Arts & Culture

A new exhibit highlighting various religions is coming to Houston’s Children’s Museum in 2024

The Faithful Friends exhibit is meant to help families learn more about different religious beliefs and will join a rotation of five cultural exhibits.


Children's Museum Houston
The Children’s Museum will bring a two-year exhibit, Faithful Friends, to the museum in 2024.

The Children's Museum received a $2.5 million grant through its Religion and Cultural Institutions Initiative for a religion-themed exhibit opening in 2024.

The announcement comes at a time when the United Nations are celebrating the annual World Interfaith Harmony Week, which is from Feb. 1 to 7. The week is a time to seek harmony between citizens of the world, regardless of faith.

The exhibit, which has been named the Faithful Friends exhibit, will feature six faith traditions when it opens the summer of next year. The exhibit will remain in the museum's cultural gallery for two years and join a rotation of five cultural exhibits at the museum afterward.

Dr. Lisa Williams is the Director of Gallery Programs at the museum. She said the exhibit makes sense in one of the most diverse cities in the nation when it comes to both culture and religion.

"It's our responsibility to, at a young age, expose children to things so that as they get older, they are willing and able to interact with people that are different from them," she said.

Williams said various museum visitors have been able to test prototypes of the exhibit before its official opening. Those who tested the prototypes were surveyed on their thoughts.

"It was interesting to hear both the parent and the child say things like, ‘oh, I didn't even know that's what that meant', or ‘I didn't realize that there were these many faiths'," Williams said.

More than 200 faith leaders, advisors, and visiting families were involved in the museum's planning process. The museum also had a Kids Committee which Williams said helped to understand the way children think about religion.

Dr. Cheryl McCallum is the Director of Education at the Children's Museum. She said children from the kids committee responded positively to learning about religion.

"Kids have a lot of hope around religion," McCallum said. "They're more worried about their parents and how their parents are gonna respond to the exhibit than them. I mean, they're ready to dig in."

However, McCallum said many who the museum surveyed showed a positive reaction to children learning about religion as well. 44% of those surveyed said children should start learning about other religions under the age of five. 26% said between five and six years, and 17% said between seven and eight.

"Most of the parents that we surveyed, there were 119 surveys that we did, really felt that kids within the age-range we're serving here at the museum," Mcallum said. "That's when they most need to start learning and exploring these things."

Patricia Ortiz

Patricia Ortiz


Patricia Ortiz is a daily reporter for News 88.7. Her work includes a variety of topics including transportation, technology, energy, immigration and education. Patricia graduated from the University of Houston in Fall 2022 with a Bachelor's in Journalism. She spent most of her college career at the university's literary magazine,...

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