The Great River Children’s Museum project began in 2012 during a conversation at the dining room table of Glen Palm and Jane Ellison.
Here are the milestones along the way.
- Established Great River Children’s Exploratorium as a 501c3
- Met with community leaders and groups to determine need, interest and support
- Joined the Association of Children’s Museums as an emerging museum
- Studied children’s museums in similar-size Midwest communities
- Completed a needs assessment
- Collaborated with CentraCare Health System to bring the Healthyville exhibit to the Stearns History Museum
- Created a museum planning team
- Met with Minnesota Children’s Museum staff and toured its $30 million expansion
- Attended webinar with SCSU faculty and staff about collaboration between children’s museums & universities
- Explored building sites for possible museum location
- Recruited 14 member Board of Directors
- Ran successful matching campaign for a $25,000 grant
- Formed committees and refined mission statement
- Changed name to Great River Children’s Museum
- Finalized building donation by Liberty Bank in downtown St. Cloud
- Branding process completed with Gearbox Functional Creative
- Museum planning with Vergeront Museum Planning
- Completed grant process for Legacy funding for Minnesota children’s museums
- Finished minor construction projects on two spaces for groups of visitors
- Received grants for Play, Explore, Learn (PEL) Labs and Roundtable Discussions
- Awarded a Legacy funding from Minnesota Humanities Center and the Arts and Cultural Heritage fund
- Hosted Roundtable discussions with early childhood educators, special education teachers, and downtown businesses
- Launched PEL Labs to learn and observe how parents and children interacted with each other and the activities around them.
- Launched Family Fun Club to share activities that parents and kids can have fun with at home or outside.
- Hired Executive Director
- Secured a traveling exhibit for 3 months (Storyland)
- Selected Exhibit Design Firm
- Began exhibit design/development process with Kickoff Workshops
- Secured a traveling exhibit for 3 months (Curious George™: Let’s Get Curious!)
- Hired Program & Outreach Manager
- Hosted virtual Roundtable with Reach Up Head Start staff