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.
The Arts and Access Programs included two major new initiatives: 1. New arts and access programming at Minnesota Children’s Museum-Rochester; and 2. Creativity Jam Exhibit, which engaged Minnesota children and families in a changing line-up of large-scale creative arts projects and loose parts play at the Minnesota Children's Museum's flagship downtown Saint Paul site.