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Queens Chronicle

Interactive Arthur Ashe exhibit hits science hall

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Posted: Thursday, September 5, 2013 10:30 am

As stars Serena Williams and Andy Murray compete nearby at the Arthur Ashe stadium for the US Open cup, the New York Hall of Science, also located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, is giving its own ode to the stadium’s namesake and the sport.

The museum will host an interactive exhibition called the “Inspirational Tour” about the tennis legend through Sept. 9.

“Arthur Ashe is a transcendent figure,” said NYHS president Margaret Honey.

With the use of touchscreens, motion paintings and health challenges, the exhibit strives to give a peek into the life of Ashe, who won the inaugural Open in 1968.

Three photographs of Ashe will “talk” to visitors as they approach the screen and a touchscreen timeline will highlight big moments in the athlete’s life.

There’s a trivia game that guests can play while volleying virtual tennis balls, sort of like playing Wii in your living room, but more social. There are more challenges to get visitors’ hearts beating as well as interactive screens that teaches more about the priceless organ.

The “Tree of Service” is an interactive presentation representing Ashe’s many philanthropic endeavors.

Ashe advocated for the end of apartheid in South Africa and served as the national chairman of the American Heart Association.

At the end the tour visitors can take home a snapshot of themselves with the late tennis player.

Ashe won three grand slam singles titles during his career: the US Open, the Australian Open in 1970 and Wimbledon in 1975. When he retired in 1980, Ashe became a commentator for ABC Sports, a writer for Time and other publications and the captain of the U.S. Davis Cup team. He led that group of greats including John McEnroe, Peter Fleming and Jimmy Connors to the championships in 1981 and ’82.

In 1983, Ashe contracted HIV from a blood transfusion following coronary bypass surgery. He was diagnosed with AIDS in 1988 and then died five years later.

General admission to the Hall of Science is free throughout the “Inspirational Tour.” In addition to this special show, the hall hosts 450 exhibits.

‘Inspirational Tour’

When: through Sept. 9, Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the weekend from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: NY Hall of Science, 47-01 111 St.

Tickets: Free, nysci.org, (718) 699-0005

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