The New Children’s Museum Recognized As A 2019 Recipient Of Nation’s Highest Museum And Library Honor

The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced The New Children’s Museum of San Diego, California as one of 10 recipients of the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities.

Honing the Young Minds

Combining two elements often not seen together — contemporary art and a place for children to learn and play — The New Children’s Museum seeks to innovate and expand boundaries, all in the interest of sparking the imaginations of its young visitors.

“It is a pleasure to recognize the 10 distinctive recipients of the National Medal of Museum and Library Service,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “Through their programs, services, and partnerships, these institutions exemplify the many ways that libraries and museums are positively transforming communities across the nation.”

Selected from 30 national finalists, the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service winners represent institutions that provide dynamic programming and services that exceed expected levels of service. Through their community outreach, these institutions bring about change that touches the lives of individuals and helps communities thrive.

“Artists are often at the cutting edge of new ideas,” said Executive Director and CEO Judy Forrester.

“Sometimes they make waves that people aren’t quite ready for, but we think that is really important in our society. As a Museum, we need to be forward thinking and embrace diversity. Art is a great way for people to express themselves, to explore, to discover, to take risks, and to fail safely. We engage artists because they model these things for us, and the kids get to experience it all first hand.”

Accepting the National Medal

As part of the ceremony and celebration, San Diego community member Rizzhel Javier will travel to Washington, D.C. with Judy Forrester to accept the National Medal on behalf of The New Children’s Museum and provide a personal account of the power the museum has had in the community.

Rizzhel Javier is a San Diego artist that has been inspired by and inspirational to The New Children’s Museum. In 2018, she led art-making workshops at community centers as well as in the Museum. Her project, People and Places, set the theme for Mass Creativity and Mass Creativity: Comunidad workshops as well as for a temporary installation in the Museum’s Community Gallery.

“The National Medal for Museum and Library Service recognizes what we already know in San Diego: The New Children’s Museum is a cornerstone of our community,” said Rep. Scott Peters.

“I brought my own kids there to think, play, and create– like many families in our region. The museum’s innovative concept that immerses children in art and design is certainly a model for engaging people of all backgrounds with art. Thank you to the Institute of Museum and Library Services for their support of the arts and museums that enrich communities across the U.S.”

About The New Children’s Museum

The New Children’s Museum is a new model of children’s museum whose mission is to stimulate imagination, creativity and critical thinking in children and families through inventive and engaging experiences with contemporary art. Located downtown, the Museum collaborates with contemporary artists to design and create art installations and educational programs for children.

The Museum brings families together in a rich educational environment that fosters creativity — blending the best elements of children’s museums, contemporary art museums and community resources.

In 2018, the Museum celebrated its 35th year in San Diego and its 10th year as The New Children’s Museum downtown.