Reimagining Children's Museums Project
Begun in Spring 2012, Reimagining Children’s Museums (RCM) is a three-year exploration of what it means to experience a children’s museum in the 21st century.
Conference: InterActivity 2013: Reimagining Children’s Museums
When: April 30-May 2, 2013
Where: Pittsburgh, PA
Description: ACM and museum host Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh (PA) will host a three day conference on the reimagining theme. A new format for the conference will allow for a boutique idea-fest featuring dozens of cutting-edge performers and speakers, nationally-known keynote speakers, museum study tours, an exhibit of RECM design concepts and much more!
- Go to the InterActivity 2013 landing page for registration links, the Preliminary Program and everything you need know to join us.
Sharing & Using RCM Models
In this last phase, children’s museums that have begun to reimagine themselves will share final versions their work. Stay tuned for information about ACM’s InterActivity 2014 conference, where we will present the ideas and designs generated over the first four phases of the Reimagining Children's Museums Project. A resulting electronic and print publication will document the entire process and lead to new ways of thinking about children's museums in the future.
There are five distinct phases to The Project: Reimagining Children's Museums. To date, Planning, Design Competition and Leadership Pre-Conference (download the report) have been completed.
To learn more about the last two phases, go to Get Involved.
Phase One: Planning
The ACM board and external thought leaders from a variety of fields identified the questions and issues facing the field. Read Children's Museum Leaders Reflections.
Key Areas of Consideration
Community – We will examine current and future issues impacting our audience and communities: demographics, socio-economic pressures, education reform, energy and environmental concerns, etc.
Design – Using a design competition format, four interdisciplinary design teams we will create different visions for the future of children’s museum.
Collaboration – We will study the examples of successful collaboration models from many disciplines of nonprofit institutions and discuss their implications for children’s museums.
Change – Looking at the promising change happening in our communities, we will examine how to lead and manage through change as well as how to overcome the barriers to big change.
Sustainability – We will discuss new business and philanthropy models that can sustain museums and the field. Earned income will be examined. The mission/margin matrix of the future will be debated.
ACM hosted an international invited design competition to find teams that will be able to showcase how design excellence promotes innovation and strengthens community building. Read Reimagining Children’s Museums Press Release.
- LEVENBETTS, New York City: David Leven and Stella Betts with Pentagram (Michael Bierut, partner); Robert Sillman Associates (Nat Oppenheimer, principal); Jonsara Ruth, designer / artist; and Lisa Sigal, artist.
- muf architecture / art, London: Liza Fior, Katherine Clarke, Mark Lemanski, Caitlin Elster, Alison Crawshaw with Objectif Graphic Design (Axel Feldman); and Richard Neville, storyteller.
- Suisman Urban Design, Santa Monica: Doug Suisman, Eli Garsilazo, Jack Hartley, Erick Rodriguez with Michael Vergason Landscape Architects (Michael Vergason and Beata Corcoran); Louise Sandhaus Design (Louise Sandhaus); and Richard Louv, author.
- WANTED Landscape, Montreal: Paula Meijerink and Thierry Beaudoin with Sophie Malouin, interactive media writer and director; Sarah Watson, museum program curator and art historian; and Atelier Big City (Howard Davies and Randy Cohen, architects).
On May 9, 2012, ACM hosted a Reimagining Children’s Museums Leadership Pre-Conference in Portland, Oregon, prior to ACM’s 2012 InterActivity conference. The conference was open to all ACM member children’s museum directors. At the conference, nationally-known thought leaders from the worlds of technology, philanthropy, management education and design fields shared information and ideas about community vibrancy indicators, the changing faces of museum visitors, the Maker Movement, interactive and gaming media, trends in education philanthropy and meeting the expectations of digital natives. Read the Reimagining Children’s Museums Leadership Pre-Conference Proceedings.