Dr Dea Birkett

Founder, Kids in Museums


Dea is Founder and Creative Director of Kids in Museums, the UK-wide organisation working with museums, galleries and heritage sites to make them more welcoming of children and families – in particular those who have never visited before. Dea has led on producing Kids in Museums communications and extensive resources, including the Kids in Museums Manifesto – the foremost family friendly audit document in the museum and arts sector supported by over 800 organisations. Kids in Museums runs the Family Friendly Museum Award, the biggest museum award in Britain and the only one judged by families. It also delivers Takeover Day – the biggest ever initiative in the arts with young people in the UK.

Dea is also an award-winning writer and journalist, author of seven books including Serpent in Paradise, Off the Beaten Track and Three Centuries of Women Travellers (with the National Portrait Gallery). She is a contributor to the Guardian, Mail on Sunday and a wide range of publications, as well as a regular commentator for the BBC. She is Creative Director of Many Rivers Films, a BAFTA-winning film company, making challenging dramas and documentaries. Dea is also Co-Director of TextWorkshop, working with museums on their messages.

Most recently Dea, a former circus artiste, has established and is Ringmaster of Circus250, the UK and Ireland wide celebration of 250 years of circus in 2018.

Across the different areas of her working life, Dea uses her expertise, passion and commitment to improve communications, challenge orthodoxies and widen participation.

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