LAUNCH OF 2009 KIDS IN MUSEUMS MANIFESTO THURSDAY 5TH FEBRUARY
The height of the Titians or the state of the toilets?
Museum visitors decide what they want. The 2009 Kids in Museums Manifesto – 20 ways to make a museum family friendly – is published on 5th February, compiled entirely from visitors’ comments.
So what do family visitors want at a museum? Trails and free pencils and coloured paper? Or is it crucial to have tasty cheap food in the café? A better attitude towards bawling babies? Animation workshops that entice teenagers? Imaginative activities for all the family, from octogenarian to eight year old?
Kids in Museums is launching a new 2009 Kids in Museums Manifesto, a simple 20-point guide to help museums become more family friendly. And it’s family visitors who’ve decided what those 20 points are.
Families don’t want museums to make assumptions about what they’d like to see and do. Kids can appreciate fine art as well as finger painting. They don’t want to be told to be quiet. Museums are places for chatter, discussion and debate. Families are also fed up of finding there’s plenty to do for toddlers – but their teenagers are ignored. And the state of the toilets is as important as the quality of the art. The toilets are probably the only place in any museum every family is guaranteed to visit.
The 2009 Kids in Museums Manifesto, illustrated by Quentin Blake, is being launched at the Royal Academy on 5th February – the place where Kids in Museums began. In 2003, writer Dea Birkett was thrown out of the Royal Academy’s Aztec exhibition when her youngest son, aged two, shouted ‘Monster!’ at a statue of Eagle Man who looked rather like – well – a monster. Four days later, Dea wrote a piece about her family’s expulsion in the Guardian. By the end of that day, hundreds of families emailed to say they were fed up being treated badly in Britain’s museums, and wanted to see change. Kids in Museums was born, a voice for every family visitor. And change is happening. Almost six years later, the Royal Academy is just one example of a museum on the move, working towards welcoming families.
Further details, interviews and copies of the 2009 Kids in Museums Manifesto contact : 020 7022 1888 [email protected] Images and Quentin Blake illustrations available for press use. Kids in Museums is an independent charity, working with museums to make them more welcoming to families, in particular those who have never had the opportunity to visit before. Kids in Museums believes in changing museums, we can change lives, giving opportunities and experiences to new families.