Children's Creativity Museum

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Children's Creativity Museum

Children's Creativity Museum (formerly Zeum: San Francisco's Children's Museum) is a hands-on, multimedia arts and technology museum for kids of all ages located at the Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco, California. It aims to nurture the "3Cs of 21st-century literacy - Creativity, Collaboration, and Communication - in all youth and families" [1]. Children's Creativity Museum is well known for its technology-based exhibits which allow youth to produce their own media through various interactive, creative processes: animation, digital art, live performance, and music production. Children's Creativity Museum is a nonprofit 501(c)(3), community-based organization.


Zeum opened to the public on October 31, 1998 as part of a major 87-acre (350,000 m2) urban renewal project in the South of Market area by the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency. It changed its name to Children's Creativity Museum in 2011 [2] to increase awareness about the museum's purpose. In a press release announcing the name change, it stated: "Although the name Zeum sounded fun, it didn’t provide parents with any clues about what they and their children would experience. With that understanding, our verbal branding team identified two primary goals the new name needed to accomplish: It had to be descriptive enough to indicate who it was for, but also suggestive enough to encompass the broad range of imaginative activities participants could take part in. After vetting over 200 names with Zeum leadership, it was agreed that the name “Children’s Creativity Museum” accomplished both goals. " [3]


In the Animators Studio, children can mold clay characters and make their own stop-motion animation movie. In this exhibit, CCM's Educators introduce film making concepts: making a storyboard, building the characters, and producing a stop-motion animation. Afterward, they can visit one of five stop-motion animation stations, choose different set backdrops to set the scene, and capture their footage frame by frame using a video camera. Once the movie is complete, children can take their movies home on DVD or share it through an online video platform.

In the Digital Workshop, children are shown how to use the basics of Adobe Creative Suite products. There are twelve computers in the Digital Workshop, each with a digital camera. The CCM Educators guide the visitors for picture taking and show them the different applications of Photoshop, such as ‘filters’, which enable the children to morph and manipulate their pictures and make them look interesting and different. The visitors can print their photos and take them home.

In the Main Gallery, children can explore a sampling of traditional and hi-tech art. They can make masks, arts and crafts, play with puppets, or dress up in costume. They can play with soft blocks in Lil Z's Play Lab or slide down the green screen Special FX Slide to play with special background effects. There is a News Production Stage, where can take on the roles as newscasters, weather person, or international correspondent. The News Production Stage includes a teleprompter and green screen technology so children can pick from a variety of backgrounds. CCM's Educators explain to the visitors what they can do and offer suggestions in order for the children to be encouraged to get in front of the camera and create their own media. If the visitors would like to take home their projects, an education intern can burn their performance onto a DVD.

In the Music Production Lab, children can pick from a diverse array of songs, and perform on-stage, where the lyrics pop up, like Karaoke. The educators explain to the visitors what they can do, such as offer them costumes to try on and show them the different backgrounds they can feature in their video. Education interns record the visitors singing, and plays back their performance in the “Screening Area”. If the visitors want to take their performance home, the education interns can burn their performance onto a DVD.

In Studio Z, children can choose music and visual effects to dance against a green screen wall. Z-Dance, an interactive experience developed by John Crawford, associate professor of Dance and Media Arts at the University of California at Irvine [4], demonstrates how body movements can affect real-time motion tracking using visuals and sounds.

Education Intern program[edit]

The Education Intern program is a "youth development internship that combines an integral job experience with a rich mentoring environment for teens." [5]

The program is paid internship for teens ages fourteen through seventeen who are interested in developing advanced creative and technical skills in a museum environment. Teens are selected every year. They are responsible for guiding children and their families through different exhibits, such as the Digital Workshop, Animators Studio, Main Gallery, Music Production Lab, and Studio Z.

Under the guidance of CCM's Educators and the Youth Program Manager, they act as facilitators to visitors in the different exhibits.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°47′00″N 122°24′07″W / 37.783273°N 122.401827°W / 37.783273; -122.401827