Kids as Curators demonstrates the power and allure of objects. This museum program capitalizes on kids’ love of stuff, and allows them to explore culture, art, and design by experiencing the exhibit process firsthand. Each year the Erie Art Museum partners with three local schools. An artist-in-residence is assigned to each partner school and they work closely with teachers and middle school aged students. The students amass a collection, curate that collection, and design and install their exhibit at their school, then the partner schools’ exhibits come to the Museum for the community to enjoy. The program starts in the summer with a teacher training, the artist and educators help the students envision and create their exhibits in the fall. Kids as Curators is open at the Museum from mid-January through early-March.

Learn about the 2018 Kids as Curators exhibit here.

Each year the Erie Art Museum strives to partner with one suburban, one rural, and one inner-city school and work with students in 5th – 9th grades. Kids as Curators helps educators to institute creative, cross-disciplinary projects with their students, connecting real-life experiences to the formal curriculum. The Museum trains teachers how to apply the museum curatorial process—selecting, evaluating, interpreting, and presenting objects in exhibitions—to engage students in the concepts that underlie the curriculum. Kids as Curators is also a powerful experience in community collaboration and students and their teachers are celebrated with a opening during the show’s run.

Interested in learning more? Check out our info sheet.


“Wow, kids did this?!?”

“It left my heart beat pounding…I thought it was really neat to see how regular kids like myself would be able to make something so professional.”

“It was awesome, because it is not everyday that you get to see your stuff in a museum.”

“I have to say that the entire “Kids as Curators” endeavor has been so worth it for our students. It is both empowering and inspiring for them. They are truly engaged. It brought the school together with collecting.”
—Reading Specialist

“Kids as Curators was something that was cross-curricular AND community-based. We think they [our students] liked seeing school and the wider world connect. Working with Tom Ferraro [artist in residence] was also a great experience for them–to meet and get to know a real working artist was a treat.”
– Language Arts Teacher

“The most positive elements for my students project were learning to collaborate and cooperate; not just with each other but with the teaching artist and teachers and community through the collecting and organizing a show at the museum.”
–Art Teacher

Kids As Curators is made possible through the support of