Met Announces Launch of #MetKids, New Online Feature Made for, with, and by Kids
Launches online: Thursday, September 10, 2015
Web address: www.metmuseum.org/metkids
Public launch event: Sunday, September 20, 1:00–4:00 p.m.
(New York, September 10, 2015)—Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, announced today the launch of #MetKids, a new online feature made for, with, and by kids. The feature on the Met’s website launches today, September 10, followed by a public launch event at the Museum on Sunday, September 20. The multimedia content—which opens with an illustrated interpretation of the Met’s collection and galleries—was created in collaboration with specialists from across the Museum including educators, curators, conservators, and researchers—and of course, kids themselves.
Developed for 7-12 year olds, #MetKids launches with 40 videos and more than 125 featured objects, fun facts, and project ideas drawn from across the Met’s collection and accompanied by kid-friendly prompts. #MetKids contributors—kids from all five boroughs of New York City and around the world—helped to shape the content, design, and user experience of the website. The iterative feature will be updated continually with new content and opportunities to participate.
Mr. Campbell commented: “The Met has always been a place of discovery for young visitors and their families. We have developed many resources and programs over the years for this important audience, and #MetKids demonstrates even further our commitment to making the Met—and to making art in general—as accessible as possible to kids and families.”
Chief Digital Officer Sree Sreenivasan said: “#MetKids is a complement to the many great programs and experiences the Met offers. Designed to scale from desktop to tablet to mobile, this feature serves as a digital companion before, during, and after a visit to the Met—and it’s accessible to our international audience, with whom we are always trying to connect better from afar.”
#MetKids is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.
Mr. Campbell added: “We are immensely grateful to Bloomberg Philanthropies for their dedicated commitment to the Met’s digital initiatives as part of the Bloomberg Connects program. Their support helps deliver the Met experience to new audiences around the globe.”
Masha Turchinsky, the Met’s Series Producer and Senior Manager of Digital Learning, said: “We worked with #MetKids contributors from around the world to identify their expectations for a digital museum experience. They told us they saw the Met as a huge time machine that they wanted to jump into and explore, in terms they could understand. They not only wanted to learn from specialists, but from each other—and to have the opportunity to share what they know. We took their suggestions and contributions to heart and brought them aboard as real partners. In the process, it became clear that we can all learn about art and the world from the questions kids are bold enough to ask.”
The #MetKids feature is divided into the following three primary navigation channels:
1. Explore the Map: The zoomable interactive map invites users to delve into the collection. Clicking on pins leads users to the selected object entries, which are divided into exploratory categories such as Watch, Listen, Discover, Imagine, and Create. Many entries include glossary terms sourced from the Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Visual Arts, a guide developed by New York City visual arts educators for grades PreK-12 and included by agreement with the New York City Department of Education, Office of Art and Special Projects.
2. Hop in the Time Machine: This customizable search feature allows users to select their areas of interest from 5,000 years of art in the Met’s collection. Objects can be searched based on time period, geography, and Big Ideas—topics of interest resulting from audience research and feedback from the #MetKids Advisors.
3. Watch Videos: Short videos feature kids as investigative reporters, animators, and producers. There are four subject categories: Q&A, Made by Kids, Create, and Celebrate.
The public launch event will take place on Sunday, September 20, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Families with children of all ages are invited to participate in the day’s activities, including special screenings of the #MetKids videos, a Q&A session between kids and Museum specialists, and a pop-up animation lab. The event is free with Museum admission. Event details can be found on the Museum’s website.
The new #MetKids blog is a companion to the online feature. It includes timely updates and provides an opportunity to highlight selected submissions by kids and their questions for specialists.
#MetKids is produced by the Metropolitan Museum’s Digital Media Department, with the support and expertise of staff from departments across the Museum, including Education, curatorial and conservation departments, Visitor Services, Registrar, and Design. Responsive web design and development is by CHIPS. The illustrated map was drawn by artist John Kerschbaum.
#MetKids can be found at www.metmuseum.org/metkids. The project will be highlighted on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter via the hashtag #MetKids. Visitors can subscribe for updates to the project.
A #MetKids app is in development; details will be announced at a later date.
About The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the world’s leading art museums, with a collection spanning more than 5,000 years of world culture, from prehistory to the present. It presents dozens of exhibitions each year, and thousands of events and programs including films, talks, performance, guided tours, and family programs. A center for art appreciation, scholarship, research, and conservation, the Met also maintains a vibrant program of publishing scholarly and popular catalogues, and utilizes new technologies to enhance the visitor experience and extend the reach and accessibility of its offerings globally.
In addition to its main building at Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street, the Met is launching its modern and contemporary art-themed programming at The Met Breuer in March 2016, and continues to present exhibitions and collection displays related to the art and architecture of the medieval world at The Cloisters museum and gardens, its branch in upper Manhattan.
Bloomberg Philanthropies works to help cultural institutions stay current with the latest trends in technology and engage audiences through digital platforms. Through the Bloomberg Connects initiative, Bloomberg Philanthropies is supporting innovative technology projects at cultural institutions around the world including the American Museum of Natural History, Art Institute of Chicago, Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, Jewish Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Science Museum in London, Museum of Modern Art in New York, Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, Tate Modern, Metropolitan Opera, New York Botanical Garden, and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. For more information please visit bloomberg.org.