A perk of being the parent of college-aged children means getting to visit the fun places they decide to study! One of my twins has recently begun a doctoral program in sunny California, and I had the opportunity to spend a beautiful 10 days soaking up the West Coast.
Of course, during that time, I visited museums. From Santa Monica to San Francisco, I had the pleasure of exploring art, science, and children’s museums, meeting with directors, educators, and exhibit designers passionate about their work.
One of the things that especially resonated and affirmed the work we are doing here in Beaver Falls was the vision of each museum to create spaces that would nourish the entire person as a learner and social being through play and interdisciplinary experiences. Additionally, the historic beginnings of many of the spaces I visited were not dissimilar to our own story, growing up out of their community's need for more equitable and progressive educational places for underserved families, often by a group of community members. Knowing that some of these now robust and flourishing museums had begun with the same humble beginnings as our project was equally encouraging to us in our phase of our journey.
Meeting with museum colleagues who care deeply about their communities and the way their work can be an influence for good is always an energizing experience for which I am grateful. There is something uniquely special about the collaborative spirit of folks in the children’s museum field which allows newcomers like me to be both learners and innovators in this space. As always, I am thankful to be part of the work of this creative learning ecosystem.
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