2012 ANNUAL REPORT - Minnesota Children's Museum · PDF file2012 ANNUAL REPORT. Dianne Krizan...

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Transcript of 2012 ANNUAL REPORT - Minnesota Children's Museum · PDF file2012 ANNUAL REPORT. Dianne Krizan...

  • The undeniable, incredible, exceptional power of play


  • Dianne KrizanPresidentMinnesota Childrens Museum

    Phil McKoyChair of the BoardMinnesota Childrens Museum

    Play is simple, yet also profound.


    What a powerful year of play. Thanks to generous supporters likeyou, Minnesota Childrens Museum had another blockbuster year. The highlights are here in our annual report or better yet, our playbook.

    It was a record-breaking year as 432,246 children and adultsstreamed through the Museums doors to fill their shopping carts in theOur World gallery, tinker with the gear wall in World Works or wanderthrough traveling exhibits including Curious George: Lets GetCurious!, our homegrown exhibit that has touched more than threemillion people across the country since hitting the road in 2007.

    Families experienced the brain-boosting benefits of play at ourdowntown St. Paul location and in libraries and community centersacross Minnesota as we toured our Storyland exhibit and ramped up installation of Smart Play Spots, our aptly named early literacyenvironments. Over the past year, weve heard countless stories about the impact these free-of-charge experiences are having on the communities they touch. Several locations attracted visitors sohungry for quality playful-learning activities that they traveled an houror more for a chance to pluck vegetables from Peter Rabbits garden.

    Another amazing milestone was realized in Greater Minnesota withthe opening of our satellite museum: Minnesota Childrens Museum of Rochester. Thanks to a swell of support and enthusiasm from theRochester community ranging from high-fives to financialcontributions MCMR is a tremendous success and shatteringattendance and membership goals right and left.

    While many new play partnerships blossomed across the state, we locally developed an early childhood research partnership with the University of Minnesota to help us infuse the best and latestresearch into our programs and exhibits.

    Fiscal year 2012 (FY12) was bursting at the seams with many significantmilestones and achievements. Thanks to your help, we are doing the rightwork for children and their development by providing pivotal playexperiences that jumpstart learning and future success in the ant hill of life.


    At Minnesota Childrens Museum, anything is possible. Imaginationsrun wild, curiosities are taken on unexpected adventures and realityalways comes with a twist. Behind all the mind-bending exhibits andexperiences, real-life lessons are learned.

    Among the greatest of those lessons are the creativity and criticalthinking skills that will propel young minds to solve the challenges of the21st century. The next generation of great thinkers, scientists, problem-solvers and creative geniuses is waiting in the wings. The skills childrenlearn through hands-on playful experiences lay the groundwork forfuture learning and success in school and throughout their adult lives.

    Two years ago, Minnesota Childrens Museum adopted a newstrategic plan to spread the Museums wings beyond the iconicSeventh Street building. By extending the Museums footprint beyondthe St. Paul location, more parents, educators and caring adults canconnect the dots that play is key to unlocking the innovation, creativityand possibility that lives in all children. All of this great work reinforcesan already strong, sustainable Museum core. The following pages arejust a snapshot of the incredible stories, smiles and learning inspiredby a growing, expanding, exciting push for play.

    Beneath its colorful veneer it haspowers that ar

    e life changing.


    The Museum provides anenvironment where kids canlearn through play without evenrealizing they are learning.

    Museum donor

  • Play is amightymotivator, an earnest educator, a creative catalyst.

    Play builds character, forms bondsand

    Ready or not, here comes Minnesota Childrens Museum. The Museumsplan for serving more of Minnesotas children through the developmentof a satellite museum and numerous hands-on learning environmentsunfolded dramatically in FY12. The Museum was cooking up so muchfun in St. Paul, it just couldnt be contained anymore. It was time tomake a play for a museum in Rochester.

    Minnesota Childrens Museum of Rochester opened in April 2012.More than 9,000 children and adults ran, jumped and squirmed in to explore the 5,000-square-foot space during its first three monthsof operation.

    The Museum also ramped up the design and development of 15new Smart Play Spots that will be installed across the state during

    the next year, ultimately touching more than 100,000 adults andchildren a year. The new touring Storyland exhibit made stops inWorthington, Elk River, Redwood Falls and Chisholm, serving morethan 6,000 visitors throughout Greater Minnesota. Its easy to seethat the power of play is plugging into more and more gratefulcommunities thanks largely to support from the Arts & CulturalHeritage Fund as part of the State of Minnesota Clean Water, Land& Legacy Amendment.

    The Museum also saw a surge in demand for portable, playful-learningcurriculum, as fun-fueled Museum-to-Go class bookings grew by150%, reaching more than 4,500 inquisitive learners in schools andcommunity centers in the Twin Cities and beyond.

    THE EXPANDING, STRETCHING, GROWING FOOTPRINT OF PLAYExpanding reach through decentralized growth

    I feel like a better motherbecause I can take mychildren to the Museum and give them opportunitiesfor fun and learning.

    All Playmember


  • makes learning something that happens naturally

    Experts are not kidding when they say play is fundamental for kids. The Museums work is centered on research that play contributes to a childs cognitive, social-emotional and physical development. The Museum evolved its Smart Play brand to more clearlyemphasize the learning benefits of play and connect them to theMuseums unique role in early learning. In addition, a new messaginginitiative was created to articulate how play enhances learning andmakes it easy for adults to pocket the learning for easy referencebeyond the Museums walls.

    More play-centered thinking was kicked into gear as the Museum partnered with the University of Minnesotas Institute of Child Development to synthesize the latest research on play.

    This horizon-widening work led to the development of an academicgroup called the Research Advisory Council that will help guideMuseum integration of recent early-childhood research into curiosity-cranking programs and exhibits.

    Everyone needs a safe place to play and learn, so the Museumincreased its commitment to the Play for All program (formerly known as Access) as 9,000 children received free year-long familymemberships. In total, 123,000 visitors, including nearly 30,000 onTarget Free 3rd Sundays, received free or subsidized Museum accessthrough the entire Play for All program. The Museum also trained1,448 early childhood educators to increase hands-on learning ofmath, science and literacy concepts.

    THE MAGICAL, TERRIFIC AND SCIENTIFIC NEED FOR PLAY Championing the essential role of play in early learning

    when you laugh, when youwonder andwhen you are having a blast.

    The Storyland exhibit wastruly like Christmas in July forfamilies in our community.Exposure to a high-qualityexhibit was a real treat, and afree one at that!

    Tara, West Learning Center, Worthington


  • Thanks to many donors, the Museum has secured over $3.5 million in commitments for a new renovated and expanded Museum in the same location. Early leadership gifts from 3M Foundation, Best Buy Foundation, Martin & Esther Capp family, F.R. Bigelow Foundation, Hardenbergh Foundation, Mardag Foundation and Saint Paul Foundation have developed mighty momentum around this amazing vision. Thank you to all of the generous contributors!


    ldrensMuseum,wego towork every day

    to champion the power of play, tocreateanenvironment tha

    t is fun,

    While play was buzzing at libraries, schools and homes across thestate, one million hours of play occurred inside the Museums building.FY12 was a 31-year high for attendance as visitors scamperedthrough the Ant Hill and maneuvered the Crane at the St. Paul site. In addition, an all-time high of 1,200 volunteers contributed 32,500hours of public programs and behind-the-scenes work. Seems playcan rack up some serious numbers.

    The Museums eight traveling exhibits, which had reached nearly 1.5 million adults and children across the country, served even morewith the debut of three new traveling exhibits Storyland: A Trip

    Through Childhood Favorites, Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and Ice andFramed: Step Into Art.

    The emphasis on imagination was in full force with new drop-inprogram activities that focus on imagination and creativity. TheImagination Corner program welcomed thousands of visitors whospent hours singing unabashedly at the top of their lungs, dancingwildly under the flying fish and artfully acting out a favorite fairy tale.Imagination Playground, an open-ended big-block play system thatquickly found a home in visitors hearts last summer, claimed apermanent play space in the Our World gallery.

    THE GROUND-SHAKING, RECORD-BREAKING ACT OF PLAYStrengthening and sustaining the Museums core

  • and fundamental to thedevelopmentofour children

    the samechildrenwhowill go on to change theworld.

    THE OPEN-MINDED, WHOLE-HEARTED,STARRY-EYED VISION FOR PLAYThe coming year is shaping up to be the biggest year of play yet.The groundwork is laid for a state-of-the-art over-the-top playtopia,including a soaring climber and 10 sparkling new galleries sprinkledwith favor