The DEA’s Traveling Museum Exhibit, Target America: Opening Eyes
July 26 (TAMPA, Fla.) – The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Museum’s traveling exhibit, Target America: Opening Eyes to the Damage Drugs Cause, opened on Sept. 16, 2011, at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Tampa to rave reviews. The 10,000 square foot exhibit which was scheduled to run through Sept. 3, 2012, has been extended at the request of MOSI, as a result of the overwhelming response the exhibit has been receiving from the public. The exhibit will now remain open until Jan. 3, 2013.
“Educating our youths and communities about the damage that drugs cause needs to start early,” said Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Miami Field Division. “The Target America traveling museum is a vehicle to get families talking about how each person can take personal responsibility to avoid being a victim of drug abuse and the dangers related to drugs. I want to thank the MOSI foundation and the DEA Educational Foundation for their support and dedication to this exhibit.”
“We are delighted to extend the dates of the exhibition Target America: Opening Eyes to the Damage Drugs Cause at MOSI. This exhibition has had great success in creating awareness in the Tampa Bay community and communicating the real story of the damage that drugs cause. The extension will help us continue to address serious social issues, build healthier communities and educate the public on this important issue,” said Wit Ostrenko, president of MOSI.
As of July 1, 2012, a total of 364,075 visitors, which include students, teachers, and parents have toured the traveling exhibit. Target America explores the science behind illegal drug addiction and the myriad costs of illegal drugs to individuals, American society, and the world. The exhibit gives a glimpse of DEA’s history in the fight against drugs in our communities and abroad. The exhibit also provides an important look at how each person can work to break the cycle of drug abuse and drug-related violence. It also gives a never-before-seen look at the shadowy world of narco-terrorism and the connections between terrorists and drug traffickers.
Earlier this year, on March 30, 2012, MOSI hosted the DEA’s annual Vigil for Lost Promise. The Vigil ceremony included guest speakers, an invocation, music and a candlelight procession to pay tribute to those lives lost to drugs. The following day, MOSI hosted “Celebrate Life,” a drug awareness day filled with fun activities for families such as a DEA drug dog demonstration, “Meet the Special Agents of DEA,” and live entertainment.
MOSI also participated in the DEA’s fourth National Take Back Initiative on April 28, 2012, as a drop off site for the public to turn in any unwanted or expired prescription drugs. MOSI will renew their participation in the next National Take Back Initiative which is scheduled for Sept. 29, 2012.
Last month, Circuit Judge Lynn Tepper was provided a private tour of Target America. Judge Tepper, who is no stranger to what drugs can do to a family and a community, was so impressed with the exhibit that she plans to sponsor a program which will allow first time drug offenders in Pasco County to visit the Target America exhibit as part of their probation.
Also in June 2012, MOSI was awarded the iHeart Tampa Bay Award “Favorite Place to Take the Kids,” beating out other popular Tampa attractions. The votes were cast by Clear Channel listeners to recognize the best local businesses.
About the DEA Traveling Museum: Target America
Target America began its national tour in 2002 and comes to Tampa with a section specific to Florida. The “Florida Story” looks at the history of drug trends and law enforcement’s responses in Florida over recent decades and gives visitors the chance to take part in a surveillance operation and get an inside view of the technology law enforcement uses in drug investigations.
A coalition of corporate, foundation, and individual sponsors brings Target America to Tampa. The exhibit was developed in partnership with The DEA Educational Foundation, The Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and The Partnership for a Drug Free America. It premiered September 11, 2002 at the DEA Museum in Arlington, Virginia and has since inspired over 22 million visitors in Dallas, Omaha, New York City, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, and most recently in New Orleans.
About MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry)MOSI is a not-for-profit, community-based institution and educational resource dedicated to advancing public interest, knowledge, and understanding of science, industry, and technology. With a total size of over 400,000 square feet, MOSI is the largest science center in the southeastern United States, and home to the only IMAX ® Dome Theatre in the state of Florida. Kids In Charge! The Children’s Science Center at MOSI is the largest children’s science center in the nation. Disasterville, featuring Bay News 9 Weather Quest, combines education and 10,000 square feet of interactive exhibits on the science behind natural disasters. MOSI’s newest permanent exhibition, The Amazing You, presented by MetLife Foundation and sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, explores the fascinating world of birth through end of life. Conquer your fears and experience an adrenaline rush like no other on MOSI’s permanent attractions, the Sky Trail® Ropes Course and Zip Line. Also, guests can now explore MOSI’s new technology playground & inventor’s studio, Idea Zone. MOSI is the proud winner of the 2009 National Medal for Museums by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the nation’s highest honor for museums. For more information on MOSI, visit www.mosi.org.