Emmajane was Director of Learning and Visitor Experience at the V&A until 2017 where she managed learning programmes, gallery interpretation and visitor experience at V&A South Kensington, as well as being responsible for the running of the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green. As a member of the V&A Senior Management Team, Emmajane was involved in delivering a range of major capital projects, and part of the team which received the Art Fund Museum of the Year award in 2016.
Emmajane has 18 years’ experience in museum education, interpretation, visitor experience and museum management. She is passionate about making museums and attractions as welcoming as possible and believes that the wonder and brilliance of art, design, culture and heritage should be accessible to all.
She started her career at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford before moving to Tate Modern as Curator of School and Teacher Programmes. She was then Head of Education at the Wallace Collection for eight years, where she oversaw the development of innovative school, public and community programmes, with one in six of all museum visitors taking part in a learning activity in 2009-10.
Emmajane Avery, new Chair at Kids in Museums, said: “I am truly delighted to have been appointed Chair of Kids in Museums, an organisation for which I have always had the utmost admiration and respect. Having worked in museum education for many years, I am keenly aware of both the benefit and enjoyment that museums bring to children, young people and families and the significant work that Kids in Museums does to ensure that these wonderful places are as welcoming as possible. I look forward very much to my new role in such a respected and pioneering charity.”
Bernard Donoghue, Deputy Chair at Kids in Museums, said: “We opened-up the recruitment process and advertised widely for the right candidate to succeed Sandie, to steer and lead the organisation over the next few years. We had a very strong field of applicants and Emmajane stood out. Her passion for our work, her advocacy skills, as well as her practical experience of making museums and galleries family-friendly in every sense make her the ideal next Chair and we are delighted that she has accepted the role.”
Sandie Dawe CBE, outgoing Chair, Kids in Museums, said: “I am delighted to be handing over to Emmajane. Her experience is directly relevant to our mission and she is well placed to lead Kids in Museums in its new era as a National Portfolio Organisation. Kids in Museums has a big heart and big ambitions to enable all children and their families to benefit from the riches of the UK’s museums, galleries and heritage sites.”