Experience Development Project, Phase II
Children's Museums Grants. $500,000 the first year and $500,000 the second year are for a competitive Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants Program-Children's Museums. The board of directors shall solicit proposals and award grants to children's museums for projects and programs that maintain or promote our cultural heritage.
1. Increased participation of children, families, and community partners in the exhibit development process.2. Increased participation in the exhibit development process by children and families experiencing barriers to participation because of socio economic factors, cultural background, geographic isolation, and ability or special need.3. Increased involvement from community stakeholders.4. Completed fabrication plans5. Increased organizational development and capacity in delivering informal learning experiences that create access to explorations of art, culture, and heritage.6. Increased organizational capacity to effectively evaluate and report impacts.
1. Prototyped many STEAM programs, held outreach meeting to solicit input, made exhibit prototype adjustments, and held exhibit redesign meeting with team.
2. Connected with STEAM partners in the community and held Access Family Days (166 visitors), issued Access Family Punch Cards to 19 families.
3. Staff toured local children's museums and completed professional development that corresponded with individual needs and responsibilities.
Mary Jo Hensel, Retired Director, ECFE; Nick Hinz, Financial Services, Frandsen Bank and Trust; Lyle Jacobson, Former Owner, Katolight; Eric Lennartson, Designer/Marketing, Paulsen Architects; Naomi Mortensen, Donor Relations/Advancement, Gustavus Adolphus College; Jean Peterson, Retired Director, Children’s House, MNSU; Christine Powers, Partner, Abdo Eick & Meyers; Tom Riley, Retired Executive, Midwest Wireless; Beth Serrill, Partner, Blethen Gage & Krause; Dr. Katie Smentek, Pediatrician, Mankato Clinic;
Laura Stevens, Greater Mankato Area United Way; Karen Wahlstrom, Retired Early Childhood Specialist, ECFE; Pam Willard, Director, Golden Heart
The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota (CMSM) will complete the innovative community engagement process started with the previous Legacy grant. CMSM will build upon the progress created with the previous Legacy grant by transitioning the team's focus to carrying-out of strategic access strategies that engage a diversity of community members in the exhibit development process, resulting in the completion of fabrication plans for exhibits and environments that are accessible; engaging; and reflect the diverse art, culture, and heritage of southern Minnesota. With this grant, the community engagement project will be expanded to include the development and evaluation of complimentary programatic offerings.
In 2007, the Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota (CMSM) conducted an environmental scan of informal early learning opportunities for children in southern Minnesota. It became apparent that our region creates few opportunities for children to engage in self-directed learning experiences in social settings; in particular, opportunities that create access to arts, culture, and heritage. In the previous grant, CMSM began to address this need by engaging diverse segments of the community in prototyping exhibits and environments. As a community initiated museum, CMSM aims to create exhibits and environments that connect to the art, culture, and heritage of the region in ways that allow everyone to participate.