The Bronx has a population of 1.4 million, including 250,000 children under 9 years old, and when we began was the only one of New York City’s five boroughs without a children’s museum. The mission of the Bronx Children's Museum is to inspire kids and their families to learn about, experience and appreciate the natural and cultural diversity of where they live and in turn recognize and value those elements in the world beyond.
The problem I am trying to solve
Rather than calling it a problem, we saw a void that needed to be filled, especially since life in the Bronx is challenging for many of its residents. Although it is home to the poorest congressional district in the country and has been disproportionately hard hit by COVID-19, it is a wonderful, vibrant community that deserves to have the same cultural and educational opportunities as every other borough. We introduce children to the people, places, cultures and history of the Bronx through dance, art, literacy and science. We believe that all children matter, and we encourage them to dream big.
The moment that sparked my passion
I was living and working in the Bronx in 2005 when I was invited by the then–borough president to a meeting about creating a children’s museum. I didn’t grow up in wealth, but Brooklyn, where I’m from, did have a children’s museum. My Brooklyn neighborhood had all the issues of low-income urban areas, so to be able to spend Saturdays exploring and playing in a safe, nurturing environment was a godsend to me and my parents.