?
I encourage visitors to check out all of the galleries in the Cultural District, as they are all within walking distance of the Toonseum. If you’re hungry, I suggest purchasing a pizza pretzel from Go Pretzel, which is just a few blocks down from us. Check out Little E’s Jazz Club, too.

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