Make Your Own Museum Contest

Lanterman House Archivist Julie Yamashita created a shoebox museum based on art at the Lanterman House.

While many of the world’s most famous museums take up enormous spaces in large cities, a group of local historic societies and bookstores have teamed up to show that size isn’t everything.

The Lanterman Historical Museum Foundation and the Historical Society of the Crescenta Valley will partner with Flintridge Bookstore and Once Upon a Time Bookstore to host a Make Your Own Museum contest. The free event is open to all ages and skill levels and challenges participants to create a museum of any topic or category they choose – as long as it fits in a shoebox.

“We wanted to create a fun and safe event for the community,” said Lanterman House Executive Director Laura Verlaque. “We hope this contest will spark creativity. You can build a museum from a collection of things you already own, like Beanie Babies or Legos. Or it could be about a topic you are interested in, like outer space or kangaroos. You’ll be amazed how much you can fit in a shoebox or other small box.”

Participants should take pictures of their creation and email them to no later than Sunday, May 16 at midnight. Winners will be chosen in three categories: adult (age 13 and up), youth (age 12 and below) and family/group (any age). The first-place entry for each category will receive a $30 gift card to either Flintridge Bookstore or Once Upon a Time Bookstore. The grand prize winner will receive a $100 gift card to Flintridge Bookstore. The winning entries will also be put on display in the bookstores.

The Lanterman House staff has created two sample shoebox museums, which will be on display at Flintridge Bookstore and Once Upon a Time Bookstore during the month of April. The bookstores will also have contest flyers or interested parties can visit for more information.

Director Laura Verlaque based her shoebox museum on a story from Dr. Lanterman’s career.

The Lanterman House is located at 4420 Encinas Dr. in La Cañada Flintridge. It is open by appointment for docent-guided tours on Tuesdays, Thursdays and the first and third Sunday of each month from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit or call (818) 790-1421.

The Historical Society of the Crescenta Valley celebrates the history of the Crescenta Valley. It is one of the most active and dynamic historical groups in the Los Angeles area. And members of the Historical Society of the Crescenta Valley wish they had a real Crescenta Valley history museum that was larger than a shoebox! For more information, visit