MAY 2014 – LETTER FROM THE DIRECTOR

Dear Friends,

Is there a “right” age range for CMEE to target? Since our audience is the defining characteristic of the Museum—more so than any collection or activity—and all of our programs and exhibits are in response to the needs of that audience, defining the “children” of the Children’s Museum is imperative for continued growth and success.

In our efforts to develop a new long-term plan, volunteers from Booz Allen Hamilton asked this very question during interviews with dozens of stakeholders. The response? As you might expect, CMEE members were overwhelmingly in favor of expanding the museum’s target age range. Specifically, they said there is a dearth of educational activities for area children who were 8, 9, and even 10 years old.

One of the ways in which we’re seeing that this need is met is with our new workshop series, “Kids Create.” These two-hour drop-off programs focused on art, science, and cooking are designed specifically for children ages 6 to 10. This month, for example, older children can create vases inspired by Huichol yarn painting or make collages inspired by the work of famed East End artist, Lee Krasner.

School-aged children interested in less-structured activities will soon have that opportunity as well…they’ll be able to play miniature golf at CMEE! Opening Memorial Day weekend, the nine-hole course enables children to experience and learn about physics concepts like inertia, gravity, and rolling friction.

In addition to expanding CMEE’s offerings for older children, we are also increasing the number of programs we provide for babies and crawlers. As the father of a five-week-old boy named Bennett, I’m looking forward to participating in our Baby & Me and Swaddle Waddle classes this summer.

As CMEE maps out the next five years, we’re eager to hear from you. What ages should CMEE serve? How do you recommend we serve that age group?  Please let us know what you think by sharing your thoughts on our Facebook page or tweeting us at @CMEETweet!

Sincerely,

Steve Long
Executive Director