DMA Named One of Top 10 Best Art Museums for Kids by Child magazine

~~The Dallas Museum of Art was selected by Child magazine as one of the “10 Best Art Museums for Kids,” it was announced today by the publisher and editors of the magazine. The survey is the culmination of a four-month investigation by Child magazine, which examined more than 100 museums nationwide. The results appear in the March 2006 issue of the magazine on newsstands beginning Feb. 14, 2006.

The Dallas Museum of Art was chosen by the magazine for its year-round family programs, workshops, classes and camps, as well as for the overall family visit and experience. Among the programs evaluated were Late Nights at the Dallas Museum of Art—which includes Bedtime Stories with Arturo, the family mascot, and Yoga for Kids—Sketching in the Galleries, Family Audio Tours, Family Days, Art Explorations, Drop-In Art, Spring Break Artventures and Summer Art Camps, and arts & letters live, jr.

“The Dallas Museum of Art is proud to be recognized by Child magazine as one of the top 10 best art museums for kids,” said Bonnie Pitman, Deputy Director of the Dallas Museum of Art. “We are dedicated to creating programs and an environment that are family friendly and also foster creativity and an appreciation for the visual arts.”

In the first investigation of its kind, Child champions the cultural centers that have made the visual arts accessible and fun for kids. As a result of this exhaustive study, the magazine found that many art museums covet, clamor for, and cater to kids.

In fact, art museums everywhere, once bastions of hushed voices, are no longer shushing kids. In fact, they’re finding clever ways to draw them in—mini tours for toddlers, touch-me installations to foster interest in classic masterpieces, and treasure hunts that promote exploration.

In rating family friendliness, Child established criteria that included the depth and variety of family and kid tours and classes, educational programs for school groups, and staffing. From gallery tours for toddlers to camps for school-age children, Child found that even the most high-end art museums have figured out wonderful ways to welcome families.

To explore this new landscape, Child conducted the first-ever data-driven survey to assess the family-friendliness of U.S. art museums. Child began with the members of the Association of Art Museum Directors, eliminating facilities that were closed for renovations, were revamping their children’s program or offered no family activities. Child sent the remaining 100-plus museums a 42-question survey, which was developed with an advisory board of experts. Rather than judge the depth of the collection, Child examined family tours, kids’ and family classes, educational programs for school groups, staffing, the accessibility of the exhibits to kids, and other features key to a memorable family experience.

Last year, the Dallas Museum of Art engaged more than 46,000 children and their parents in family festivals, classes and a myriad of interactive programs, helping children and their care givers look more closely at art. The Museum also provided school tours for more than 58,159 students and offered almost 3,000 programs and tours for families, including a variety of hands-on art activities such as weekend Drop-In Art classes, Art Stops featuring discussion on different works of art from the Museum’s permanent collection, Sketching in the Galleries, with supplies provided for sketching originals works of art in the Museum, as well as Art Explorations and Summer Art Camps.

The Dallas Museum of Art has developed multi-generational Family Audio Tours to encourage interaction among family members while viewing the Museum’s permanent collection. Two audio tours are designed for 5 to 8 year old children and the other audio tour is for 9 to 11 year old children. Songs, stories and activities encourage family members to talk among themselves as they discover meaningful connections between the art and their own lives.

The Museum also offers four to six Family Days a year, which were created to help families celebrate different types of art through special activities, refreshments, music, performances and treasure hunts.

The Museum is currently developing a family Web site and cross-cultural installations in the African, Asian and Pacific Island Galleries with interpretive components especially for families.

Family initiatives are funded by Catherine and Will Rose. New family learning experiences are supported by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The Museum’s Gateway Gallery Endowment Fund and the Karen and Richard Pollock Endowment Fund provide a permanent source of support for family and community programs.

Annual support for family and community programs is provided by the Dallas Museum of Art League. Additional support provided by the Junior League of Dallas and the Donor Circle Membership Program through leadership gifts by an anonymous donor and the Dedman Foundation.

Promotional support is provided by Dallas Child and Radio Disney.

About the Dallas Museum of Art
The Dallas Museum of Art, established in 1903, has an encyclopedic collection of more than 23,000 works, spanning 5,000 years of history and representing all media, with renowned strengths in the arts of the ancient Americas, Africa, Indonesia and South Asia; European and American painting, sculpture and decorative arts; and American and international contemporary art.

The Dallas Museum of Art is the anchor of the Dallas Arts District and, in all its vitality, serves as a cultural magnet for the city with diverse programming ranging from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary readings, dramatic and dance presentations, and a full spectrum of programs designed to engage people of all ages with the power and excitement of art.

The Dallas Museum of Art is supported in part by the generosity of Museum members and donors and by the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas/Office of Cultural Affairs and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

About Child and Meredith Corporation
With a circulation of 825,000, Child (www.child.com) is the magazine for “Raising Kids with Smarts and Style™.” Published by Meredith Corporation (www.meredith.com), Child is a fast-paced, confident and contemporary lifestyle magazine celebrating today's families. Child offers over five million readers the latest news and research that stimulates, inspires and provokes thought.

Meredith (www.meredith.com) is one of the nation's leading media and marketing companies with businesses centering on magazine and book publishing, television broadcasting, integrated marketing and interactive media. The Meredith Publishing Group features 25 subscription magazines—including Better Homes and Gardens, Family Circle, Ladies' Home Journal, Parents, Child, Fitness, and American Baby—and approximately 150 special interest publications. Meredith owns or operates 14 television stations, including properties in top-25 markets such as Atlanta, Phoenix and Portland, and an AM radio station.