LINDA WHITE is the founder and creator of Imagination Play Project. As a play curator, her focus began with young children and has grown to working with people of all ages and abilities. Drawing inspiration from the schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy and the rich aesthetic landscape of NYC, she creates experiences using a variety of objects that encourage exploration, engage the senses, and inspire creativity.
Linda began her professional career in St Louis after earning a Degree in Behavioral Disabilities and Early Childhood Education and went on to pursue a Masters Degree in Social Work and Educational Counseling. As a trained clinical therapist, Linda has worked with families and children with behavioral, emotional, and medical challenges in private practice in St Louis, New York City and Westchester. Her work in private practice included creating and facilitating therapeutic groups with children and parents in community agencies, corporations, and schools. Upon moving to New York in the 1990’s, Linda was hired as a Museum Educator at the Children’s Museum of the Arts in Soho. This led to a number of experiences facilitating experiences for families and children as a museum educator at museums across the U.S. and abroad, including: Cooper-Hewitt, Rubin Museum, The Asia Society, Children’s Museum of the Arts Soho, Providence Children’s Play Museum, No Longer Empty, The U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.
Linda has spent many years working with children and adults on the autism spectrum and a variety of neurological and developmental delays. For three years, Linda was a Play Curator at the JCC Nursery School in New York City where she created a pop up materials studio and invited children from various classrooms to engage with open-ended materials. This led to offering professional development trainings for educators and directors in New York and beyond. In addition to working with schools and community organizations through the Imagination Play Project, Linda currently acts as a Play Curator and Teaching Artist curating experiences with open-ended materials in a sculpture studio at the Children’s Museum of the Arts Soho.
Most recently, Linda collaborated with many talented educators and artists in NYC to create the ateliers that were set up as part of the Wonder of Learning Exhibit from Reggio Emilia to inspire visitors to see possibilities to bring back to their own settings. Her involvement included collecting materials, designing the space, and facilitating experiences in the Shadow and Light and Natural Materials Ateliers. Linda was invited to present at the Materials Day Conference in NYC for educators and artists from around the country and also facilitated an exploration of recycled materials the following day at Materials Day.