CONTACT: Donna Merkt,, 405-878-5605


Shawnee, OK—From November 4 to November 20, the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art will give visitors free admission if they bring a new, unwrapped toy to the museum to be donated to the children at Hope House shelter just in time for the holidays. Toys are also available for purchase in the MGMoA Gift Shop.

The toy drive coincides with the museum’s featured exhibit, Kids at Heart. Artists across the state have submitted creative artworks that reference children’s toys, including artist designed toys, artist modified toys, artworks that feature representations of toys, and artworks that feature ready-made toys. The exhibit features over 70 artworks by over 70 artists from around Oklahoma. 

“Several of the artists definitely tapped into the inner child,” said Donna Merkt, MGMoA Curator of Education. “It is a fun exhibit that will bring a smile to your face. The variation of media and ideas is remarkable!”

The exhibit encourages all to remain young at heart, and also reminds us all to keep children in need in our hearts. All participating artists and visitors to the exhibit are invited to keep the children of Hope House at heart by donating a new, unwrapped toy for the kids. Anyone who participates in the toy drive will receive FREE admission to both Kids at Heart and the museum’s permanent collections during the run of the exhibit (November 4-20). Toys are needed for children ages newborn-18 years. All of the toys will be donated to Hope House in time for the holidays.

Hope House, a multi-purpose children’s shelter, provides a safe haven for children without a home or in crisis. Over 600 children (ages newborn to 18 years) are sheltered each year. Hope House is one of the many components of Youth and Family Resource Center, Inc. a multi-service center providing support for children and families. It is one of 36 children’s shelters in Oklahoma, and the only shelter of its kind in Pottawatomie County. Since its establishment in 1971, Hope House and the Youth and Family Resource Center have provided help to over 20,000 children and families.

Everyone is invited to celebrate the opening of the exhibition at 7pm on November 4. Refreshments will be provided by the MGMoA volunteer society. The opening is free and open to the public, but everyone is encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to kick off the toy drive.


The Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art is located on the campus of St. Gregory’s University, 1900 W. MacArthur St. in Shawnee.  For more information, please call the museum at (405) 878-5300 or visit


For additional information about Hope House and Youth and Family Resource Center, Inc., please visit


Photo credit line: Over 70 Oklahoma artists have created toy-themed artworks for the Kids at Heart exhibit which coincides with a holiday toy drive for Hope House Shelter. Photo courtesy the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art.