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  • 1.  Adults in children's' art class (virtual)?

    Posted 01-29-2021 02:22 PM
    Museum minds!  I've searched the threads and couldn't find anything related - so apologies if this question has been answered already.

    We have two adults who signed up (via our online portal) to attend our "Saturday Studio" virtual class for children ages 6-16.  I have concerns with this because it's paramount that the security & safety of the children participating always come first, and second, that the adults will somehow "hijack" the class as they may find the content too "basic."  We do not, at this time, have adult online classes mostly because we haven't received enough participation to justify them (financially).

    Has anyone encountered this?  We did contact the two individuals (they signed up together) and they understand that it's a children's class - and signed up because of their interest in the topic (Surrealism) being presented.  It just really worries me that this is a "can of worms" that I really don't want to open.

    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    Amy Smith
    Executive Director
    Bakersfield Museum of Art
    Bakersfield CA

  • 2.  RE: Adults in children's' art class (virtual)?

    Posted 02-01-2021 08:47 AM
    I haven't come across this particular issue personally, but I would just be upfront with them that the class is designed for children and due to privacy and internet laws when it comes to children, no adults other than the staff can participate.

    Kathleen Lugarich
    Manager, Visitor Engagement and Programs
    Army Historical Foundation
    Fort Belvoir VA

  • 3.  RE: Adults in children's' art class (virtual)?

    Posted 02-02-2021 06:58 AM
    That's a great suggestion!  Our staff and all volunteers must undergo screening including finger-printing and background checks to give tours and help with (in the before-times) hands-on programs.

    Vivian F. Zoë, Director
    Slater Memorial Museum
    108 Crescent Street, Norwich CT 06360
    860-425-5560 vox
    860-885-0379 fax

    "Inspiration is for amateurs - the rest of us just show up and get to work," Chuck Close, 2003

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  • 4.  RE: Adults in children's' art class (virtual)?

    Posted 02-01-2021 11:21 AM
    Hi Amy! 

    Yes, I have encountered this a few times for some of our children's programming. Occasionally the adult in question is unaware that the program is meant for children (despite the fact that the target age group is listed repeatedly in the description) and other times they're interested in the content and see nothing wrong with joining a kid's program as in your case. However, I draw a firm line at not admitting adults without children to these programs. My reasoning is - we wouldn't let solo adults attend a kid's program in-person for the reasons you listed, so why would we do so for an online/virtual program? It's so important to ensure that the kids are safe online and that their parents know we are doing our utmost to ensure their safety, so in our confirmation emails we include a message along the lines of "this program is meant for children and adults not accompanying children are not permitted and will be removed." However, we do allow educators to shadow some of our programs so we make an exception for them and ask them to email us separately before the program starts. 

    It's nice to offer the adults something else instead - even if you don't have virtual adult offerings, you could direct them to an online resource of yours or the programs of a similar institution.

    I hope that's helpful! 

    Sheridan Small
    Director of Education
    Dumbarton House NSCDA
    Washington DC