On May 19, 2022, the Qatar America Institute for Culture (QAIC) hosted the Museum Series webinar Expanding Young Minds: Children’s Museums and Youth Programming featuring Hana Elwell from the Brooklyn Children’s Museums, Shaika Nasser Al-Nassr from the Museum of Islamic Art, and Clara Lim from Dadu, Children’s Museum of Qatar. Moderated by QAIC’s Chairwoman Peggy Loar, the webinar explored how institutions develop their programming and exhibitions for the younger demographics while simultaneously engaging parents, educators, and adults.
The webinar brought together experts from the US and Qatar to discuss topics such as adapting new technologies within children’s programming, the target age group, and pursuing a career in a children’s museum. In this Museum series, all three panelists provided audiences an exclusive journey through their museums’ exhibits and programming through collaboration with educators, parents, community leaders, and child psychologists. Hana Elwell emphasized the Brooklyn Children’s Museums’ philosophy on “fostering independence and discovery”. While Clara Lim discussed the importance of providing a space for family bonding in the Dadu Children’s Museum of Qatar.
Children are not just the future, but also our present. Clara Lim expressed “[Children] can be leaders today . . . they just need a platform to shine in”. Realizing the importance of integrating children programming into museums, Shaika Nasser Al-Nassr stated “With the relaunch of the Museum of Islamic Art we have taken the opportunity to create a new trail of family activities which put the whole family experience at the center of the program”.
Peggy Loar concluded the webinar leaving the audience with a captivating quote from the Chinese philosopher and reformer Confucius (551 BC to 479 BC), “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand”
The recording of the full discussion is available below.