Young at Art board members and donors celebrate the topping off of the new building and accreditation announcement (L to R): Robin Bartleman, Jose Pagan, Francie Bishop Good, Eris Sandler, John Voigt, Jarett Levan, Martine Zinn, Mindy Shrago and Esther Shrago.
DAVIE, Fla. – Young At Art Museum stands alone in the state of Florida as the only children’s museum to achieve accreditation by the American Association of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition to be bestowed on a museum. Young At Art also is one of only six children’s museums in the nation to receive this accreditation.
Of America’s estimated 17,500 museums, only 779 or 4.5 percent are accredited, and this elite group includes such well-known institutions as The Smithsonian, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Field Museum in Chicago and the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.
“This is the highest honor a museum can receive and places Young At Art among the top museums in the country,” said Mindy Shrago, executive director and founder of Young At Art Museum. “I am so proud of my staff and all of the dedicated work, long hours and effort they put in to achieve this extraordinary honor. We also thank our government, corporate and community partners for their support over the years in making Young At Art a nationally recognized premier museum.”
The AAM accreditation comes as Young At Art celebrates the topping off its new $21 million, 55,000 square-foot, GOLD LEED-certified Museum and Broward County Library under construction along the I-595 corridor in Davie. Completion is scheduled for spring 2012.
“The accreditation of the Young at Art Museum simply means that it has achieved – and continues to strive for – excellence in all that it does,” said AAM President Ford W. Bell. “This award also confirms what families and parents in Davie and throughout Florida already knew: that Young at Art is one of the best museums in the country.”
AAM accreditation is a formal process that examines and qualifies all of a museum’s operations. After a rigorous self-study and written report, Young At Art hosted a committee of museum peer reviewers who conducted a two-day site visit. The AAM’s Accreditation Commission, an independent and autonomous body of museum professionals, then reviewed the self-study and visiting committee report to determine accreditation.
According to the AAM, Young At Art was noted for its steady, smart and strategic approach to expanding its service to the public, developing model art programs for children and families and creating strong school and community partnerships. The public-private partnership with the county is exemplary and a national model for working with local government.
“I was thrilled to learn that the Young At Art Museum received the prestigious honor of accreditation by the American Association of Museums,” said Malinda J. Horton, executive director of the Florida Association of Museums. “Of the 779 accredited museums in the entire country, 49 are in Florida and Young At Art Museum is the first children’s museum in Florida to be approved. Florida has the third largest number of accredited museums in the U.S. and we are very fortunate to have Young At Art among our wonderful and amazing museums in the state.”
To be accredited by the AAM signifies that a museum meets and often exceeds the standards and best practices of the museum field. This enhances opportunities for loans from other museums, funding from foundations and other philanthropies, as well as support from local, municipal and state government.
The new Young At Art Museum will be the epicenter of cultural arts education for families and feature four permanent galleries: GreenScapes, CultureScapes, WonderScapes and ArtScapes. The YAA Institute Studios will offer painting/drawing, ceramics, printmaking, digital photography, 4D video design and a preschool curriculum. In addition to a 10,000 square-foot Broward County Library, the new Museum will house a National Traveling Exhibition Gallery, Presentation Theater, Teen Center and Recording Studio, Museum Gift Shop, Creative Café and a preschool classroom to accommodate 22 children. The Young At Art Museum and Broward County Library will officially open to the public in May 2012.
For more information, visit YoungAtArtMuseum.org.
The American Association of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. With more than 15,000 individual, 3,000 institutional, and 300 corporate members, AAM is dedicated to ensuring that museums remain a vital part of the American landscape, connecting people with the greatest achievements of the human experience, past, present and future. For more information, visit http://www.aam-us.org.
Young At Art is located at 11584 W. State Road 84 in Davie. Hours are Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Admission: $8 per person. Members and children under age two are free. Annual Museum family membership: $75 per family and includes free admission, discounts, preview parties and more. For more information call, 954-424-0085 or visit YoungAtArtMuseum.org.