Kids in Museums

Kids in Museums reaches landmark 1,000 Manifesto signups, unveils 2021 programme

Image: Manchester Open Art Exhibition at HOME, Manchester © Jason Lock Photography

1,000 heritage and cultural organisations have now signed up to the Kids in Museums Manifesto, established in 2003 to support venues in offering the best possible visitor experience to family audiences.

The Kids in Museums Manifesto is a document that any culture sector institution can sign for free. To maximise its global reach, the declaration is available in English, Welsh and all official UN languages, with a Gaelic version set to be published soon.

Alison Bowyer, executive director of Kids in Museums, labels the thousandth signatory a “significant milestone for Kids in Museums and the heritage sector as a whole,” adding the charity’s thanks to “signatories from all over the world for their ongoing commitment to involving young people and families, welcoming their enthusiasm and inspiring future history fans”.

It was HOME, Manchester’s centre for international contemporary culture, that was responsible for Kids in Museums reaching the 1,000 signatory milestone.

The site has worked hard to consistently deliver accessibility for families in its offer, with family film screenings, relaxed performances, Mothers who Make events and lockdown storytime sessions all weaved into its recent programming.

Mothers Who Make session at HOME Manchester

“We’ve chosen to sign up to the Kids in Museums Manifesto because we want our venue to be a great place for families to visit, somewhere they can share those experiences and hopefully instil a love of the arts in our younger visitors that will last them a lifetime,” explains Dave Moutrey, HOME’s director and CEO.

The year ahead

Not content to sit back and admire the achievement of attracting 1,000 Manifesto signatories, Kids in Museums is forging ahead with its 2021 programme that features a first ever themed event.

On Friday 12th November, the charity’s renowned Takeover Day will draw inspiration from the coinciding COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow by inviting museums and heritage sites to engage with young people on the theme of climate action.

Information, inspiration and training to make this a reality will be announced in the coming months, with the means by which this is delivered dependent upon Covid restrictions.

Pupils from Ermine Primary School taking over Lincoln Castle in 2017 © Kids in Museums

2021 will also see the return of both the charity’s Family Friendly Museum Award and Digital Takeover Day.

The former will be bolstered by the addition of new Best Digital Activity and Best Museum for Access categories, with full guidance and nomination materials to be made public prior to nominations opening in April.

The winners, decided by undercover family judges and an expert industry panel, will be announced at a ceremony in October.

Digital Takeover Day, which will take place on Friday 25th June, will once again put young people in charge of cultural organisations’ social media channels – an initiative which has become increasingly relevant as the shift towards digital continues to gather pace throughout the pandemic.

If you want to sign up to the Kids in Museums Manifesto or find out all the latest information on the charity’s 2021 programme, click here.