A Year to Revive and Thrive

During a challenging period, Minnesota Children’s Museum provided joyful experiences, offered support to families and mapped out a sustainable path toward a vibrant future.

Leaning into the Power of Play


Play sparks joy. Play brings families together. Play heals.
Throughout the year, families explored three floors of playful learning experiences. During much-needed adventures outside the house and away from screens, they made memories to last a lifetime.

Thankful for Community Support

Minnesota Children’s Museum could not exist without the generous support from our donors. When we’ve needed it the most, our donors stepped in to support our Resiliency Campaign so we could continue to exist as a cultural institution. While the pandemic continues to have a negative impact on the museum, supporters have kept our hopes and hearts soaring.


“One Fine Sunday” – Jennifer and Honesty’s Story

Once upon a time (actually, just a few months ago), Jennifer and her granddaughter Honesty enjoyed a GREAT DAY at the museum. So great, in fact, Jennifer just had to gush:


“I want to express how great, amazing and incredible the staff were, from security to the box office to staff walking around and helping the children. It was absolutely phenomenal!”

“What a great place. I’m going to shout it from the rooftops: Everyone should know the children’s museum is the place to be!” –Jennifer

Investing in Playful Learning

The museum’s experience design, development and production teams made huge progress toward completing exciting new exhibits.


Shipwreck Adventures (Opens Winter 2022)

In an experience based on a real Lake Superior shipwreck, visitors don scuba diving vests, strap on an oxygen tank and make their way through a sunken ship hull. Adventure seekers take on physical challenges in an action-packed and imaginative space, creating their own stories along the way. | Learn More


Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep: Shear Genius! (Opens Summer 2022)

Visitors step into the worlds of beloved stop-motion characters Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep – 62 West Wallaby Street and Mossy Bottom Farm – to explore the contraptions, antics and escapades of Wallace, Gromit, Shaun and other familiar Aardman characters.


Celebrating Four Decades of Play

Minnesota Children’s Museum turned 40! Since opening in Minneapolis as Minnesota’s AwareHouse in 1981, the museum has remained committed to sparking children’s learning through play.
To celebrate having served more than 12 million visitors over four decades, the museum was proud to welcome guests to a variety of activities, including:

  • A virtual annual gala that raised $354,000!
  • A community celebration day with free block party and “throwback pricing” admission
  • A birthday party inside the museum to officially mark the day on Dec. 12, 1981, when the museum first opened its doors
  • Appearances of the Big Orange Dance Machine, an interactive pop-up experience

Working Toward Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Minnesota Children’s Museum believes diversity, equity and inclusion are integral to fulfilling our mission of sparking children’s learning through play. The museum is committed to being a diverse and welcoming place for everyone.
The museum works to ensure that all families can benefit from the playful learning that happens at our museum. The All Play program provides lower-income families with free or reduced cost admission.

  • More than 4,000 All Play member families generating more than 17,000 visits since August 2020
  • More than 9,000 All Play general admission visitors since August 2020

The museum is dedicated to working to eliminate racism and inequalities in our community, especially the harm they cause to children’s health. Our recent work toward this end included:

  • Hosting virtual workshops to help parents and other caregivers talk about racism with their children and cultivate empathy
  • Conducting workshops with staff across the organization to identify potential biases and shift perceptions and behaviors to make the museum an even more inclusive space
  • Creating a DEI Champions team to focus on retaining employees of color and other issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion
George Floyd Mural
George Floyd Mural
Member MonthFB3

We Members!

Members are the heart and soul of Minnesota Children’s Museum.

We are thankful for thousands of families who joined or renewed their membership during the past year.

Membership is truly a “win-win!” Families get to visit as often as they want for a year and the museum receives much-needed support that helps keep our doors open.


Flexibility and Adaptation

It’s not easy operating a hands-on play space during a pandemic. Staff from across the organization showed flexibility, creativity and dedication to ensure that the museum was a fun and safe experience.

From improved cleaning protocols to modifying exhibits and props to implementing timed ticketing to limit capacity, everyone stepped up to make sure the museum opened its doors to a community in need.

Here’s a big THANK YOU to all the staff members who made this past year of play possible.


Mapping a Vibrant Future


The Board of Directors approved a 2021-23 strategic plan that maps out the museum’s revival as the community emerges from a global pandemic.

The plan sets the museum on a path to make progress on four community impact goals:

  • Children develop lifelong skills through open-ended, self-directed play
  • Parents value and enhance their children’s playful learning in the museum and beyond
  • Families flourish from equitable opportunities for playful learning
  • Our community grows more inclusive as families play together and learn from each other

Dianne Krizan, President

In 1981, three educators had a vision and were dedicated to expanding informal education opportunities for Minnesota’s youngest learners. Now, 40 years later, hands on activities that support early childhood development remain the heart of Minnesota Children’s Museum.

The museum has grown so much in the last four decades and shown resilience in the hardest of times. Our donors have made an incredible impact for so many. Community support has fueled joy, learning and laughter when it was needed most. And with such committed donors, we know there is so much more to come.


Dianne Krizan, President

Briana Geurink, Vice President of Philanthropy

Bob Ingrassia, Vice President of External Relations

Joe Olson, Vice President of Museum Experience

Brian Gioielli, Director of Institutional Philanthropy

Allison Gredesky, Director of Talent Resources

Jessica Petrie, Director of Marketing and Communications

Fola Tiamiyu, Director of Finance and Technology

Jessica Turgeon, Director of Experiences

Board of Directors


Michael Fiddelke, Chair of the Board, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Target

Suzette Huovinen, Chair Elect and Treasurer, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Premier Life Insurance Company

Kate McRoberts, Secretary, Managing Partner, Fathom Consulting

Board Members

Will Au-Yeung, Vice President, Finance, Off-Road/Snow Vehicles, Polaris

Kelly Axtell, Senior Manager, Global Sales & Service Enablement, RBC Global Asset Management

Kevin Balon, Senior Vice President, Transformation Office – Allocation & Governance, Best Buy

Debra Bauler, CIO, Cargill Protein and Salt

Robert Befidi, Division Vice President, 3M Separation and Purification Sciences Division​, 3M

Jennifer Bratton, Managing Director & Senior Partner, Boston Consulting Group

Matt Brown, Partner, Tax Services, Lurie, LLP

Tony Brown, Director, Risk Assurance, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Adrian Chiu, Vice President, Total Rewards & HR Technology, Pentair

Elizabeth Cummings, Doctor of Physical Therapy

Hayley Cunningham Tang, Community Banking Digital Lead, U.S. Bank

Gerald Denson, Vice President, Value-Added Services, Brenntag North America

Liz Deziel, Parent

Albino Feijo, Parent

HT Fish, Private Citizen and Community Volunteer

Abbey Godlewski, Vice President – Private Client Advisor, Private Bank, Bank of America

Krista Hagen, MD, Southdale Pediatrics

Julie Joyce, Chief Corporate Actuary, Travelers

Michael Kaphing, Shareholder, Briggs & Morgan

Chris Kelley, President & Senior Portfolio Manager, Compass Capital

 Jim Mancini, Vice President, C.H. Robinson

Steve Mog, Senior Vice President and General Manager, The Home Depot Division, Andersen Corp.

James Momon, Chief Equity Officer, 3M

Jim Mulrooney, Vice President/Relationship Team Lead, Wells Fargo Government and Institutional Banking

Tim Noel, CEO of Medicare and Retirement, UnitedHealthcare 

Pilar Oppedisano, Head of JP Morgan Private Bank, Minnesota

Gail Peterson, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing and Communications, Ecolab

Scott Peterson, Vice President Hospitality & Residential Development, United Properties

Andrea Piepho, Director, Actuary, Thrivent Financial

Elisa Rasmussen, Manager Community Relations and Foundation, Xcel Energy

Liz Revnew Wolf, Vice President and Chief Counsel, CSH & APV, Medtronic

Elizabeth Rominski, Parent

Nicole Sever, Director & Market Executive Commercial Banking, BMO Harris Bank

Kimberlee Sinclair, Director Global Communications & Foundation Executive Director, HB Fuller

Cassidy Steiner, Elementary Teacher, Blake School

Katharine Tinucci, Director – Corporate Communications, Endeavor Air

Robert Wollan, Senior Managing Director, Accenture (retired)

Drew Zinkel, MD, Associate Medical Director for Quality, HealthPartners Health Plan


$25,000 and above
Sarah J. Andersen and Chris Hayner
Martha M. MacMillan
William and Cindy Schmoker
Matt and Samantha Adey
Charlene and Mark Altman
James and Debra Arneson
Grace Arnold and Joel Donham
Bruce and Martha Atwater
Diana and James Barr
Christophe Beck
Ann and Jay Boekhoff
James C. Burroughs II
Martha Dayton and Thomas Nelson
DLMC Foundation
Liz Deziel and Tom Stukel
The Driscoll Foundation
Richard and Beverly Fink Family Foundation
Justin and Beth Flattum
Allison and Scott Gage
Briana and Arend Geurink
Gail and Jeff Gibbs
Nate and Ali Hildre
William and Ellen Hoeg
Joan Humes
Eric Hunt
Dr. Arthur W. Kaemmer
Michael Kaphing
Steve King and Susan Boren
Eric and Katherine Kirchner
Michael and Catherine Lee
Laurence and Jean LeJeune
The McKoy Family
James Mulrooney
Benjamin and Kari Ollendick
Pilar Oppedisano
John and Marla Ordway Charitable Lead Trust
Phil & Cassy Ordway – Nushka Fund
Bart and Kandi Osborn
Molly O’Shaughnessy and Michael Monahan
Juliana Rupert
Karen and Steve Sanger
Jean Schlemmer
Beth and Charles Wright
Tanya and David Yerich
Corie Barry
Adrian and Cynthia Chiu
Ann Ferreira and Jon Reissner
Michael and Brandy Fiddelke
Nancy Hatch
Kim and Willard Hunnewell
Charlie and Emily Kelley
Suzanne C. and William B. Payne
Andrea and Chris Piepho
Deb Ahlquist and Steve Mundt
Nicole and Todd Anderson
Glenn Baron
Frank and Rachel Bedo
Brandon and Julie Berg
Nancy and Nathan Berndt
Alan and Elisa Bernick
Sharon and Michael Burstein
Brian and Megan Caauwe
Paul and Ann Capeder Family Fund
Jonathan Cass
Eliza and Collin Chlebeck
Betty and Donald Cooke
Jeanne Corwin
Robert Crone and Mary Cameron-Crone
Chris Doyle
Catherine and David Duback
Matthew Erickson
Randy and Barb Fiddelke
Michelle Greenleaf
Jay Haapala
Taylor and Sara Harwood
Luke and Dana Healy
Sara Hill
Pete and Antonia Hommeyer
Robert Hume and Carrie Lucking
Elizabeth A. Jesso
Amanda and Tyler Johnstone
Mohammed Khan and Madeline Gragg
Scott Kirkland
Kelsey and James Klaas
Wade and Renee Lau
Alissa and Steve Madden
Sheila and Rich Martin
Timothy and Janice Maudlin
Marissa and Nick McGann
Sharon and Jane Moran
Barb and Mike Newman
Laura Nichols-Endres and Jake Endres
John O’Connell and Doreen Eddy
Joseph and Lisa Olson
Madeline and Conor O’Phelan
Jessica and Kevin Petrie
Mr. Eugene Piccolo
Sara and Joe Pohlad
Anne and Dave Schmiechen
Jennifer and David Shea
Andrew and Stephanie Smith
James Smith
Katherine Smith
Susan and Joseph Sorrentino
Nancy Sugahara
Jon and Lea Theobald
Leigh Veeser and Matthew Branson
Jeanne Vergeront and Andrew Dick
Sarah and Josh Ward
Craig and Morcine Warren
Jennie Weber
Anamarie and Michael Whitaker
Mary Ellen Arvanitis
William and Caroline Au-Yeung
Jennifer Bratton and Keith Waxelman
John and Gretchen Corkrean
Elizabeth and Gregg Cummings
Kate and Doug Donaldson
Lisa Farrell
Elizabeth Hlavka and Ed Hlavka
Martha and Bill Meyers
James Momon
Gail and Greg Peterson
Scott and Sarah Peterson
Liz and Tom Revnew Wolf
Kathryn and Daniel Rominski
Kimberlee Sinclair and Justin Caron
Jeffrey and Helene Slocum
Cassidy and Andrew Steiner
Robert and Carolyn Wollan

Maija and Mark Aittola
Rob and Carolyn Albright
Beth and Richard Anderson
Brynn and Dan Anderson
Marlys J. Anderson
Debra and Dean Armstrong
Lauren Baker and Eric Black
Denise and Michael Barrera
Gary and Kristine Behm
David and Sheila Bennett
John Bergstrom
Carol Bohlsen
Juliet Bordson
Patricia and Colin Brackeen
Ann and Michael Brilley
Andy Carlson
Michael and Elizabeth Carpenter
Deborah Castellanos and Peter Rodinis
Mrs. Melissa Chan and Paul Whitney
Anne Childs
Nathan and Jenny Chomilo
Steve Christenson and Lisa Hondros
Lisa and Brian Citak
James C. and Melissa Clark
Mr. Chris P. Claude
Brian and Rebecca Cline
Deborah Connor
Jill Copeland
Karyl and Dan Corcoran
William and Susan Costello
Elizabeth and Peter Crow
Colleen Dejno
Caroline A. Dey
Suzanne Dixon
Kristen Douglas and Maggie Keith
Joy Drummond
Clayton Dumcum
Scott Dyer and Barbra Lordi
Peter Eckman and Erika Olson
Nancy Ellis
Nicole and Jon Erickson
Nicole and Gregory Fedor
Sean and Julie Fee
Kelly and Ryan Fegley
Margaret Ferris
Courtney Finn
Edward Foppe
David and Deanne Forkrud
Katherine Simon Frank and Richard Kain
Tracey and Jim Fritcher
Patrick and Debra Galligan
Karen and Keith Gallus
Tara Gilbert Wyborny and Gretchen Gilbert
James and Laura Grant
Barbara Hahn and Paul Neseth
Brennan and Helena Hall
Blake Hampton
William Hansen
Keri Harrington
David Hendee
Drew and Krista Hensel
Jennifer Hladik and Jay Wiederholt
Kristina Howe
Lang W. Hunt and Kerry Donaldson Hunt
Melissa and Kirk Ingram
Kent Johnson
Lindsey Johnson
Dominique Jones and Daniel Handeen
Matthew Karlson
Angie and Russell Kath
Rick and Katie Kelley
David Kiang
Matthew Kim and Maria Dahmus
Andrea Klemm
Philip and Sarah Krump
Kenneth and Hannah Lakin
Kathryn and Greg Lawson
Don and Marlyce Lee
Rachel Levitt and Sean McPherson
Nina Lewis
MaryAnn and Aletha Lippay Kanee
Daniel Lupton and Claire Wahmanholm
Julie and Marcus Maday
Jessica Madole and Mark Spickelmier
Vicky Makky
Mary and Robert Manske
Deborah Marty
Stephanie McCleerey
Erin McClure-Helbling
Michael McCormick
Ashley and Matt McDonnell
Andre Messias Krell Pedro and Carolina Krell
Richele and Steven Messick
Erin and Christopher Milbrandt
Brian and Emili Miller
Linda Miller and John Hick
Gretchen and Daniel Mitcham
Chris Moen
Amanda and Paul Morrison
Suzanne Mueller
Bridget Murphy and Lawrence Storey
Munir Nassar and Elina Kolstad
Sarah Ndyajunwoha and David Pegg
Mike and Lori Neuberg
Andrew Newman and Mark Larson
Jennifer and Blake Noennig
Pamela and Thomas Olander
Rich and Anna Opitz
Kari and Karlen Padayachee
Emily and Casey Parenteau
Emily and Ben Paul
Jane and Arthur Peterson
Judy Peterson
Katherine Peterson
Jamie and Thomas Piaget
Maureen Phillips and Jay Horan
Daniel Pinkerton
Michael Pollock
Sarah and Michael Pontius
Brian Poulton
Amanda Prutzman and Nicholas Smith
Faye Puelston
Derrick and Christina Ray
Elizabeth and Christopher Renz
Jonathan Rosas and Allison Matykiewicz
Judy L. Rothenberg
Virginia and Larry Rudolph
Samantha and Andrew Saunders
Steven and Nancy Schachtman
Colleen and Tom Scheck
Charles Schmidt and Kisha Delain
Shelley and Aaron Sewell
Nora Slawik
Mr. Howell K. Smith II
Jeanne Smith
Lucy Smith
Bonnie and Lee Speer
Becky and Paul Stever
Susan and Scott Taylor
Ann Marie and John Thomas
Dan and Amy Tollefson
Jessica A. Turgeon
Jessica Turtle
Nicholas and Meredith Vadis
Ms. Renee Valois and Mr. David Housewright
Craig Vanderah
Vickie VanNess
Jane Velazquez
Tom and Alicia Waeffler
Valerie and Curtis Walker
Monica and David Walsh
Mollie Weaver
Kathryn C. Wegler
Erich Weidner
Randy Wiederin
Karissa and Travis Wiegand
Omar Williams
Michelle Wright
Elisha Wulff
Pamela Zimba

Kelly and Mike Axtell
Kevin and Julie Balon
Debra Bauler
Robert and Jeannine Befidi
Anthony and Christy Brown
Matthew and Ashley Brown
Michael and Ann Ciresi
Joel and Melissa Conaway
Steve and Hayley Tang
Gerald and Christine Denson
Albino and Claudia Feijo
HT Fish and Kathryn Nelson
Jeff and Kristi Fox
Amy Giovanini and Ben Ahrens
James and Krista Hagen
Marialice and Nevin Harwood
The Head Family Foundation
Suzette and Michael Huovinen
Julie Joyce and Kyle Falconbury
Chris and Courtney Kelley
Dianne and Scott Krizan
James and Edith Mancini
Kate and Ian McRoberts
Steve and Diane Mog
Joanne Mullen
Josh and Allison Peterson
Elisa Rasmussen
Elizabeth and Rob Rominski
Nicole Sever
Steve and Sara Zawoyski
Andrew and Cate Zinkel
$100,000 +
The Cargill Foundation
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Kid Spark Education
Minnesota Department of Education
Minnesota Humanities Center
Target Corporation and Foundation
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Foundation
C.H. Robinson Worldwide
Dellwood Foundation, Inc.
ECMC Foundation
Margaret H. & James E. Kelley Foundation, Inc.
Margaret Rivers Fund
Polaris Industries Inc
Tennant Foundation
Thrivent Financial and Foundation
United Properties
Auth0 Management API
Illinois Tool Works Inc.
Piper Jaffray Foundation
3M Corporation and Foundation
Andersen Corporation and Foundation
Hugh J. Andersen Foundation
David B. Jones Foundation
Ecolab, Inc. and Foundation
Google for Nonprofits
Hardenbergh Foundation
Martin and Esther Capp Family Fund of The Saint Paul Foundation
Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation
Bank of America Corporation and Foundation
Lillian Wright & C. Emil Berglund Foundation
Compass Capital Management
International Paper
Midwest Radiology
The Elizabeth C. Quinlan Foundation, Inc.
Sit Investment Associates, Inc.
Archie D. & Bertha H. Walker Foundation
Fred C. and Katherine B. Andersen Foundation
Best Buy Company, Inc. and Foundation
BMO Harris Bank
The Donaldson Foundation
Securian Financial Foundation
Travelers Foundation
Xcel Energy Foundation
DLMC Foundation
Enterprise Holdings Foundation
Federated Insurance Company
JE Dunn Construction
MMC Consulting
Pohlad Family Foundation
Evan Taylor Studios, LLC
Boss Foundation
Carlson Family Foundation
H.B. Fuller Company and Foundation
Pentair Foundation
Ramsey County Government
RBC Global Asset Management and Foundation
U.S. Bancorp and Foundation
Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.
Boker’s Incorporated
Dolan Printing
General Mills Foundation
InFaith Community Foundation
Microsoft Matching Gifts Program
Prairie Island Indian Community
Prudential Insurance Co. of America
Smith Foundry Company

Fiscal Year 2021

July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021


Minnesota Children’s Museum experienced significant revenue loss during two closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact continued during fiscal year 2021 with a steep decline in income from admissions, membership sales, traveling exhibits, group visits and other sources.

Facing potential insolvency, the museum made necessary, but painful, choices to cut expenses. The museum took immediate steps to preserve funds, including reducing staffing by 36% and eliminating programs.

Forgiveness of the museum’s Paycheck Protection Program loan aided in creating a surplus in fiscal 2021. Philanthropic support from generous donors for the museum’s emergency Resiliency Campaign helped ensure the museum could remain open to serve the community.

The museum overall will be facing a total revenue loss of $7 million through fiscal year 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization will continue to seek opportunities for relief and support to ensure we can recover and continue the mission of sparking children’s learning through play.


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June 30, 2021


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Perpetual in nature

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June 30, 2021

June 30, 2020

Museum Admissions


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Parties and Events

Exhibit Rental and Sales

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Public Support

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Government Grants/PPP Loan Forgiveness

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June 30, 2021

June 30, 2020

Program Services

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St. Paul, MN 55102
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