Letter from the Director – May 2013

Dear Friends,

At CMEE, we are very excited about our collaborative programs coming up in the next couple of weeks. This Saturday, we will again host Peconic Family Fun Day with almost ten partner organizations committed to educating children about the environment. On May 11, CMEE is partnering with Bay Street Theatre on a production of Martha Speaks. Tickets are available on Bay Street’s website.

During the first week of May, I’m attending the Association of Children’s Museums annual conference in Pittsburgh. Even though we represent communities from around the country, the 200+ children’s museums have so much in common. Like CMEE, all children’s museums are grappling with how to continue engaging children as they get older, especially when they have younger siblings. We all struggle with the challenge of educating people who don’t have young children about the importance of early childhood education. We also all confront the challenges of maintaining exhibits that are used over and over again by thousands of kids, developing strong volunteer programs, and identifying how our museums can help address issues concerning our communities. CMEE is in the early stages of starting to build an endowment to help sustain the Museum long-term. I was very surprised to discover how few children’s museums in America have any endowment, especially compared to other type of museums. Each year, the vast majority of us have to raise the entirety of our operating budget.  

I’m looking forward to bringing back solutions to these and other challenges from our colleagues at children’s museums around the country. If you’ve seen an exhibit or participated in a program in another museum that you think CMEE should know about, please call or email me at the Museum. You can also help us start a conversation about it on our Facebook page.

As we look ahead to summer, we’re offering a full slate of classes in art, science, tumbling, gardening, music, and sports, along with weekly performances in our outdoor amphitheater. In addition, we’re planning our annual family fair, CMEE’s summer fundraiser for July 20. Save the date!

Because of your interest and support, CMEE can enrich the lives of children and families and strengthen the East End community. I’m very grateful! 

Stephen Long
Executive Director