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Long Island Children's Museum changing its face

Abigail Hylan, 7, of Glen Cove, shows off

Abigail Hylan, 7, of Glen Cove, shows off her self-portrait, which will be hung on the exterior of the Long Island Children's Museum in Garden City. Photo Credit: Long Island Children's Museum

Close to 1,000 children's faces -- 998, to be exact -- decorate the outside of the Long Island Children's Museum in Garden City, all self-portraits painted 12 years ago by Long Island kids. Now, the museum is offering those spots to the next generation.

For a donation of $250, you can designate a child to paint a 12-by-12-inch tile. Portrait workshops will teach the kids about famous artists and assist them in creating their own self-portraits that will be displayed inside the museum until the reboot.

The original tiles were added to the museum's exterior when the building opened in 2002. "Those kids who did that are in college and past now," says Maureen Mangan, museum director of communications. The new tiles will stay up for at least five years, she says.

Lisa Hylan of Glen Cove and her daughter, Abigail, 7, are frequent visitors to the museum. "My daughter always asked, 'How can I get my face up there, Mommy?'" Hylan says. When she heard about the campaign, "we jumped at the chance," she says.

The $250 is considered a museum donation, Mangan says. "As recognition for their donation, this is what they're getting," she says. The price drops to $200 for multiple tiles, and corporations can make a $5,000 donation and designate tiles to a group, be it a school, sports team or special-needs group. "It's a way for a corporation to support two institutions," Mangan says.

Potential donors should call Gina Garcia, the museum's associate director of development, 516-224-5813.

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