Children's Museum

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InterActivity Conference Convenes in Pittsburgh April 30

Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) and Children’s Museum Pittsburgh (CMP) will host InterActivity 2013: Reimagining Children’s Museums April 30-May 2 in Pittsburgh, PA. The international meeting will present an exciting slate of programs for the children’s museum field and for individuals interested in expanding their professional and personal development to better serve the learning needs of young children. The conference opens April 30 at the Byham Theater and continues at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown May 1 and 2.

InterActivity 2013 marks a major milestone in ACM’s three-year leadership project Reimagining Children’s Museums, which launched in 2012 and is supported by MetLife Foundation.
“Reimagining Children’s Museums takes its inspiration from community, design, collaboration, sustainability and change,” said Janet Rice Elman, executive director, ACM. “InterActivity 2013 is advancing the children’s museum movement by exploring ideas of what a 21st century children’s museum can be.”
More than 800 participants from the United States and 16 additional countries are expected for InterActivity 2013, which features creative programming and impressive speakers.
Tuesday, April 30, Programming Highlights
• 9:30 am-10:45 am: James E. Rohr, executive chairman of The PNC Financial Services Group, will talk about the importance of preparing children for success in school and investing in quality early childhood programs.
• 11:00 am-5:00 pm: SmallTalks will feature ideas from thought leaders, researchers, scientists and artists. Dynamic guests include: Luis von Ahn, PhD, pioneer of the crowdsourcing movement, Bill Strickland, founder of Grammy-winning MCG Jazz, and Shane J. Lopez, PhD, author of Making Hope Happen.

Wednesday, May 1, Programming Highlights
• 7:30 am-4:30 pm: ACM MarketPlace will include more than 70 exhibitors from the children’s museum field.
• 9:00 am-5:30 pm: Concurrent sessions, investigations and museum study tours will offer insight, data and discussion on how children’s museum can make learning through play more scalable and ubiquitous.

Thursday, May 2 Programming Highlights
• 7:30 am-8:30 am: MetLife Foundation and Association of Children’s Museums Promising Practice Awards Breakfast Ceremony. Nearly a dozen children’s museums will be recognized for nurturing global citizens.
• 9:00 am-10:15 am: 2013 ACM Great Friend to Kids Award Plenary honoring Eric Carle. A new film on the beloved children’s book author and artist will be screened, and radio host Larry Berger will interview Carle.
• 2:45 pm-5:00 pm: Reimagining Design Seminar. Four international lead design teams — LEVENBETTS, New York City; muf architecture/art, London; Suisman Urban Design, Santa Monica; and WANTED Landscape, Montreal — will share ideas, models and prototypes on what a 21st century children’s museum may look like and what experiences it might offer its community.
“Reimagining Exhibition of Ideas,” will be open at the Byham Theater from 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. on April 30. This groundbreaking exhibit features the final models and designs that the four international design teams have created in response to the central challenge: What does it mean to experience a children's museum in the 21st century?  The “Reimagining Exhibition of Ideas” will also be on display at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown from 7:30 am-6:00 pm on May 1, and from 9:00 am-5:30 pm on May 2.
Pre- and post-conference programming bookend InterActivity 2013. On Monday, April 29, at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown there will be an Emerging Museums Pre-Conference (8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.) and an EatPlayGrow™ Pre-Conference (10:00 am-1:00 pm). Also on April 29, at the Carnegie Science Center, there will be a 21-Tech Workshop (1:10 p.m.-5:30 p.m.).
Closing out the 2013 conference block, ACM will host an International Children’s Museums Symposium (9:00 am-1:00 pm) on Friday, May 3, at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown.
Major supporters of InterActivity 2013 include: PNC Financial Group, The Heinz Endowments, Nickelodeon, Visit Pittsburgh, Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation and Sylvan Laureate Foundation. InterActivity 2013 sponsors include: 1220 Exhibits, Argyle Design, Blackbaud, Freenotes Harmony Park, Hands On! Inc., Heartland Scenic Studio, Imagination Playground, Jack Rouse Associates, Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership,  Lexington Design + Fabrication, MindSplash, Minnesota Children’s Museum, The Portico Group and Roto.
ACM and Children's Museum Pittsburgh recognize, The Buhl Foundation, CivicScience, Deloitte, The Grable Foundation, The Sprout Fund, Adecco and The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.  for supporting InterActivity 2013’s SmallTalks.
The InterActivity 2013 Final Program, available as PDF download from, provides additional acknowledgements and details about programming. ACM’s Twitter handle is @ChildMuseums. Participants will use the hash tag #RCM2013 to follow/contribute to InterActivity 2013 news and trends.
About Children’s Museum Pittsburgh
Children’s Museum Pittsburgh is a place that delights and inspires children, where they can take off on fantastic flights of imagination daily, and return to earth to splash in a river, hammer a nail and ink a silkscreen. Named one of the nation’s ten top children’s museums by Parents magazine in 2011, the Museum welcomes nearly 250,000 visitors annually and provides tons of fun and loads of “real stuff” experiences for play and learning. Hands-on, interactive exhibit areas and experiences that inspire joy, creativity and curiosity include “The Studio,” “Theater,” “Nursery”, and “Backyard.” In October 2011, the Museum opened “MAKESHOP™” — a space where kids and adults can build and tinker with old and new technologies, exciting projects and cutting-edge media. On April 27, 2013, “Waterplay,” a popular exhibit recently under renovation, reopened to visitors. To learn more, visit
About Association of Children’s Museums
In an increasingly complex world, children’s museums provide a place where all kids can learn through play and exploration with the caring adults in their lives. There are approximately 400 children’s museums around the world, which annually reach more than 31 million visitors. ACM provides leadership, professional development, advocacy and resources for its member organizations and individuals. In addition to the Freeman Foundation Asian Cultural Exhibit Series, other long-term initiatives include Reimagining Children’s Museums, funded by MetLife Foundation, and The Children’s Museum Research Agenda, funded by a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. To learn more about ACM and to find an ACM-member children’s museum near you, visit