Pathways: Creating Access and Opportunities for All

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
Duluth Children's Museum
Recipient Type
Non-Profit Business/Entity
Start Date
December 2011
End Date
November 2012
Activity Type
Counties Affected
St. Louis
St. Louis
Project Overview

The Duluth Children’s Museum has initiated three major programs with the support of the Arts and Cultural Heritage Legacy Funds. This program continues and expands these successful programs to ensure continuity in cultural experiences for the youngest audiences in rural Minnesota. The programs are organized under two major headings: Museum on the Move and Passport to Culture. Passport to Culture is an access program designed to give constituents admission to the museum. Museum on the Move provides two off-site experiences: Early Explorations, a trunk program designed as an early childhood experience and Exhibit Explorations which brings cultural resources and curriculum to regional schools.

About the Issue

Duluth and the surrounding region are profoundly affected by households with pre-school and school age children who live below an agreed upon “livable household income," or twice the federal poverty rate. The recently released Casey Foundation report highlights this region as especially challenging for families with young children. In keeping with the Legacy fund framework, the Duluth Children’s Museum has developed a systemic method of addressing access and opportunity for many children and adult caregivers.
Through the Pathways program, barriers to participation are addressed and children have an opportunity to actively engage in museum experiences on a regular and ongoing basis both in their community, school and on location at the museum. What we are seeking to do is open the doors of a local cultural resource. Pathways is the connection between families disenfranchised from cultural experiences based on income and the Duluth Children’s Museum as a place that is about them and their experience. Our efforts are dedicated to creating programming that meets family needs, encouraging frequent visits to the Duluth Children’s Museum, and fostering positive interaction among family members. We are actively expanding our website resources, increasing use of social media, and expanding science and technology learning in our programs.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
Minnesota Law 2011 (Special Session), Chp. 6, Art. 4, Sec. 2, Subd. 8
Appropriation Language

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 museum for projects and programs that maintain or promote our cultural heritage.

2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

1. Three school based classroom museum experiences will be offered to at least 3 schools from the Northland.
2. One additional trunk based on concepts of nano-science will be added to the trunk program which will be made available to day care centers across the northland.
3. Passport to Culture will continue to offer low-income household membership scholarships keeping a balance between paid and scholarship membership in keeping with regional demographics.
4. Management will explore program and exhibit opportunities with other Minnesota rural children's museums to expand the reach of the investment made by the Legacy Amendment.

Measurable Outcome(s)

Our success in this program was measured by the number of families who have, and who continue to apply for memberships through the Passport to Culture program. Our outcome was measured by direct numbers enrolled in this program.
For our Museum on the Move program, we target elementary and middle schools to receive on site services with a Museum educator. Those opportunities have been fully utilized and we continue to field school requests for services. The other avenue of that program, our Early Explorations trunk program which serves early childhood through resource rich trunks with curriculum to support it have been checked out by the number of organizations anticipated and continue to be used as community resources today.

Recipient Board Members
Patty Cartier (Chair, Capital Campaign), James A. Christensen (Treasurer of the Board), Jeff Hakala, John E. Erickson (Vice-Chair of the Board), Kyle K. Johnson (Chair of the Board), Kelly Davidson, Barbara Payette (Past Board Chair), Scott Graden, Stephen Sydow (Secretary of the Board), Kristin Teberg, Dana Kazel, JoAnn Mattson, Kyle Terrio-Johnson, Ellen Evans, Paige Benson
Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Duluth Children's Museum
Street Address
506 West Michigan Street
Zip Code
Administered By
Administered by

987 Ivy Avenue East
St. Paul, MN 55106

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