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Who We Are


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WHO WE ARE

"The children's museum idea is Brooklyn's gift to the world."

- Anna Billings Gallup, museum pioneer, 1926

A pioneer in education, Brooklyn Children’s Museum was the first museum created expressly for children when it was founded in 1899. Its success has sparked the creation of 300 children’s museums around the world. With award-winning, hands-on exhibits and innovative use of its collections, the Museum engages children from pre-school to high school in learning adventures. It is the only children’s museum in New York City, and one of few in the country, to be accredited by the American Association of Museums.

 

OUR MISSION

The mission of Brooklyn Children’s Museum is to actively engage children in educational and entertaining experiences through innovation and excellence in exhibitions, programs, and use of its collection. The Museum encourages children to develop an understanding of and respect for themselves, others and the world around them by exploring cultures, the arts, science, and the environment.

 

THE MUSEUM’S VISION

Brooklyn Children’s Museum enriches children’s lives through inspiring, involving, and challenging them to learn about themselves, others, and the world around them. The Museum is a leader among cultural institutions, recognized for innovation in addressing the educational, cultural, and social concerns of youth and families in our diverse and dynamic urban environment.

 

SERVING A DIVERSE AUDIENCE

Brooklyn Children’s Museum was founded in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, over a century ago, and has been proud to call that community its home ever since. As the neighborhood has changed and grown, so has the Museum—embracing the rich diversity of its surroundings.

 

Brooklyn Children’s Museum has an ongoing commitment to presenting programs, exhibits, and performances that welcome everyone and build understanding of the diverse cultures in New York City and around the world.

 

EXPANDING SPACE = EXPANDING MINDS

Brooklyn Children’s Museum has just completed an amazing, eco-friendly expansion project! The Museum is now equipped to provide 21st-century learning adventures for growing numbers of children from the neighborhoods of New York City, the greater metropolitan region, and beyond. The Museum has doubled in size and incorporates the latest innovations in high performance architecture. It is the first "green" museum in New York City, awarded a LEED-Silver certification by the U.S. Green Buildings Council.

 

HOW CAN A YELLOW BUILDING BE GREEN?

The outside of the Museum’s new building is daffodil-yellow, but its inner workings are "green." In keeping with the Museum’s commitment to preserve and protect the world’s natural resources, it uses environmentally advanced, sustainable, renewable and/or recyclable materials and systems in the building’s design and construction.

 

INCREASING PUBLIC ACCESS TO OUR COLLECTION

Brooklyn Children’s Museum is one of the few children’s museums in the world with a permanent collection, including nearly 30,000 cultural objects and natural-history specimens. The cultural collection contains both ancient and present-day objects, including musical instruments, sculpture, masks, body adornments, and dolls, as well as everyday household and personal items. The natural-history collection contains rocks, minerals, and fossils, as well as mounted birds, mammals, insects, and skeletons (highlights include the complete skeleton of an Asian elephant, dinosaur footprints, and a whale rib).

For years, much of the collection has been inaccessible to the public simply because of space limitations. Now, an expanded collection study area allows the Museum to display more of the collection and to offer more hands-on activities—so children learn by touching as well as by looking.

 

HEART OF BROOKLYN

Brooklyn Children’s Museum is a founding member of Heart of Brooklyn, a unique partnership among six of Brooklyn’s most treasured cultural institutions: Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Public Library, Prospect Park, and Prospect Park Zoo. To utilize their collective resources and better serve a diverse and multi-cultural community as well as the greater public, these organizations formed Heart of Brooklyn as a non-profit organization in July 2001. Heart of Brooklyn provides a forum for collaboration to achieve a shared vision of increased access to and awareness of our vast educational and cultural resources.

 

MUSEUM LEADERSHIP

Mindy Duitz
President and Chief Executive Officer

Alex Driker
Director of Facilities

Yuri Klarvit
Chief Financial Officer/ Chief Operating Officer

Melissa McAteer
Vice President of Development

Marcos Stafne, Ph.D.
Vice President of Programs & Visitor Experience

Margaret Walton
Director of Government and Community Affairs

 

Mindy Duitz, President and Chief Executive Officer
Mindy Duitz has over thirty years of experience in the arts, education and philanthropy both as an executive director and nonprofit management consultant.  Her work has focused on the responsibility of education, arts and youth-based institutions to their communities and on the role these organizations play in transforming individual lives.  

As the first director of the Staten Island Children’s Museum (1976-1984), Mindy brought a new institution from concept to reality, and as director of The Brooklyn Children's Museum (BCM) (1984-1994) she revitalized an iconic 90-year old institution.  During her tenure at BCM the institution became recognized throughout the field for its expertise in working with diverse urban populations through programs such as Museum Team and the Crown Heights History Project.  From 1994-2006 she was a consultant specializing in strategic planning and project coordination for foundations, arts, arts education and other not-for-profit organizations.  During this period (1998-2002) she was a Program Development Fellow at the Open Society Institute (Soros Foundation) responsible for implementing a national initiative directed at increasing access to the arts for underserved young people.  Most recently, Mindy was the President of Learning Leaders (2006-2011), a 50-year old organization supporting student success through parent engagement in the New York City public schools.

She has taught in the NYU Museum Studies Program and the Museum Management Program in Boulder, Colorado; served as a member of the board of the American Association of Museums (AAM); was Chairperson of the Association of Children’s Museum's Task Force to develop standards for the field; and was a member of the AAM Excellence and Equity Task Force.  Mindy has a B.A. and a Master’s Degree in Art History from SUNY Binghamton.

 

 

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