Philly Museums Make It Easy for Teens to Visit

A series of how-to videos explains the basics of visiting local museums.

If you’re a teenager who has never been to a museum, it can be intimidating walking into one by yourself or with friends.

To help make it easier, the STAMP (Students at Museums in Philly) Teen Council and Art-Reach have created Know Before You Go videos for three local cultural institutions and hope to create many more.

The videos for The Franklin Institute, African American Museum in Philadelphia and Mütter Museum, all in Philadelphia, were unveiled earlier this month to representatives from other venues in the city in hopes of convincing them to create similar how-to lessons.

“One of the most important things is to provide accurate information to anyone who wants to enter these spaces,” says Elizabeth Estrada, Digital Communications Coordinator of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, sponsor of STAMP, and lead on the Know Before You Go project.

The team wanted to focus on providing teens with the basic information that they would need to help them prepare for a trip to a museum. The information includes bus routes, Indego bike stations, locations of entrances, exits, help desks, bathrooms and water fountains inside the museums, and food, backpack and photography restrictions.

“How can we get people through the door because that can be in itself complicated,” says Estrada.

One way to do that is by making it affordable and STAMP offers Philadelphia teens free admission to a number of museums and other attractions in the city, as well as special events.

“On the first floor, there are interactive exhibits with audio and video, while the upper galleries tend to feature more artwork and are on the quieter side,” says narrator Jamie Razler on the video for the African-American Museum.But even free admission won’t get students in the door if they don’t think they will feel comfortable there. The videos are designed to make the museums more accessible to everyone, but especially teens who are uncertain about what to do once inside.

The videos also talk about whether the museums are crowded and busy or calm and quiet, as well as which ones offer quiet spaces and sitting areas to visitors.

While making Know Before You Go videos for as many museums and theaters as possible would be ideal, it is a very time-consuming process. The team hopes that other institutions will be open to the idea of having their own videos made.

The videos are available on the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance YouTube channel, as well as the Know Before You Go page on STAMP’s website.

Matthew Brooks is a MetroKids intern and student at Drexel University.

Categories: Family Fun Features, Solutions, Tweens & Teens