RABBIT HOLE TIMELINE
The Reading Reptile, an independent children's bookstore, owned by Pete Cowdin and Deb Pettid, operates in the Kansas City neighborhoods of Westport and Brookside for 28 weird and wonderful years. Well known for it's off-beat author events and whimsical ever-evolving interior, The Reptile receives national acclaim and a cult following.
1988 - 2015
The Rabbit hOle sets up a temporary shop in the Crossroads Arts District, where we develop our concept, conduct fundraising activities, and design and execute a series of full-scale exhibit prototypes to test future educational programming.
The Rabbit hOle designs and constructs an immersive exhibit based on Jon Agee’s The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau. Rabbit hOle artists and volunteers construct the exhibit and over 3,400 people visit the immersive in a 6 week period of time.
The Rabbit hOle's first Outreach Pop-up prototype is built, based on Dav Pilkey's Captain Underpants. The mobile exhibit is deployed beginning in February of 2016. Schools and libraries around the Metro host the pop-up for one-week visits. Over 13,000 students (grades K - 6) engage the pop-up in meaningful ways facilitated by their classroom teachers and librarians.
2016 - 2017
The Rabbit hOle partners with the Kansas City Public Library and Crossroads Academy to produce LitFestKC, a city-wide literature festival featuring Jon Scieszka, Sophie Blackall, Brian Selznick, Javaka Steptoe, John Bemelmans Marciano, Nina Crews, and Shane Evans. Modeled after the Reading Reptile's long running Children's Literature Festival, LitFestKC attracts more than 1,300 students and 200 educators from across the Metro and serves as a prototype for future Rabbit hOle festivals.
The Rabbit hole purchases a 165,000 sq ft building in North Kansas City, moves into a temporary workshop and secures an architect of record. Demolition and RAB FAB construction begin.
Staff moves into a permanent home at RAB FAB, where we continue capital fundraising efforts, host events, and design exhibits. We engage J.E. Dunn and launch the first two (of three) major construction packages inside the museum. We secure rights and permissions for more than 50 books for exhibition.
COVID-19 strikes. We pour ourselves a stiff drink and prepare to pivot. We postpone the third phase of building construction, and ramp up exhibit production instead. We successfully retain our entire pre- COVID staff and continue growing our creative team. Full steam ahead!
We continue to build and design exhibits and acquire rights and permissions to more than 70 books for exhibition. We continue to expand our staff and prepare to welcome visitors to The Rabbit hOle in 12-18 months!