Please Touch Museum is introducing its inaugural Pride Family Festival June 9, an all-day celebration of LGBTQ families and communities around the world with educational programming and performances set around the themes of inclusivity, acceptance and self-empowerment.
The children’s museum teaches children, ages seven years old and younger, through interactive exhibits and special events. The new Pride Family Festival is the latest installment of the museum’s 15-month “Year of the Global Child” to celebrate the diversity of children and their families. The initiative, launched in May, aims “to prepare children for life in an increasingly interconnected world,” said Patricia Wellenbach, Please Touch Museum’s president and CEO.
“As the leading 21st-century children’s museum in Philadelphia, we need to be at the forefront of showing children and families how important it is to be open and welcoming to all,” Wellenbach said. “Over the past decade, children’s museums have been the place for informal learning. Having children feel safe about asking questions and exploring topics as early as possible positions them for success not just in the classroom, but in life.”
The Pride Family Festival programming includes drag-queen story time — an interactive dress-up story time hosted by drag queens Brittany Lynn and Miss Aurora. The Pop-Ups, the two-time Grammy-nominated children’s musical band, will perform songs about self-empowerment. Painter and activist Sophie Strachan will host an artist meet-and-greet and workshop that engages visitors to add to a mural highlighting prominent LGTBQ figures and locations in Philadelphia. The event will also feature a self-portrait art program that explores and celebrates the uniqueness of individuals, families and communities. Wellenbach said that the museum’s Pride programs aren’t unique, but they are a part of what Please Touch does every day —helping children, families and communities to learn, explore and discover.
“If we want to create young children today who are going to be vibrant and active members of the community, we need to invest in these types of programming,” she said. “The festival will be an immersive and integrative day of experiences for the children to explore the diversity of families. I want to the museum to be a safe and welcoming place for children and families to explore things that may be uncomfortable or different.”