Access, Engagement and Experience Development – Strengthening the Core of the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota II
CMSM will build upon the work that began with its 2015-16 appropriation by (1) Remediation and further development of exhibit areas that promote Arts & Cultural Heritage (ACH) learning (2) Expanding ACH learning opportunities for new audiences at off-site locations; (3) Engaging an outside Evaluation Consultant to help plan/implement strategies that meaningfully assess ACH learning outcomes and impacts; (4) Boosting the Museum’s capacity to serve more school/early learning groups.
$950,000 each year is for arts and cultural heritage grants to children's museums.Of this amount, $500,000 each year is for the Minnesota Children's Museum, including the Minnesota Children's Museum in Rochester; $150,000 each year is for the Duluth Children's Museum; $150,000 each year is for the Grand Rapids Children's Museum; and $150,000 each year is for the Southern Minnesota Children's Museum.Note: Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) informed all granting agencies that the February 2016 Legacy budget forecast identified deficits in the current biennium in the Arts and Cultural Heritage fund. 3% of all grantees' allocations are being held back until additional forecasting has been completed. This includes a reduction in the administrative fees taken by the Minnesota Humanities Center.
CMSM WILL EXPERIENCE INCREASED CAPACITY to serve as an informal learning resource that promotes ACH: Remediation and extended development process for current exhibits, conceptual development/design of Water Play exhibit, and conceptual development/design and initial fabrication of Museum a la Cart(e) will be completed; and Evaluate audience impact/outcomes: Evaluation plans will be developed; Museum staff will be trained; On-going processes will be in place to assess visitor impacts/outcomes.MORE MINNESOTANS will benefit as a result of engaging with experiences that promote ACH: Museum will serve 10% more Group Visitors; 90% of visitors engaged in evaluation processes will indicate satisfaction/report outcomes associated with ACH learning. MUSEUM STAFF will experience increased capacity to serve group visitors and evaluate ACH learning:100% of Museum staff will agree that they have received the preparation necessary to serve MuseumEducation and/or Evaluation Specialist roles.
CMSM EXPERIENCED INCREASED CAPACITY: Initial design/fabrication of If You Build It, Exploring Color and Museum a la Carte exhibit experiences was completed; Exhibit experiences were launched to engage on- and off-site audiences.Further development of Water Play exhibit was completed through engagement with contractors, other museums, and Kidzibits regarding floor treatments; and Dakota Cultural Advisors regarding graphic/artistic renderings. Further exhibit development/remediation took place throughout Museum with particular enhancement to: Quarry and Whiz Bang components; Play Porch structural preparation for future components; Tree of Forts Toddler addition; Farmyard barn improvements and chicken coop. Museum team met with Evaluation Consultant on ten occasions to develop/refine Museum evaluation frameworks and implement evaluation tools among general, access and group visitor audiences. MORE MINNESOTANS BENEFITED: Over the entire Project period: The Museum welcomed 93,554 visitors, including 12,014 “access” visitors. 802 “visitors” engaged with Museum a la Carte off-site Museum activities.175 school/early learning groups visited the Museum, engaging 8,960 visitors in hands-on learning.95% of visitors responding to an online survey indicated they were “Satisfied/Extremely Satisfied”; and “Likely/Very Likely” to recommend the Museum to a friend or colleague. 91% indicated the Museum promotes local arts and cultural heritage. MUSEUM STAFF EXPERIENCED INCREASED CAPACITY:Museum Educator and Evaluator roles were developed. 6 staff were trained and facilitated roles as Museum Educators. 10 staff were trained and facilitated roles as Museum Evaluators. All staff responded favorably via survey tool and/or group discussion about the preparation they received to serve in this role and provided helpful feedback to enhance future education/evaluation efforts.