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Sidebar: Opening the Museum

Written by Pat Steuert, Aylette Jenness, and Joanne Jones-Rizzi

Opening the Museum History and Strategies Toward a More Inclusive Institution
Patricia A. Steuert with Aylette Jenness and Joanne Jones-Rizzi
1993, The Children's Museum, Boston

Our mission—to use the museum's resources to help children understand and enjoy the world in which they live'—has provided the foundation for our work. Over the years this has meant creating exhibitions and programs to help children observe the natural and built environment, feel comfortable with computers, enjoy the city, and learn about the lives of all kinds of people and the challenges of people with differing abilities.

For more than two decades, multicultural work has been central to The Children's Museum's mission. The children who visit TCM are growing up in a diverse world, attending schools with classmates from different cultures. As they grow up, they will work with people from diverse backgrounds and live in a global environment. It would be difficult for us to fulfill our mission to help children understand their world if we did not reflect today's society in all its complexity. For example, if the collections we presented only acknowledged part of Victorian America, or if our Native American Program focused only on the past history of the culture, we could fulfill our obligation to interpret our collection but not our obligation to help children understand the world.

To fulfill your mission is one reason to diversity.

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