Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2009 Highlights

As the end of 2009 draws near, we want to thank everyone for the tremendous support over the past 12 months. This project has great momentum in the community and we are optimistic about launching our campaign early in 2010.

Here are just some of the highlights of the past year:
  • We visited with hundreds of visitors at various events during the year - CCRR Family Fun Night, Aldrich Carnival, BB's Pizza fundraiser, Rochesterfest, Rock Your Choice Art Auction, HCOC Movies on the Barn, Artigras, Education Summit, Service Learning Fair at the Minnesota School of Business .
  • Dozens of new volunteers were added to our ranks and many of them and others helped us at various events as well as serving on committees.
  • We followed up on many building leads from people within the community. We formally toured around 10 locations and researched many more. We continue to have additional sites suggested.
  • Our media mentions in newspaper, magazine, radio, and television helped us to promote awareness of the project during much of the year.
  • Began partnership discussions with some key organizations that will further help us with exhibit, fundraising, and a permanent site. (Look for an announcement soon regarding one of these collaborations).
  • With no formal campaign so far, we've received generous financial and in-kind support from many people in the area. We deeply appreciate your help!
There is a definite buzz about CMR as we have many simultaneous pieces of the puzzle we are working on right now. We are positive 2010 will be a pivotal year for the establishment of the museum.

Thank you all again. Happy holidays from all of us at the Children's Museum of Rochester!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Education Summit

There's a good article here on the upcoming Education Summit taking place at University Center Rochester next Saturday, September 26th. CMR will have an informational booth at the summit to update educators and parents on the progress we have made the past year.

We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

ArtiGras / ArtiKids

Thanks to all those who stopped by the CMR Under Construction playhouse at the Artigras / ArtikIds event in Mayo Park this past weekend. We sold quite a number of T-shirts and received some donations as well - Thank you!

We continue our site search and are following up with leads as we receive them. We appreciate all the support and encouragement!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Kids saving pennies for the Children's Museum!

We have had a great few days! We ended up raising close to $4,000 from our Incredible Family Fun Night. One wonderful 9-year-old boy even put $70 from his own piggy bank--which he saved up from birthday gifts and doing chores for his grandma--into our donation bags.

Also, the elementary school kids who attend the summer session of School Age Child Care at Gage Elementary raised around $670 for the Children's Museum of Rochester through a two-week Penny Drive. That's a lot of pennies, and the CMR is overwhelmed by the generosity and motivation of these kids.

Thanks to all our supporters, especially the kids who are helping to get this dream off the ground!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Family Fun Night was a success - thanks!!

Thank you to the hundreds of families who showed up for our "Incredible Family Fun Night" fundraising event at the History Center on August 14! We were overwhelmed by the number of supporters who showed up to enjoy music, magic, crazy hair-dos, and a movie with us. (We'll post event photos and the grand total we collected in donations at a later date.) Thank you for your generous donations and valuable support. Together, we'll get this dream off the ground!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Incredible Family Fun Night on August 14 - reminder

We are excited about Incredible Family Fun Night, a fundraiser for the CMR, which we're holding on Friday night, August 14. The weather forecast is good (whew!), and we expect a big turnout for the event. Fun starts at 6 p.m. at the History Center of Olmsted County. We will have food, music, magic, crazy hair-dos, inflatables, and a movie starting at dusk ("The Incredibles.").

Check out our poster at www.childrensmuseumrochester.org/IncredibleFamilyFunNightposter.html for more details.

We've also talked about this in TV and radio interviews, and there was a nice article in the Post-Bulletin about it today - http://www.postbulletin.com/newsmanager/templates/localnews_story.asp?z=31&a=411569

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Rock Your Choice Art Auction

Last Friday at the Eagle's Club in Rochester, the CMR took part in the Rock Your Choice Art Auction. The event included live dance, several musical groups, and a silent auction. We want to thank the organizers and volunteers who did such a great job decorating and creating a fun atmosphere.

We had a couple of small exhibits present for kids and handed out information about our upcoming fundraiser as well as some newsletters. The event was very well attended and proceeds not only went to CMR but to Paws & Claws and Season's Hospice as well. Thanks to all who donated their time, ticket, or talent!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Rochesterfest photos posted on website

We've finally got some photos on our website from our "CMR Under Construction" exhibit at Rochesterfest's Family Fun Night on June 24. Kids swarmed to it, as you can see from the photos :) Check out our photos of this fun event! www.childrensmuseumrochester.org/about/Rochesterfestphotos

Check out the 'Rock Your Choice Art Auction' on July 24

Please consider checking out the "Rock Your Choice Art Auction" from 5:30-9:30 p.m. on July 24 at the Eagles Club (917 15th Ave. SE).

The Children's Museum of Rochester is one of several non-profit beneficiaries of this event and will have a booth set up on-site. There is a $5 admission fee, which CMR supporters can earmark for the Children's Museum project. Auction-goers can enjoy live musical entertainment and bid on items like sculptures, paintings, jewelry, vases, and more.

It will be a fun event that benefits several worthy non-profit organizations in town. The first "Rock Your Choice" was last year in Byron, and 400 people attended :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Incredible Family Fun Night fundraiser

The Children's Museum of Rochester will be hosting an "Incredible Family Fun Night" at the History Center of Olmsted County on August 14. The event will feature music by Jake Donze, magic by Bob Miller, catering by Johnny Mangouras (for purchase), crazy hair-dos by Little Dudes-n-Divas, inflatables by Party Zone inflatables, and more.

The suggested donation is $5 per person or $20 per family (or whatever you can afford).

Check out our fun poster about this event that we'll be posting around town next week:


Please save the date, and tell all of your family and friends!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Rochesterfest Family Fun Night

We had a fantastic time at Family Fun Night at Rochesterfest downtown last night. As soon as our new CMR Under Construction playhouse was setup, the children swarmed to it, donning work vests, goggles, and paint brushes. It's amazing to see them "go to work" and immerse themselves in the exhibit. Check out the Post Bulletin article on the event and our progress with the project:

Special thanks to the Rochesterfest volunteers who helped us unload and build the playhouse and our own CMR volunteers for helping us during the evening.

Friday, June 5, 2009

CMR on Fox News on June 4!

Check out www.myfox47.com and click on the Video on Demand to see a short segment about the CMR that aired on Fox News on June 4. It is the top video temporarily, but after a day or two you will have to scroll down the video list to find it.
We'll be on TV more soon :) Fox is putting together a 30-second Public Service Announcement about our project that will be airing a lot this summer, hopefully!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


You may have seen some of the recent news regarding our donated playhouse or our plans for the future museum's exhibit themes, but we have other popular exhibits as well. We've brought these to a number of events over the past year and a half.

- Seashells, Rocks & Fossils - A large varied collection donated by a former science teacher including a dinosaur footprint fossil, various types of corral, shark teeth, large quartz crystals, agates, and much more. At last year's Child Care Resource and Referral Fun Night, we had many of these on display including a fossil/seashell dig that was VERY popular with the kids.

- "Pipe" Organ - It's not every day you can use PVC pipes and a pair of flip flops to make music! See a picture of it here . The boxes of sand in front are from the sand dig at CCRR mentioned above.

- Farmer's Market - A miniature market where children can select play foods, "purchase" them, and prepare a pretend meal. This exhibit was recently part of the YMCA Healthy Kids Day.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Photos of "CMR Under Construction" exhibit

Here's a link to a few photos of kids enjoying our "CMR Under Construction" exhibit, which we're setting up around town at community events this summer.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Association of Children's Museum Preconference Notes

As a member of the Association of Children's Museums, we had the opportunity to attend the ACM's InterActivity preconference in Philadelphia last month. Here are some interesting tidbits:

- At our table, emerging museums from Florida, Vermont, Pennsylvania, and Calgary, Alberta were represented.

- Plans for a children's museum in Brookings, SD are moving forward. Another in Mankato, MN is looking for a permanent location much like CMR.

- Feasibility studies are important for the success of the future museum (CMR has completed both a marketing feasibility as well as a fundraising feasibility study).

- The ACM is launching an emerging museum toolkit this summer due to the generosity of an anonymous donor.

- The passion of the volunteers involved in these emerging museums at the conference was clearly evident. These people are driven to improve the educational and family opportunities in their respective communities.

- And finally, a cloud can weigh over 500 tons!! :-)

We look forward to attending next year's conference (rumored to be coming to our backyard in St. Paul!)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Importance of Play Study

The NY Times recently published the findings of a study done by the Alliance for Childhood.

The group advocates more play for children, especially the imaginative "let's pretend" type play that CMR will bring to Rochester, to help develop young minds.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

"CMR Under Construction" exhibit is a hit!

We put up our new "CMR Under Construction" exhibit at the Aldrich Memorial Nursery School carnival on May 2 and at Childcare Resource & Referral's Family Fun Night at Graham Arena on May 5. Kids and parents loved the playhouse and accompanying activities! We plan to set up this traveling mini-exhibit around town a lot this summer to raise awareness and enthusiasm for our project. Look for photos on our website and this blog soon :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Don't miss the debut of CMR's interactive playhouse!

The CMR's first interactive mini-exhibit, a playhouse we've dubbed "CMR Under Construction," will debut at the Aldrich Memorial Nursery School's annual carnival on Saturday, May 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

It is a really fun exhibit that will showcase the interactive fun that a children's museum can provide. We plan to use it at many upcoming community events, so hopefully you'll be seeing it (and us) soon!

Many thanks to Weis Builders for constructing the playhouse for us.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fun and Learning at Healthy Kids Day

Our Farmer's Market exhibit was a success at the recent Healthy Kids Day event held at the Rochester Family Y. Thanks to all who stopped to visit. The children were able to do some role playing as market shoppers and cooks preparing a healthy meal. We've posted some pictures of the event here.

We'll be at several upcoming events in the next few months with this and other hands-on activities for kids. For more details, check out the events section on our website.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Grossology exhibit at La Crosse Children's Museum

There is currently a "Grossology" exhibit at the La Crosse Children's Museum (www.funmuseum.org). The description of the exhibit on La Crosse's website says "Grossology explores all the slimy, mushy, oozy, stinky, and gross (yet scientific) things that occur every day in the human body...Learn about snot, allergies, and more..." Sounds like a blast! One Rochester kid visited recently and especially enjoyed helping fill "Burp Man" with gas :) Anyone else been there? If so, please share your thoughts on this Blog or write to us at info@childrensmuseumrochester.org.

Healthy Kid's Day

The Rochester Family Y is hosting a Healthy Kids Day event this Saturday, April 18th from 9:30 AM to noon. Since we were generously invited to participate, CMR will be hosting a booth with a small, hands-on activity for the kids to complement the event.

There is more information about Healthy Kids Day on the Y's website. Hope to see you there!

Friday, April 10, 2009

If we build it....

..how many will come? It's one of the more popular questions we get about this project. So, let's look at the numbers...

In 2008, the Augsburg MBA program completed a study on behalf of CMR. A survey conducted as part of this study indicated that 61% would be willing to travel 40 miles or greater to visit the museum. This strong response convinced the researchers to expand their target demographic to a 50 mile radius of Rochester reaching nearly 60,000 children.

In the end, they projected attendance for the first five years of CMR's operation to be roughly 40,000 visitors per annum!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

We want input from kids for our website!

We are trying to make the CMR website fun for kids as well as informative for parents and grandparents. In the Kids' Zone section of our website, we are posting kids' artwork and we are also asking kids to use their creativity to answer a different, fun question every month. We will post the kids' answers online. Our question for kids for April, 2009 is:

If you and your friends could bounce up and down on the clouds high up in the sky, what type of game would you play up there? How would you get down?

Send answers to info@childrensmuseumrochester.org. And check out the CMR Kids' Zone at:

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

CMR at the ACM Interactivity 2009

Later this month, the Association of Children's Museums will be hosting their annual conference, Interactivity, in Philadelphia. As an ACM member, CMR will be attending the Emerging Museum portion of the event on April 27th. The information we gained from last year's conference in Denver was instrumental in the recent completion of our fundraising feasibility study which showed strong community support for the project.

This year, specifically, we will be gaining insight and education on several topics including site selection, community partnerships, and exhibit design. In addition, we hope to meet some of the other regional emerging museum representatives.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Photos of BB's fundraiser

There are now some fun photos on the CMR website of the lunch crowd from last weekend's fundraiser at BB's Pizza.

There are also a few scanned pictures that were drawn by some very talented kids to answer the question: "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

Thursday, March 26, 2009

CMR on Facebook!

The Children's Museum of Rochester is on Facebook, so check it out and join up with us there, too! Thanks :)

Public Service Announcements for CMR

Recently, Tracy McCray volunteered to help us record some PSAs that are airing on KROC. Here are links to the 60 second and 30 second messages. We've already gotten some response to them and wanted to thank Tracy and KROC again for their help!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Great turnout at first fundraising event!

Our fundraiser at BB's Pizzaria on Sunday, March 22 was a huge success! A few hundred supporters (at least) of the CMR showed up. We were thrilled by the turnout and enthusiasm for our project. It was really encouraging and exciting to see everyone from tiny babies on up to grandparents sporting Children's Museum stickers. A big thank-you to the generous folks at BB's Pizzaria for hosting this fundraiser and donating 25 percent of the day's proceeds to our cause!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Eat some pizza, raise some dough for the CMR on March 22!

CMR Supporters: Bring your families to BB's Pizzaria (3456 E. Circle Dr. NE, 424-3366) this Sunday, when the pizza place hosts a fundraiser for the Children's Museum of Rochester. BB's will donate a quarter of the proceeds from any item you order on the menu (including frozen, take-out pizzas) between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. to the Children's Museum of Rochester. NOTE: Please mention CMR when placing your order. The Children's Museum of Rochester is kicking off its fundraising efforts with the March 22 event at BB's, and more fundraisers are expected in coming months. We'll keep you posted via the website and blog!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Please share your ideas!

Just a quick note to urge website/blog visitors to email us at info@childrensmuseumrochester.org with ideas and comments. We'd love input on everything from cool children's museums you've visited in the past to buildings in Rochester that may be possible locations for our future museum. We'd love to hear from you. Thank you!
The Children's Museum of Rochester project has really gained momentum lately! You've probably visited our newly redesigned website (www.childrensmuseumrochester.org), and soon you'll be hearing some Public Service Announcements about the Children's Museum on KROC and (hopefully) other area radio stations. (Listen for the kid-themed music and the voice of a very cute 10-year-old girl to open the PSAs!)

Perhaps best of all, members of our Exhibits Committee are working with Weis Builders to create our first traveling mini-exhibit, dubbed "CMR Under Construction." I will leave it up to Exhibits Committee members to Blog more about this in coming days :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Welcome to the new Children's Museum of Rochester Blog!

If you are reading this, you have likely got here through our new and improved website at http://www.childrensmuseumrochester.org/ ! We want to thank Corporate Web Services of Rochester, MN for their extremely generous donation to make the new site a reality.

Check back here often for updates or register as a blog "Follower" and get updates automatically. Thanks for your interest in this exciting project!