National Art Collections Fund (Art Fund)

Opening up museums to schools  

Museums enrich young lives – they’re places of inspiration, learning, creativity and fun. Experiencing them through childhood and young adulthood has a lifelong influence on  education, wellbeing, and quality of life. Yet one-third of museums don’t have any specific offer for young people, and teachers struggle to find out how to use museum resources in their classrooms. National Art Collections Fund (Art Fund) has created The Wild Escape, a major project to engage over half a million young people with hundreds of museums in the UK.

The Wild Escape focuses on an issue vitally important to young people – the climate crisis. At Kusuma Trust, we care about creating access to opportunity and investing in our environment. Our grant of a £150,000 grant will support The Wild Escape’s activities in 47 of London’s museums and galleries. Children aged 7 to 11 will have the chance to take part in the project, celebrating UK wildlife and their own creativity.

  • 80% of museum directors have told Art Fund that reaching younger audiences is one of their top priorities.
  • Art Fund has a membership of over 130,000 people including over 28,600 students.
  • Art Fund supports a network of over 850 museum partners from every corner of the UK.

© Peter Trimming from Croydon, England, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Celebrating learning and creativity

The Wild Escape welcomes young people to explore a UK museum’s collection either through a physical visit, an online encounter or a mixture of both. The challenge is to find a creature in the museum and use that as a springboard to learn more. Children will find out about that creature, UK wildlife and biodiversity loss, through high-quality learning resources produced by some of the best museum and science educators in the UK. They will then create their own story of the creature’s journey back to its natural habitat using words and pictures.

Offering a range of resources, The Wild Escape is designed so that museums and teachers can choose the format that suits them. The project will culminate in celebrations of participants’ work in UK museums on Earth Day 2023 and during Green Week.

“The Wild Escape is a fantastic opportunity for the UK’s museums, galleries and collections to creatively engage the next generation in a positive future for our wildlife and natural environment. I hope all museums, galleries and historic houses join us and take part in the Wild Escape.”

Jenny Waldman, Director, Art Fund

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