Sunday, January 24, 2010

Historical Society to Open a Children’s Museum

The NY Times reported about one history museum's new approach and plan to engage audiences and increase visitation. Great example of new ways of thinking and an entrepreneurial approach. As the article relates:

When thinking of ways to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon, studying history is not high on the list for most families. Now, in a bid to make history more vivid, alluring and accessible for the Wii generation, an interactive “museum within a museum,” focusing on the lives of young New Yorkers, will open in November 2011 on the lower level of the New-York Historical Society, museum officials said.

The DiMenna Children’s History Museum, as it will be known, is part of the $60 million renovation of the historical society building on Central Park West, Louise Mirrer, the president and chief executive officer of the museum, said this week. The roughly 4,000-square-foot museum has been designed by Lee H. Skolnick Architecture & Design Partnership with a $5 million donation from Joseph A. and Diana DiMenna.

The new museum will focus on the stories of children, from famous figures like Alexander Hamilton, who came to New York as a teenage orphan to attend college, to the boys and girls who hawked newspapers on city streets 100 years ago.

“In schools, history tends to be about figures once they have matured and become important,” Ms. Mirrer said. “But if we want history to become alive for children, what better way to teach them than showing them children from other periods? We want to be on the permanent agenda of children and families in New York.” Read more here.

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