CMSM opened its new permanent site with increased capacity to serve as an informal learning center that playfully engages children, families, and school groups in interactive experiences with the art and cultural heritage of southern Minnesota. With its current appropriation, CMSM is poised to strengthen its core as an institution that promotes arts and cultural heritage learning through continued
Through the construction of new interactive exhibits and the creation of educational programming, the Duluth Children's Museum will highlight the community and culture of Duluth and the surrounding region. A climbable, playable model of Duluth's iconic canal lighthouses and an educational Ojibwe waaginogaan are among the planned new elements being added to the museum experience.
The Children's Discovery Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota aims to strengthen its highly successful School Service Program by retaining a Program development coordinator, changing core interactive exhibits and creating new curriculum for pre-school and K - 5 students in ten northern Minnesota counties.
In 2007, the Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota (CMSM) conducted an environmental scan of early learning opportunities for children in southern Minnesota. It became apparent that the 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. This is still true today.
Minnesota, home to the largest Somali population in the United States, lacks resources for students to access knowledge and representations of Somalia. The Somali Museum of Minnesota will offer students immersive field trips illuminating the history and arts of traditional Somali society by subsidizing admission fees, integrating elders as immersive guides on tours, and developing take-home curriculum materials.
In 2016, VocalEssence WITNESS welcomes artist Melanie DeMore to help us explore the Underground Railroad in Minnesota—specifically how our state has been a place of sanctuary for refugees from the time of slavery through today. As part of this project, Melanie will help record absent narratives of those who have found sanctuary in Minnesota, and these stories will be shared in video and written form to explore the concept of sanctuary as part of the WITNESS School Program.