Exhibit on trailblazing SoCal author Octavia E. Butler coming to New Children’s Museum

The exhibit — shaped by the community — is set to debut in 2024.

A portrait of trailblazing science fiction author Octavia E. Butler, the subject of a new exhibit coming in 2024 to San Diego.

The beloved late author still has a lot of stories to tell.

Portrait via Mark Hanauer, provided by The New Children’s Museum

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The New Children’s Museum (NCM) in downtown San Diego is planning an interactive exhibit inspired by the legacy of late Southern California science fiction author, Octavia E. Butler.

“Octavia E. Butler: Seeding Futures” is slated to debut in 2024 — the very year the story begins in Butler’s famous novel, “Parable of the Sower.” The project’s prologue involves community involvement from young San Diegans, artists, and scholars. Turn the page — there’s more.

Chapter one

Born in 1947 in Pasadena, Butler was an award-winning author known for her “Parable” series and much more. Her novels explore themes of Black injustice, global warming, women’s rights, and political inequality.

SD New Children's Museum

The New Children’s Museum is on West Island Avenue in downtown SD.

Chapter two

NCM started planning a prototype of the room-sized exhibit this summer. This Saturday, Aug. 19, and Sunday, Aug. 20, the museum will hold its Seed-to-Tree Workshop that includes 25 local participants, with a focus on BIPOC locals ages 12-25.

The group will learn about Butler’s life and work , as well as topics close to her heart like climate and social change. The museum said the workshop will help shape the exhibit.

Chapter three

NCM said the exhibit is also being built through research into Butler’s childhood writings and drawings. Three “Earth(s)eed Fellows” — a nod to the world in her “Parables” series — will also help in the creative design.

The installation will tell Butler’s story through a rendering that explores her childhood influences. As kids interact with the display, they’ll be able to imagine “ways to adapt and change the future.”

NCM and its “Seeding Futures” advisors hope it’ll tell the stories of “alternative futures that are more fair, just, and hopeful.”

“We all want the exhibit to reflect Butler’s strong desire to improve the lives of marginalized young people and provide examples of BIPOC youth becoming shapers of change inspired by her life and work,” added Ayana Jamieson, Ph.D, an expert working closely on the project.

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