Family activity at the Haslemere Educational Museum.
Besides International Museum Day, May also had the annual awards for outstanding European museums.
For starters, the Museums and Heritage Awards for Excellence were held on May 16th and the long list of winners is impressive. The Classic Award Winner for 2012 was the Ironbridge Gorge Museum, a real attraction for families and schools. Among many interesting categories, this year’s Educational Initiative Winner was All the King’s Fools, which was successful in its frankness, and was presented at Hampton Court Palace and performed exclusively by actors with learning difficulties.
The European Museum Forum announced May 19th the European Museum of the Year was the Museo de Madinat al-Zahra in Cordoba, Spain. What a sublime introduction for kids to an archaeological site and a museum collection of artifacts! Other categories praised the interaction with local communities and volunteers, the transformation of the conventional display and several resourceful approaches.
Having been the Readers’ Award Winner at the Museums and Heritage Awards for Excellence, Haslemere Educational Museum in Surrey was also the recipient of the 2012 Telegraph Family Friendly Museum Award. The latter, formerly known as the Guardian Family Friendly Museum Award, is the most prestigious museum award in Britain solely judged by a team of families and co-supported by the Kids in Museums. Plenty of museums across the UK support the Kids in Museums Manifesto in practice, which is comprised by 20 family-centered recommendations to reveal the true essence of a pleasurable museum experience.
In fact, this simple but meaningful guideline is in no way different from similar policies which should be taken into effect by all cultural institutions and art spaces. Being a good host is as uncomplicated as making the visitors feel welcome and enjoy themselves. The final winners and the short-listed museums above prove that they are on the right foot as regards the successful engagement of families. Once again, what's not to love about museums?
Girl Museum Inc.