£1m hunt for young museumgoers as ‘perfect storm’ looms

The Art Fund has launched a £1m fundraising campaign to help museums attract under 24-year-olds.

Energise Young Minds is being launched today with £500,000 from the fund following research showing that attracting children and young people was in of the most urgent priorities for museums and galleries following the pandemic lockdowns. As they continue to tighten budgets, opportunities for young people are seen as being particularly vulnerable with redundancies in learning and engagement programmes widespread. A third of museums now have no published offer for schools and young people.

“There is an almost perfect storm brewing” said Jenny Waldman, director of the Art Fund. “During lockdown school trips to museums and galleries were not possible - and it’s not clear that these will resume at previous levels. Meanwhile cash strapped cultural institutions have had to make difficult decisions that have often had an impact on learning teams.

‘We cannot allow cultural poverty for kids and must act now to help young people, those with least access to experiencing the arts, have opportunities to enjoy all that the ULK’s museums can offer.”

Lemn Sissay, the author and broadcaster who features in a film supporting the campaign, added: “Museums are like time machines - they hold the past and present and predict the future. We need to connect with all young people right now – if not, the museum and gallery experience will not enrich their adult lives”.



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