Teens STAMP(ede) to Philly’s Museums

Can I afford a trip to the museum? It’s a question many Philadelphians have asked themselves. Fortunately, Philly’s teens can now answer a resounding “YES!” thanks to the Virginia and Harvey Kimmel Teen Program, STAMP.

On Friday, October 4th the STAMP program was launched at Philadelphia’s African American Museum. STAMP (Students At Museums in Philly) provides a free pass to any teen (ages 14-19) living in Philadelphia, granting them access to twelve of the city’s museums and cultural sites. To support STAMP’s launch, the Independence Visitor Center Corp. is providing free rides on the PHLASH trolley Downtown Loop during the month of October to teens with STAMP Passes, allowing even easier access to the partnering museums.

Now, free of charge, Philly’s teens can visit:

African American Museum in Philadelphia
The Barnes Foundation
Eastern State Penitentiary
Fabric Workshop & Museum
Institute of Contemporary Art
Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia
National Constitution Center
National Museum of American Jewish History
Penn Museum
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Philadelphia Zoo

The launch itself was a fantastic event. The museum was packed with people of all ages, (mainly teenagers). When we arrived, the line of visitors went out the door. The sheer volume of people was quite amazing. This was due mainly to the work of more than forty community partners that worked to get the word out. Most of the youth present came with afterschool and mentoring programs run by these community partners, but a handful came on their own.

A festival spirit filled the building from the basement to the rafters. Downstairs a reception with snacks and performances from Girls Rock Philly was held. The first three floors of the museum were open for visitors to explore. Each of the twelve organizations partnering with STAMP had tables filled with information, live demos, and free gifts for teens.

STAMP is made possible by a combined set of grants from the Knight Foundation, The Philadelphia Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. A leadership gift from Virginia and Harvey Kimmel also provided support to STAMP. More importantly, STAMP has been in large part developed by a Teen Council brought together by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. The STAMP Teen Council played a major role in the program’s development and branding, ensuring that this is indeed a program that will effectively serve and engage youth.

To sign up for a pass and learn more, check out the STAMP web site.