Welcome to the BRIDGES website

This site was created to encourage conversations among museum/community partnership programs for those who attended the BRIDGES Conference and other interested people and programs.

The BRIDGES Conference

A Museum/Community Partnership Conference
Hosted By
Philadelphia/Camden Informal Science Education Collaborative (PISEC)
The Academy of Natural Sciences, The New Jersey Academy of Aquatic Sciences, The Franklin Institute and the Philadelphia Zoo

Conference Theme: Museums and communities working together to engage families in informal science activities took place at The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PA
June 20-22, 2008

BRIDGES: A Museum/Community Partnership Conference explored how museums and other learning institutions and community organizations (CBOs) can work together towards a shared vision of engaging underserved families in enrichment activities. BRIDGES was specifically designed for programs whose primary audience is family groups.

BRIDGES brought together museum and community pairs from 25 partnerships to explore best practices for developing and sustaining these innovative programs. The conference provided opportunities for participants to meet others engaged in similar efforts, to share triumphs and tragedies, and to build an ongoing community of practice. An inspiring keynote speaker, poster sessions, and breakout discussions were the basis for building a museum/community network to help guide, nurture, and expand new and continuing programs that serve families.

Topics covered include:

• Building rewarding relationships among museums, community organizations, and families.
• Exploring cultural issues that influence the development of museum/community relationships
• Developing strategies for funding and sustaining programs for underserved families
• Encouraging participants in family enrichment programs to become museum visitors

Participation in BRIDGES involved museum/community teams which serve families. There were two representatives per team—one from a museum or other informal learning institution and one from a community–based organization.

This conference is supported by grant #DRL -0734835 from the National Science Foundation

Conference related links:

Pictures from the Conference

Keynote Speaker: Lily Yeh

Participating Programs

More BRIDGES Information

Post-conference Evaluation Report

Museum/Community Partnerships: Lessons Learned from the Bridges Conference