While Union Terminal undergoes renovations, museum staff has had to get creative to make our community’s shared history available. The Duke Energy Children's Museum is open during construction, but the Cincinnati Museum Center wanted to tap into the 21 and up crowd too, so they designed the monthly CurioCity series, which aims to teach young professionals about history in a fun, informal way.
“A lot of young professionals want to learn about Cincinnati history,” says Emily Logue, manager of community festivals and events at the Museum Center. “Whether it’s beer history, little-known facts, the arts or pop culture.”
Rather than attending a lecture, CurioCity prioritizes interaction, experience and socializing. Six of the eight events from the inaugural season of CurioCity were held at local bars and breweries and featured an eclectic mixture of history and fun.
“The best quote I’ve ever heard is, ‘This is the most I’ve ever used my brain at a bar,’” Logue says.
The series started last September and really hit its stride in November when Arnold’s Bar and Grill hosted Wizard Meets Flapper to mark the release of the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Logue says the history of Arnold's, and the fact that it's the oldest bar in Cincinnati, makes it an ideal location to hold CurioCity events.
“Ninety-eight percent of guests were dressed as a wizard, a flapper or both,” Logue says. Attendees listened to jazz music and danced at the “speakeasy” style event.
Beer-centric events have proven popular with the young professional crowd, especially if centered around a local brew. CurioCity went hyper-local by partnering with Urban Artifact for Crafting Culture, where guests learn how beer is made. The event featured a specially brewed beer, the Union Terminal Bach — a beer brewed from yeast collected at Union Terminal.
In March, the Viking “Mead-up” at Arnold’s gave guests the opportunity to tap into their inner Viking with mead brewed at a local meadery.
The grand finale of the first season of CurioCity Throwback Thursday at 6:30 p.m on April 13. Attendees will relive their 1990s childhoods as they take over the Duke Energy Children’s Museum for the night. Guests will be able to make their own ice cream with liquid nitrogen, make friendship bracelets and enjoy '90s-themed coloring pages. The Children’s Museum’s famous wooden jungle gym and ball machine will be open as well.
Light bites will include childhood favorites like tater tots and bagel bites. Jenco Brothers Candy will have samples and local shop Full Frontal Nerdity will be on hand to sell buttons featuring '90s legends like Bill Nye the Science Guy. Logue says scrunchies and apparel with sunflowers are encouraged but not required.
The second season of CurioCity returns this summer. See the full schedule here.