053 | Lessons from the Rijksmuseum: Creating Immersive & Fun Opportunities for Education in Public Spaces | with Irma de Vries

There’s a common problem that pops up at the intersection of classic art and education: it’s challenging to make those collections accessible to a broad and diverse group of people. Art can feel intimidating to some, even exclusionary, but that really doesn’t have to be the case if we can make these spaces more inviting — and today’s guest shares how they’re making informal education opportunities more accessible and fun at one of the most magical museums on Earth.

Irma de Vries is the Senior Staff Member for Families and Children in the Education Department at the Rijksmuseum, which is the national museum of the Netherlands and the modern home of the Dutch masters. Irma and her team have created a really fun and inclusionary program at the museum — a game, really, blending elements of a scavenger hunt and an escape room — which allows attendees to interact with and experience the rich cultural history present in the location, and it’s so beautifully simple that it could be replicated in any number of public spaces around the world.

 

We unbox:

  • What it’s like to play this game at the Rijksmuseum
  • How the game is structured to force players to go to every part of the museum, even interacting with actors
  • The role of fun in education
  • Immersing people in the intimate (but rarely considered) details of culture and history
  • How the game changes year to year
  • The remarkable number of visitors who came to the museum specifically for this game
  • How you can leverage the lessons that Irma has learned in your own classroom or public space

 

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