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Youth Access Program launches at the Nelson Museum

Youth under 18 can now enter the museum in Nelson for free.

The Nelson Museum, Archives and Gallery says it has  found a way to break down barriers and provide a way to be more inclusive to youth who want to learn and participate in what the museum has to offer.

Executive director Astrid Heyerdahl says the main goal of this program is to ensure everyone around the region is able to access art, history and culture. 

“We wanted to make sure youth would not only be able to enter the museum for free, but they were able to become members,” Heyerdahl says. “They are considered to be vital components of the organization, they have a say and we want to make sure they are heard.”

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She says youth involvement is something they take to heart and creating a program for youth inclusion is one way of creating an enriched society.

“We take investment in the health and happiness of our community’s youth very seriously, and the Nelson Museum is well-suited to provide an atmosphere of engagement to do just that.

“This is the extension of a program called museum MESH, which invited hundreds of families in the door for free,” she adds. “We’re looking at our membership program to continue to see if we can break down barriers, and systemic issues, and bring youth into the space.”

Heyerdahl says community involvement is paramount to the museum which is why they continue partnerships with several different local organizations.

“Each month will be sponsored by a different organization,” she says. “Kalesnikoff Cares came onboard as the first sponsor which was January’s access and this month is sponsor by the Co-op grocery store.”

According to Heyerdahl, businesses are able to participate and be a sponsor by emailing her and in return for sponsorship businesses will get an incentive package.

“We have a sponsorship package that includes all the information and the rationale as to why we are doing this,” she says. “Businesses benefit by getting one hundred free admission coupons they can pass out to their staff, or customers.” 

She says youth are encouraged to check out the program by visiting the Nelson Museum without a membership and see what they have to offer.

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