MASON CITY —The MacNider Art Museum has received a $2,000 grant from ITC Holdings Corp. (ITC) to help acquire a unique play area called an Imagination Playground.

Museum Director Edith Blanchard said this is the first time the museum has received a grant from ITC and its Iowa-based operating company, ITC Midwest, which supports community initiatives to promote healthy living and wellness.

Mason City Clinic has donated $8,000 toward the project, said Blanchard.

She said an Imagination Playground makes use of foam blocks to create an interactive play area that combines the disciplines of art and wellness into a creative, hands-on experience for children and families.

“Children play together, learn together, and also work together on problem solving,” said Blanchard.

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“They can create narrative plays and environments, explore shapes and textures, or build architectural marvels, all while improving their motor skills and exercising.”

The playground has more than 100 large blocks made of specialized foam. Blanchard said the blocks will be on the lawn during the summer months during open hours.

During the winter months the upper Salsbury room will serve as a play forum — but there will also be opportunities for some “snow play” with the blocks, said Blanchard.

Also, she said, the museum plans to bring the blocks to community events. Plans are for the playground to be set up in February.

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