Miami Children's Museum

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Miami Children's Museum
City & State:
Rhode Island
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

Miami Children’s Museum (MCM), a non-profit 501 (c)(3), is dedicated to enriching the lives of all children by fostering a love of learning and enabling children to realize their highest potential. Visitors of all ages are encouraged to play, learn, imagine and create.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

Miami Children's Museum (MCM) was established in 1983 as the Miami Youth Museum. Our first home was a 2,000 square foot facility located in a shopping center in West Kendall. In September 2003, after 12 years of planning, MCM opened its new $25 million home near Downtown Miami. Since opening our new state-of-the-art, 56,500 square foot facility, MCM has grown exponentially. Today, we are one of the 10 largest children’s museum in the United States and the only children’s museum in Miami-Dade County, offering 14 galleries of interactive exhibits. Since opening, we have hosted over 1.5 million visitors in the museum.

As an art and cultural institution MCM provides transformative arts experiences to more than 300,000 children annually. Each year children in Miami-Dade County and the surrounding areas benefit from our programs. National studies have shown that students who have regular interaction with the arts are higher achievers, perform better in school and continue their education longer (Arts and Economic Prosperity). Thus, as the only children’s museum in Miami-Dade County it is vital that we continue to serve children and families; providing them with a plethora of enrichment opportunities.

Miami Children's Museum (MCM) exhibit schedule for the upcoming year includes: the premiere opening of Water Wise (January 2009) – an exhibit in partnership with the South Florida Water Management District that demonstrates the literal power of water, the hydrological system (with real clouds), the Everglades system, and issues such as conservation, supply, and flood protection. Adventures of Clifford the Big Red Dog (June 2009 - October 2009) will allow visitors to discover the world of Clifford, Emily Elizabeth™ and their friends. This literacy based exhibit incorporates a variety of textures and multi-media materials including a nine foot Clifford. The Wizard of Oz (December 2009) with licensing and sanctioning from Warner Bros. is creating a national traveling exhibit that will utilize the arts, science and physical challenges to create value-based lessons from the beloved American Classic Film. Kokoro Dinosaurs (June 2010 – December 2010) this educational exhibit features life-sized mechanized dinosaurs and explores the Mesozoic and Cenozoic time periods. Adventures of Mr. Potato Head (January– May 2011), developed in collaboration with Hasbro, Inc. and the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, this exhibit features Mr. Potato Head, the much-loved silly character, who becomes an astronaut, explorer, scientist, and undersea adventurer with a change of his “parts.” Children have a chance to mix and match colors, designs and unique enhancements to the bare Mr. Potato Head; expression of creativity is at the forefront of this inter-active exploration. Meet Miami (Jan & Sept) rotates twice annually, where diverse families create exhibits that tell the story of their family history through personal and cultural objects (e.g., photographs, diaries, mementos, jewelry, etc.).

MCM offers a variety of interactive exhibits, drop-in activities, educational programming (e.g., Wonderful Wednesdays, Hands in Sand), early childhood classes (e.g., Art 2 Start, Rockin’ Baby), Educational Explorations (e.g., Museum Discoveries tours, Theme-based tours), guest performers, Artist-in-Residence, special events, Very Important Potential (VIP) program (free admission, tours and programs for underserved families), Outreach Programs (“EduKit’s”, Cultural Creativity, Ecosystem Experts), camps, after-school programming, Early Childhood Institute (ECI) a licensed child care center, and MCM Charter School (grades K-3). MCM offers 14 permanent exhibits including: Kidscape Village (Bank, Supermarket, Health & Wellness Center, Pet Central, Safety Zone); Early Childhood Gallery which includes the Sea and Me; Ocean Odyssey; World Music Studio; All About Art; Port of Miami and Cruise Ship; Castle of Dreams; Meet Miami; Everglades Park; You and Me and Teddy Bears, Too!; Mt. Michimu; and Outdoor Sundial. In January 2009, MCM opened a permanent Water Wise exhibit (funded by South Florida Water Management District and the State of Florida), which incorporates environmental science, physics, math, geography, and civic engagement into our existing outdoor space (Everglades Park). In addition to our permanent exhibits, the What’s New Gallery hosts a variety of traveling exhibits that bring world-class educational experiences to Miami-Dade County.

Microsoft products are used to manage exhibits, events, and programming. Microsoft Outlook is used to for e-mail communication with all staff, visitors, members, vendors, partners, foundations, and government officials/partners.

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is utilized in a plethora of daily operations for MCM. For example, Microsoft Excel is used to manage our prospect/donor solicitation list. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, MCM relies heavily upon our donors to support and sustain general operations, exhibits, educational programming, facility rentals, and events.

Microsoft PowerPoint

Microsoft Power Point is used in many facets throughout our organization. One of key areas that we utilize Power Point is through presentations to donors/sponsors and potential investors. For example, MCM is currently soliciting a corporate sponsor for our new The Wizard of Oz traveling exhibit. All of the presentations that have been sent to corporations are done with Power Point.

Microsoft in Exhibits

Many of MCM’s 14 permanent exhibits have video operated through Microsoft servers, such as the following: Chart your course, Pet central, Many Faces, Karaoke, TV studio, Fire Safety, Bank, Port of Miami, Teddy Bears, Baptist, and Publix. Microsoft in our exhibits enhances ours visitors experiences and provides them with rich, technological hands-on activities.

As demonstrated above, MCM utilizes Microsoft to support our mission and expand the impact we have on our community. Microsoft allows MCM to effectively reach our target audience (e.g., members, visitors), enhance visitor experiences, effectively and professionally solicit funders, and communicate effectively.

Submission Category
Optimize Mission Delivery
Project Image