Who We Are
Founded in 1999, Cool Culture helps low-income families access and enjoy New York City’s cultural life in order to provide educational experiences for their children and to serve as their child’s first educator.
Why We’re Here
Prevented by cost, lack of information or the perception that museums are “not for us,” far too many low-income families and children miss out on the rich family and child focused programming available at arts and cultural institutions around the City. These programs are designed by top notch educators to develop young children’s curiosity and love of learning – and are just the kind of activities that prepare children to succeed in school.
What We Do
- Cool Culture partners with over 400 of the City’s Child Care, Head Start, Pre-Kindergarten and Title I schools to give 50,000 underserved families free, unlimited admission to 90 participating museums, botanical gardens and zoos.
- Cool Culture facilitates families’ first museum visits and provides informational resources about available programs – we co-host high-energy family events, distribute a monthly e-zine, and parent-child educational guides.
- Cool Culture trains partner early educators to market the arts and arts education opportunities to families in their communities and to integrate arts education in their classrooms . . . and much much more!
What We Believe
All families want the best for their children. Cool Culture believes that all parents can instill a love of learning in their children, and that when given the resources to do so they will be successful at preparing their children to do well in school. While the achievement gap between middle-class children and those living in poverty begins before children enter preschool – research shows that family involvement in learning is a predictor of a child’s academic achievement. Cool Culture provides parents with the tools they need to get involved and become their child’s first teacher and delivers the audience of the future to cultural institutions. Last year parents and children walked through the doors of our 90 cultural partners more than 185,000 times.
- Cool Culture Family Passes: Cool Culture provides families in participating early childhood education programs with a personalized Cool Culture Family Pass that entitles up to five family members to free admission at 90 museums, botanical gardens, and zoos. Families simply show the pass at entry for admission, similar to museum membership cards.
- Arts Marketing Materials:
- Family Events: Our family events are high-energy programming developed in collaboration with our cultural partners. Family Events target families that have yet to make a museum visit, and mobilize our community of 400+ educators to drive cultural participation. Events held at the annual Museum Mile Festival, and at The Studio Museum in Harlem each drew more than 1,300 parents and children.
- Literacy Through Culture (LTC): LTC is a collaborative project between Cool Culture, Bank Street College of Education, and four cultural institutions. The program provides professional development to museum educators, and brings technical assistance and cultural education programming to early education programs to enhance parents’ capacity to support their children’s learning through the arts.
- Cool Culture Fair:Cool Culture’s annual Fair brings educators, parents and cultural institutions together to share information and forge relationships.