Brooklyn Childrens Museum Teaches Kids about Art and Culture
Steve Adubato goes one-on-one with President and CEO of Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Stephanie Hill Wilchfort, to learn about the different programs and exhibits at Brooklyn Children’s Museum, how the museum’s collections and exhibits teach kids about culture, art and nature, and how the museum plays a part in the Brooklyn community.
"We are pleased to welcome Stephanie Wilchfort, who is President and Chief Executive Officer of Brooklyn Children's Museum. How you doing? I'm well. I'm so delighted to be here. I started my career at Channel 13, and I love love public television. Well we appreciate you being here, and we appreciate... you were in development? I was in development! You know, you're still in development. [laughter] Always in development! Always in fundraising! Yes. Yes. Same here. So can you describe your operation? Yeah, well Brooklyn Children's Museum is the first cultural experience for most children in Brooklyn, and many children beyond, and we're the first place that children might come to see a contemporary art show here, or a performance, touch an animal for the first time, or experience a festival or a tradition or a culture... of another... of another culture. Why is that so important for these kids? Well you know kids... kids absorb their earliest experiences in a very serious way, and so what we want to be promoting is lifelong cultural engagement. We want to be inspiring kids to go to other cultural institutions and to continue to go to cultural institutions throughout their lives as a second home, as a place of respite and comfort and joy and inspiration. We're gonna show some photos here. Take us through this. Some of the exhibits, some of the things that children would see in the museum would be? Talk us through it. Yeah. And by the way, when you see it here, we'll talk about it. Go ahead. Sure. So our... the centerpiece of the museum is called World Brooklyn, and that is a... and that is a replica street in Brooklyn, with real storefronts, real Brooklyn storef... Real? Real Brooklyn storefronts, but child-sized. So we've got a real L&B Spumoni Gardens, we've got a real Owa Afrikan market, we've got a real International Grocery Store, we've got a real Don Paco Lopez Panaderia. What's that? We are looking at right now, Owa Afrikan market, this is a West African import store that is based in Clinton Hill, but we have a replica of it right on our floor. And this is a great way for kids to experience cultures of Brooklyn and cultures of the world at their level, at their size, in a touch way, in an interactive way. And it's super fun, because you're actually in a store, and kids love being in stores and pretending they're shopkeepers and defending their customers. We've got an amazing area for very young children, ages 0 to 5, that is called Totally Tots, and..."