The Keweenaw Children's Museum will establish and operate a children's museum. The museum will seek to enrich children's lives, broaden their cultural experience, and provide children of all ages a creative environment in which to learn about their world, past, present, and future.
The museum will have a strong commitment to learning by discovery, placing an emphasis on imagination and role-playing. Hands-on activities and programs will use real material from the museum's collection whenever possible.
Children will be able to interact with the museum's exhibits and discover the world around them in a safe, fun-filled environment. To enhance children's learning experience, the museum will strongly encourage adult participation.
The Keweenaw Children's Museum plans to renovate a local landmark into a delicate blend of yesteryears' splendor and today's needs for a welcoming atmosphere for the youth of the region. The museum will work closely with local historians to provide the community a landmark representative of the area' early architecture.
The exhibit space is expected to occupy from 10,000 to 12,000 square feet. Permanent exhibits will be constructed in a themed environment. The three focus areas, cultural history, natural history, and science & technology, will be incorporated into the same space giving educators the opportunity to show the overlap in subject areas. A secondary hall will be utilized for special exhibits traveling from other museums. These exhibits will be planned according to curriculum demands and programming budgets. A third hall will be utilized to generate toddler and pre-school exhibits. Additionally, there will be some space for outstanding exhibits by regional K-12 and college students on a temporary basis.
A 30-50 seat theater with audiovisual equipment and a small stage will provide group audience space for museum attendees and a rental space for revenue generation. The auditorium presentations may serve as an introduction to the exhibits in the permanent or temporary collections. Educationally appropriate movies may be shown as additional income for the museum. Studies will be done to determine the need for a large screen or small screen projection format.
A teacher's resource library is planned to provide a space to share collections with regional educators. These collections would include materials referenced in the exhibits as will as teaching kits that correspond with the grade specific topics covered in the museum. The resource library could also become a depository of curricula enhancements that were developed regionally to support the Michigan Standards.
The Keweenaw Children's Museum is expecting to open a small retail store within the museum facility. This store will carry items that are generally unavailable in this region at this time. Scientific toys, reproduction vintage toys, books, puzzles, and games that relate to science or history will be included as part of the inventory. The store will also include some identity recognition items such as hats and T-shirts, but will scrutinize to find items of quality. The store will help provide income to the museum.
The Keweenaw Children's Museum will serve families and visitors of the Western U.P. counties of Keweenaw, Houghton, Baraga, Gogebic and Ontonagon. While tourists commonly travel to the Keweenaw for long weekends or extended stays from these locations, the distances are too far for the school districts in out counties to travel during school hours. By offering a children's museum within the region, students can experience themes focused on their own environment at a lower cost. Additionally, during the tourism seasons, the museum will be an attraction to visitors, especially during inclement weather that may prevent other activities.
The museum will be a tremendous asset to the youth of this region, including those in Houghton and Hancock, who will be able to walk or bike to the museum. After-school activities may supplement latch key programs as well as provide constructive entertainment for all youth. It is expected that revenue from outside sources can supplement admissions, especially for children and families from low-income groups.
We need your support to meet our goals. The Keweenaw children's Museum is looking for all of the following contributions.
Financial: It will take significant fund raising efforts to make the Museum come to life. you can give to the general operating fund, our capital campaign, or to a specific program.
Volunteering: No non-profit organization can survive without volunteers. You can work with one of our committees on grant writing, fundraisers, exhibit planning, public programs, or marketing.
Products/ Services: The museum is looking for almost every possible contribution. Can you provide an expertise such as accounting, tailoring, or construction? We also need office equipment, building materials, regional artifacts, and more.