Planning Process Highlights Support for Children’s Museum in Rochester

Minnesota Children’s Museum of Rochester embarked on a journey more than 18 months ago to map out the museum’s future in our growing community.

A key part of this Strategic Impact Planning Process is evaluating the possibility of raising funds to develop a permanent home for the museum.

The existing museum has more than exceeded its limits. Securing more space and a rent-free facility would enable the museum to serve a broader audience with expanded exhibits and programs while deepening our impact in the community.

Over the past few months, the museum has gathered input from dozens of community leaders and stakeholders. We’ve explored the organization’s role in the Rochester area and heard how our museum is making a tremendous impact in our community.

Excitement for the Future

Our supporters are excited about the museum’s future and the opportunity to bring playful experiential learning to more children and families in the region.

During our planning conversations, we’ve gained a deeper understanding about the variety of community needs Rochester aims to address in the coming years. We look forward to more discussions about how the children’s museum advances the community’s broader goals as the region grows and changes.

This month, we will celebrate six years since opening our storefront space in River Center Plaza.

Each year, we welcome more than 30,000 visitors, who have connected with each other while enjoying experiential learning opportunities.

We’ve developed more than 70 community partnerships with businesses and educational, entertainment and social service organizations to inspire and serve not just our young minds, but the family as a whole.

Every day, we see the power of play in action, with children growing their creativity, critical thinking, confidence and other lifelong skills they need to thrive. In addition, the experiences increase and enhance valuable time for families to learn together.

Looking Ahead

The museum’s Community Advisory Board, the Minnesota Children’s Museum Board of Directors and museum staff are evaluating the data and information gathered during this planning process and are developing options for paths forward.

Our goal is to develop a plan that meets the community’s needs while providing an opportunity for the museum to grow at the right scale, both now and into the longer-term future. Toward that end, we are looking for a site that enables us to continue and expand our vision:

  • A gathering space that builds cultural connections, provides intergenerational experiences and fosters the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) skills so crucial for 21st century success;
  • A cultural asset that helps attract and retain employees and their families while cultivating a sense of pride and skills critical to the workforce of the future; and
  • An economic engine that gives Rochester families a reason to keep their dollars in the community.

A new lease-free space would allow the museum to invest dollars that currently pay for rent into expanding our visitor experiences and programming. We intend to make the museum even more meaningful for Rochester area families.

As we explore expanding our purpose and move through this planning process, the museum is committed to remaining a trusted source of experiences that provide opportunities for families to connect, play and learn.

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