Dear members of Hands On!
After serving you for twelve years as Hands On! Board member and for the past five years as your President, I have to say goodbye. As co-organizer of the 10th Hands On! conference, I enjoyed saying my farewells in such a wonderful atmosphere surrounded by colleagues who also strive for high quality education for children.
Over the past years Hands On! has worked hard with very limited means to professionalize our organization in order to be more meaningful to our members.
Looking back on all that we have achieved over the past twelve years, the following highlights come to mind:
- We went from being a European to an international organization
- We moved offices from Portugal, to Italy and is now based in Austria
- We widened our focus, from an association of children’s museums to an organization for professionals in children’s education;
- We initiated the Children in Museums Award, together with the European Museum Academy
- We organized bi-annual international conferences in Paris, Stockholm, Ljubljana and Amsterdam
- We hosted annual expert meetings
- We developed a new visual identity
- We established collaborations with with Bologna International Book Fair, the European Museum Academy, the American Association for Children’s Museums and Ecsite
- We increased our sponsorships
- During our last General Assembly at the 10th Hands On! conference in Amsterdam I passed on my Presidency to Joerg Ehtreiber, director of FRida & FreD in Graz.
I am very grateful to have had the chance, over the years, to meet so many professionals with expertise and knowledge in the field of children’s education and to visit outstanding best practices. I will continue to support Hands On! and will stay responsible for organizing the Children in Museums Award. Hands On! will continue to grow and inspire colleagues from all over the world to invest in creating curious and creative children. Important qualities in order to face the 21st century.
Thank you very much for your confidence and I am sure that the new board and President will further develop Hands On! I count on your support and hope that you will contact secretariat Andrea Guenther (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are able to contribute with expertise or through a financial contribution.
I look forward to meet you in Graz during our pre-conference on June 8th 2016.
Head Public & Education Rijksmuseum and former President of Hands On!