UNICEF Unveils Immersive, Multisensory Exhibit In Atlanta; Connecting Audiences With Their Global Mission

UNICEF USA, in collaboration with Moment Factory, has unveiled an innovative and deeply engaging exhibit titled ‘”Heart Strings: Creating Connection to the World’s Children” in Atlanta. This interactive experience aims to bring the global impact of UNICEF’s work closer to home, allowing audiences of all ages to connect with the lives of children and families around the world.

In an exclusive interview with ADW, Michael J. Nyenhuis, President of UNICEF USA, describes the exhibit as a means to bridge the geographical gap between communities and the children UNICEF serves. He emphasizes the importance of allowing people to “touch and feel” the impact of UNICEF’s work, which is often distant due to geographical barriers.

The partnership with Moment Factory, known for their expertise in creating interactive experiences, enabled UNICEF to craft a unique exhibit that goes beyond highlighting global crises. 

“There’s more children displaced from their homes today around the world than at any time in the history of the world. Conflicts, the impacts of climate change, the legacy of Covid and all kinds of things are causing that,” Nyenhuis said. “We talk a lot about those crises and asked Moment Factory to help us have a little bit of a different take on it, which is to say that children and youth around the world have huge opportunity and huge potential. If we invest in them in the right way, they will literally change the world. And Moment Factory really understood that from us.”

Furthermore, ‘Heart Strings: Creating Connection to the World’s Children’ comprises eight zones, each focusing on core areas vital to a child’s success and future: healthcare, education, protection, and respect. Through a multisensory journey, attendees witness examples of how UNICEF and others are improving children’s health, transforming lives through education, and amplifying youth voices.

“Our mission is about making sure that every child is healthy, educated, protected and respected. And so when you walk through the exhibit, the first part of it really talks about the importance of health, especially in those first one thousand days for a young child. You’ll see examples of how we and others are improving the health of the children. You’ll go into the next section, which is about education and the power of education to change children’s lives. So you’ll see that along the way,” Nyenhuis said, “My favorite part is actually the part where you think about respect. And what we mean by that is that the voices of children and youth matter.” 

One of the exhibit’s standout features is the opportunity for attendees to contribute to a universal song as they travel through a riveting display section by section. 

Moreover, the immersive experience debuted in Houston before coming to Atlanta, with plans to visit Boston and Chicago in the coming months. The exhibit’s reception in Houston was remarkable and showcased the significance of youth engagement, with partnerships formed to bring young people from local communities into the experience. In Atlanta, collaborations with organizations like the Girl Scouts will further underscore the importance of youth involvement in UNICEF’s initiatives.

“We had a great launch in Houston,” Nyenhuis said. “We chose those cities because all four of them are critically important to us. We have large bases of support in those communities already. We have, here in the Atlanta area, twenty-one UNICEF clubs at local colleges, universities and high schools, so there are lots of youth that are involved with us already anyway.” 

In addition to the ‘Heart Strings: Creating Connection to the World’s Children’ exhibit, UNICEF’s partnership with the city of Decatur for the Child Friendly Cities initiative exemplifies their commitment to centering communities around the needs and potential of youth. This global program aims to empower communities to prioritize children and youth in their planning, budgeting, and decision-making processes, ultimately creating more child-friendly environments.

“About 3000 cities all around the world have participated in this. And basically it’s a methodology to help communities and governments think about how they can better center the needs of children and youth in their community. It involves doing a deep assessment of the situation of children, the youth in the community, identifying some gaps that the community wants to try to solve, developing a local action plan and then delivering results against that local action plan,” Nyenhuis expressed, “We’re really excited. The city of Decatur is one of our lead cities.” 

Looking ahead, UNICEF plans to expand the exhibit to additional cities in 2025, inviting more communities to connect with the world’s children and support UNICEF’s global mission. Beyond the exhibit, UNICEF encourages people to stay engaged through their newsletters, website, and social media to stay up to date about ongoing efforts to support children worldwide.

With a captivating multisensory exhibit, UNICEF and Moment Factory have struck a powerhouse partnership in creating the perfect immersive storytelling and interactive experience. UNICEF invites audiences to join them in creating a world where every child’s heart strings resonate with hope and opportunity.

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