Broward Cultural Division recently announced Young At Art (YAA) Museum as the eighth Cultural Institution in Broward County, as defined by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners, as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council.
This new designation will now include YAA in a group of Broward County’s largest cultural not-for-profit organizations. The other seven are: Bonnet House, Hollywood Art and Culture Center, Museum of Discovery and Science, NSU Museum of Art Division, Opera Guild of Fort Lauderdale, Symphony of Americas, Inc., and The Broward County Film Society.
To be considered for designation as a CI, a non-profit organization must meet very specific criteria, including carrying an annual operating budget of at least $1 million; have an uninterrupted ten-year history of providing services in Broward County in their established cultural disciplines; must be qualified and designated as Cultural Institution Program organization by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council.
Young At Art Museum has come a long way since its early days in 1986, when artists from the Museum Without Walls traveled South Florida, creating an awareness campaign and discovering a community need. The Broward Cultural Council made an investment through a Mini Grant, to a then, small not-for-profit organization located in the heart of Plantation. Young At Art was surrounded by families and lots of un-built space. Today, more than 25 years later, the community has grown and so has the need for their services, leading to $21 million in new construction, of a 55,000 square-foot, LEED certified Young At Art Museum in partnership with Broward County Library, along the I-595 corridor in Davie, and scheduled for completion in Spring 2012. The museum is geared to be the new epicenter of art, culture and education for families featuring four permanent galleries: GreenScapes, CultureScapes, WonderScapes and ArtScapes.
This recent CI designation follows another recognition, that of national accreditation earlier this year, by the American Association of Museums (AAM). Young At Art (YAA) Museum stands alone in the state of Florida as the only children’s museum to achieve this national accreditation by the AAM, and one of only six children’s museums in the nation to receive this accreditation; and of the 17,500 museums nationally, 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; and of the 779 accredited nationally, 49 are in the state of Florida. Young at Art is the fourth museum in Broward County to be accredited with this honor, following the Nova Southeastern University, Museum of Art|Fort Lauderdale, the Museum of Discovery and Science and Bonnet House Museum and Gardens.