A groundbreaking exhibit celebrating diversity & acceptance.
For decades, Please Touch Museum has been a place for families to explore and learn together. Our newest exhibit, America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far, takes a bold step in addressing social issues while exploring culturally diverse populations here in Philadelphia and beyond.
Please Touch Museum will serve as host to America to Zanzibar which was developed by the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. Using this vibrant exhibition as our foundation, Please Touch Museum bring the experience to life through partnerships with our region’s diverse and energized Muslim community where you can:
- Buy, sell and trade spices and design clothing in a global marketplace.
- Experience everyday life through objects of Muslim American families.
- Discover ancient world-class artifacts on loan from the Free Library of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
- Experience lively performance and art demonstrations by local and national Muslim artists, musicians and storytellers
There’s so much to experience and explore within this rich world culture that makes up almost a third of our Philadelphia population – and only for a limited time in our acclaimed children’s museum.
A Closer Look at A to Z
This first-of-its kind exhibit let’s you explore far-away cultures while interacting with our Philadelphia Muslim community.
Introduce your child to a beautiful and diverse culture that includes ancient artifacts and contemporary communities right here in Philadelphia. Located in our temporary exhibit space, you’ll find:
- Exhibits that enable children to explore and connect with art, architecture, customs and stories from both nearby and global Muslim communities
- Interactive areas that provide sights, sounds and stories to engage and enlighten.
- A replica spice market open for exploration and play
- Live stage performances full of cultural fun and facts
- Artifacts on loan from prestigious Philadelphia institutions which showcase how Muslims lived and worked in ancient times
Our hope is that you learn about this fascinating culture, dispel misconceptions and embrace the diversity of our world and the city we live in.
Social learning is the key to acceptance.
Although Please Touch already reaches a diverse audience, America to Zanzibar is our first step in developing and customizing an exhibit to foster social learning. Nationally, museums are being called upon to develop educational programming about diversity and inclusion. America to Zanzibar is the first major exhibition undertaken by our museum, our goals are:
- To support our mission of changing a child’s life through the power of learning through play
- Use the exhibit as a catalyst for learning and exploration of the Muslim culture.
- Support and expose families to the diverse and vibrant Muslim community here in Philadelphia
- Open up conversations and additional discuss on diversity, inclusion and acceptance
Come out and celebrate the diversity of our region while learning about another culture. This exhibit is ideal for families with children up to 5th grade, and is an ideal trip for students and teachers.
America to Zanzibar features original programming drawn for the Muslim community right here in the City of Brotherly love.
Philadelphia has one of the largest Muslim populations of any major US City. With over 200,000 Muslims and over 50 mosques, our Muslim community is vibrant, colorful and worthy of an in-depth look. We took the framework for America to Zanzibar that was created by the Children’s Museum of Manhattan’s and put a truly unique Philly spin to it. You’ll find:
- Commissioned art from acclaimed Philadelphia artists
- Local performing artists
- Stories and traditions from throughout our Muslim community
- Immersive 3-d environments that allow a child to experience this culture first-hand.
America to Zanzibar provides an excellent opportunity to learn about diverse cultures, religious and socioeconomic communities in Philadelphia.
Thanks to Our Sponsors
Major support for America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far at Please Touch Museum has been provided by
Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission
The Mayor’s Fund for Philadelphia
Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation
America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far was developed but the Children’s Museum of Manhattan.
Major funding for the exhibits development has been provided by: National Endowment for the Humanities, Institute of Museum and Library Services – a federal agency, National Endowment for the Arts, Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, MetLife Foundation, Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Children’s Museum of Manhattan Board of Directors and scores of individuals. Additional support has been provided by the El-Hibri Foundation, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Goldman Sachs, Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center, and the Violet Jabara Charitable Trust.