After a hugely successful Jan 2020 opening in Geelong, just months before Covid-19 struck, Mama is so thrilled to hear that MoPA: Museum of Play and Art is still thriving and are opening a second venue in Sandringham, Melbourne.

Geelong first Children’s Museum is the recipient of a $277,000 grant as part of the Federal Government Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) program, acknowledging the Museum’s reputation as a popular art and cultural institution that delivers education for families with young children.  Announced by Senator the Hon. Sarah Henderson last Friday, the grant provides a healthy boost to MoPA, aiding the construction of their second Museum in Sandringham, due to open in December 2021.

The purpose of the RISE grants is to recognise the arts organisations that deliver great service to their communities whilst delivering on their cultural promise and creating employment opportunities.  Launching in January 2020, just 10-weeks before the pandemic shut down the entire arts and entertainment industry in Australia, MoPA has quickly established itself as an important cultural destination for children and their families, welcoming well over 100,000 visitors since opening.

Work is already well underway on the Sandringham site in Bay Road, turning 2,500 square metres of existing space into a fully immersive learning and creative experience for children aged 1 to 8.  Mindful of the needs and desires of modern families, the site has been designed to be ultra-comfortable and safe for toddlers, but also to showcase a huge range of ever-new exhibitions and activations built on the foundations of play-based learning.

A visit to MoPA is a truly memorable experience for young families.  The exhibitions and installations create a real sense of wonder whilst enabling rich opportunities for learning and creative exploration.  Thoughtfully curated experiences that are inspired by travels with their own young children, Directors Billie Georgieff and Thomas Mahon bring vast creative history and experience to their roles at MoPA.  Their Melbourne Museum will deliver the same experience Geelong is famous for, and so much more.

“We are incredibly grateful to receive this RISE grant, an acknowledgment of MoPA’s contribution to the young arts and cultural scene in regional Victoria,” said Tom, co-director of the Museum, with his wife Billie. “With the Melbourne Museum already well underway, the funding has added significant scale to our plans; we’re just so excited to bring our unique early-learning experience to Melbourne’s south east.”

Families visiting MoPA in Geelong (and soon Sandringham) are encouraged to explore, create, play and experiment together with all the exhibits and spaces in the Museum. The now-famous exhibits on display at MoPA’s Museums include elements such as climbing structures carefully tailored to support early independence and healthy dis-attachment, soft-play areas with both physical and cognitive developmental stages built into its design, immersive art walls that enable families to ‘become’ the art and physically ‘jump in’ to the framed pieces, and even a real vintage car that families can paint together!

With such a unique experience that’s truly unlike any other, their expansion into Melbourne promises to bring a whole new world of art, culture and education to the children of Victoria’s capital, and to provide parents and carers with a rare opportunity to experience 2-hours of bliss, where they feel comfortable, safe and supported by the qualified early learning professionals on staff at the Museum.

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