The Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine received the MetLife Foundation Promising Practice Award and a $10,000 grant in recognition of the Museum & Theatre’s innovative cultural policies. The award was presented on Thursday, May 10 at Interactivity 2012, the Association of Children’s Museums’ international conference, held this year in Portland, Oregon. The Museum & Theatre was among four children’s museums selected from an international pool of applicants to receive the honor.
This year’s theme was the important role of children’s museums in nurturing global citizens. The Museum & Theatre was recognized for its unique policies guiding the development and delivery of cultural programs. These policies include the requirement that cultural programs must be developed with input from a community partner who is of the culture the program seeks to explore.
“These policies challenge us to create personal, experience-based programs that span cultures from around the globe but are also sourced within our local community,” says Olson. “Our educators facilitate programs as conversations. We don’t give authoritative presentations that attempt to define or speak for an entire culture. This creates a safe space for children and adults to converse about their place in the world and explore the connections they have with others.”
Other 2012 Promising Practice Award recipients were the Treehouse Museum for Children in Ogden, Utah; the Explore & More Children’s Museum in Aurora, New York; and the Magic Bean House Children’s Museum in Beijing, China.