Young V&A Reinvent Festival / reinventing a museum for the young

In June 2022, our building in Bethnal Green reaches its 150th year – it was East London’s first public museum when it opened its doors in 1872. Right from the outset, the museum aimed to be a cultural and educational resource for local people, and throughout its history, the museum has been a place of reinvention, housing a wide variety of collections and activities. To celebrate this milestone and to help us look to the future, we are launching Young V&A’s Reinvent Festival, a year-long programme of 150 creative activities taking place over the months before we reopen in Summer 2023. 

A group of children listen to a story in a semicircle.
Visual showing how a space in Young V&A will look following its transformation. Image: PicturePlane
Children concentrating on a project
Children from Bangabandhu Primary school in Tower Hamlets participate in a co-creation project with East London-based architect Emilie Queney in Winter 2021

The festival is an opportunity for further collaboration with local children, young people and communities, and the 150 creative activities will support the reinvention of our museum as a place of imagination, play, social connection and inspiration. The programme will drive us towards the opening of Young V&A in 2023 and, along the way, we hope our many collaborators and supporters will continue to influence and shape the museum as a place for them. 

The Reinvent Festival will take the Young V&A team to local schools, parks, libraries and local festivals, with events being delivered in partnership with local organisations including Rich Mix, Oxford House, St Margaret’s House, Tower Hamlets’ Idea Stores and many others. These partnerships are critical because they represent a shared ambition to pool expertise, energy and resource to ensure children in East London have access to diverse and engaging creative experiences.

Artist Matt Shaw during the Young V&A Summer of Play in 2021. Matt joins us again as part of the Reinvent Festival, at Rich Mix on 26 June 2022.
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