Museum History1975Children’s Museum, Inc. incorporated inPawtucket, RI.1977Children’s Museum, housed in the Pitcher-Goff House in Pawtucket, opened to thepublic.1979Janice O’Donnell joins the staff asadministrative assistant.Named changed to Children’s Museumof Rhode Island.
198236,000 visitorsMuseum participates in AAM’s MuseumAssessment Program (MAP); assessor calls it“one of the finest in the genre and a leaderamong small children’s museums nationally.”1983Grandparents Guild foundedFirst annual campaign – raises $37kHuestis marionettes accepted1984First annual golf tournament1985First director Jane Jerry leaves for new children’s museum in Houston;O’Donnell appointed director.
1986Museum on Wheels created – brings traveling exhibit You Who?! to schoolsand festivals40,000 visitors to Museum, another 20,000 reached by Museum on Wheels1987Museum celebrates 10th anniversary.Museum membership up 42% to 853 families.1990Visitationtops 55,0001992FamiliesTogetherlaunched
1993 1995Museum identifies Providence as future Capital Campaign achieves 50% ofhome; city support secured $3 million goal1994 Awarded grants from NationalMuseum purchases 100 South Street Endowments of Arts and HumanitiesCapital Campaign begins 1996 Construction at 100 South Street begins Kresge Foundation issues $300,000 challenge grant
1997Museum relocates to ProvidenceCapital Campaign tops $3 millionMuseum welcomes first AmeriCorps team1998114,000 visitorsLearning Clubs and Head Start/Good StartbeginProvidence Preservation Society Award forAdaptive Reuse1999Free at 5 on Friday beginsAnnual Campaign raises $204kArts & Business Council Award forInstitutional Excellence
2000Children’s Garden createdACM/MetLife Promising Practice AwardPhilanthropy and Strategic OperatingPlans200225 years of wonder anniversarycelebration2003Families Together top finalist forInnovation in American Government Award2004Annual Campaign raises record $310,5006,800 people in 1,900 families and groups are membersMarketing Study finds visitation is 36% market share
2006One-millionth visitor to Providence locationFamilies Together wins MetLife/ACM PromisingPractice Replication Award2007Play Works capital campaign launchedAmerican Academy of Pediatrics proclaims play isessential to healthy child development2008Interior and exterior building renovationsincluding new windowsMajor new exhibit – Play Power – opensMuseum blog launchedPlay Works campaign halfway to $1.5 million goal
2009Museum wins New England MuseumAssociation Leaders in Innovation AwardMortgage on 100 South Street paid offRecord numbers – 162,356 visitors, 8,082members2010The Climber and Underland open in TheChildren’s GardenPlay Works campaign exceeds goal – raises$1.8 millionNumbers of visits and members continue togrow plus 12,000 served off-siteMuseum provides training and professionaldevelopment for a dozen partner organizations
The mission of Providence Childrens Museum is to inspireand celebrate learning through active play and exploration.The Museum welcomes children and adults of all backgrounds and from allcommunities. Its focus is on serving southern New England children, ages 1to 11, and the adults who care for them by:• Presenting hands-on, play-filled exhibits and programs that explore the arts,culture, history and science.• Fostering children’s cognitive, social, emotional and physical development byembracing a wide range of abilities, learning styles and forms of creative expression.• Creating environments in which visitors share with and learn from one another, aswe learn from them.• Being accessible and responsive to all families - culturally, physically andeconomically.• Working in partnership with other organizations to meet the needs of childrenand families.• Increasing awareness and knowledge of the ways in which children and familieslearn.
The shared values of Providence Children’s Museum staff and volunteers include:• Respect for children, their caregivers,each other and the differences among us• Life-long love of learning• The vital role of play in learning andcreativity• The quality and beauty of our learningenvironment• Accessibility for all people• Integrity in all we do
Audience• 162,614 visitors in 2010• 28% visit for free• 23% of all general visitors live in low-income neighborhoods• 26% of visits are made by over 2,300member families• Most (89%) visit in family groups• Most live within 30 miles – 67% areRhode Islanders
Programs & Partnerships• Families Together – a collaborationwith the state’s child welfare agency– brings court-separated familiestogether at the Children’s Museum• The Museum is an AmeriCorps site.AmeriCorps members serve inner-city children through Head Start andLearning Clubs• The Museum provides professionaldevelopment training to Head Startteachers, childcare workers andsocial workers.
Volunteers & Staff• 20 full time and 15 parttime staff members• 13 AmeriCorps members• Over 250 volunteers,interns and college work-study students serve morethan 11,000 hours annually• 30-member Board ofDirectors