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Some Great Museums Ready to Move

Category: Center for the Future Of Museums Blog

How can we make sure museums are recognized for all the good things they do for their communities? Kudos from the White House would be one great thing, wouldn’t it?

That’s why AAM is partnering with ACM and APGA to launch a “Let’s Move Museums, Let’s Move Gardens” campaign as part of the Obama administration’s anti-obesity initiative. What a great way to share what museums are doing to educate their audiences about food and nutrition, access safe and healthy food, and encourage activity! And it will help museums inspire their colleagues with examples of what can be done in institutions of various types and sizes.

“Well,” (you may be thinking) “that’s fine for the public gardens; they are all about plants and being outdoors! It’s easy for them. And the Children’s Museums have been focused on kids’ health for a long time. What about the rest of us? What can an art museum do to fight obesity? Or a historic site?”

Lot’s! Here is just a small sampling of the diverse organizations I think are pre-adapted to be “Let’s Move” museums!

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The Sojourner Truth Multicultural Art Museum runs “Hip Hop to Wellness,” addressing childhood obesity by involving the family in making healthy changes in diet and encouraging physical activities through activities such as the Oak Park Kids Run and Hip-Hop, African Dance and Salsa workshops.

The Detroit Institute of Arts partners with Sodexo on local implementation of its Feeding our Future program, providing free summer lunches for area school children who rely on free and reduced-price meals during the academic year.

The Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame & Museum has created a cardio workout exhibit designed to help Mississippi school kids win the battle against childhood obesity.

Jane Addams Hull-House Museum Heirloom Farm tackles access to healthy, affordable food and nutrition education through such projects as an outdoor exhibition, farm-to-school programs for local public schools, and food-focused museum tours and activities.

The Museum of Science, Boston, integrates education about obesity and health into its exhibits and programs, including the presentation “Body Talk: Obesity” and the Human Body Connection.

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry touring exhibit “Every Body Eats” explores healthy food choices.

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s health programs include “You Are What You Eat” and “Macronutrients: Fads versus Fitness” delivered in classrooms or via distance learning, as well as the “Health on Wheels” outreach van.

The Virginia Museum of Natural History’s “Community Nature Initiative” provides family outdoor experiences and promoting healthy lifestyles.

What about your museum? Do you think you are ready to be a “Let’s Move” museum? Read more about what that involves and indicate your interest (no commitment required) by signing up here. Help us show the White House how many museums are ready to help their communities Move!

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  1. This effort, particularly where art museums are concerned, is nothing more than a frantic, shameless pandering for funding. The purpose of an art museum is not to reform the eating and health habits of a nation. The truth is, this is a massively anti-intellectual country that doesn't think art matters unless it DOES something, besides be art. The fact that any art museum should have to commit resources to dreaming up some plan to get childrent to move around more is absurd and a hallmark not of the "usefulness" of museums, but of the pathetic state of culture in this country.

  2. The North Carolina Museum of Art has a very different point of view than that expressed by Elizabeth R. NCMA has a great collection and exhibition program, as well as a 164 campus for art, including 3 miles of walking and cycling trails connected to a regional greenway system. We commission art in the Museum Park and enthusiastically encourage active public participation. Attendance increases geometrically. Integrating art into landscape and daily life provides high quality aesthetic experiences and proves to be an excellent means of introducing great art to a much wider audience. Dan Gottlieb, NCMA director of planning and Museum Park

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