Press Release Crystal R. Bowyer, President + CEO of National Children’s Museum, Is Elected to the Association of Children’s Museum Board of Directors

press release

Crystal R. Bowyer, President + CEO of National Children’s Museum, Is Elected to the Association of Children’s Museum Board of Directors

October 7, 2021

On Tuesday, the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) announced the results of its 2021 Board of Directors Election. President and CEO of National Children’s Museum, Crystal R. Bowyer, was named as an At-Large Member for a three-year term. Bowyer joins other innovative children’s museum leaders from across the world during a pivotal moment for the field and lends expertise in strategic planning, federal advocacy, and capital campaign strategy.

“The ACM Board of Directors represents the children’s museum field in service of our vision of a world that honors all children,” said ACM Interim Executive Director Larry Hoffer. “We’re so proud to partner with these individuals as ACM pursues our work to champion children’s museums worldwide, and we’re tremendously grateful for their willingness to share their expertise and enthusiasm with ACM and the field at large.”

After a nationwide search for new leadership, Bowyer was named President + CEO of National Children’s Museum in June of 2017. In this role, Bowyer reimagined the Museum as a modern hybrid learning space, merging children’s museum experiences with science center content through playful science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) offerings. In her role, Bowyer oversees all aspects of the Museum’s redevelopment and strategy, including the development of 14 permanent installations at the Museum, impactful education programs serving local school curriculum, and innovative community access programs. She also advocated members of Congress to introduce bicameral, bipartisan legislation, The National Children’s Museum Act, in order to secure the Museum’s sustainability and future. Her efforts led the Museum to a historic reopening in February 2020.

Open for 18 days before closing for 18 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, under Bowyer’s leadership, the Museum immediately innovated to provide digital resources for families and educators. The Museum developed at-home STEAM activity videos, a children’s podcast, virtual field trips, and digital exhibits, reaching more than one million people across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and six continents. The Museum’s work has been featured by national media outlets like The New York Times, CNN, and The Washington Post.

Since its grand reopening on September 2, 2021, the Museum has seen sell-out weekends with visitors from 36 states and the District of Columbia. 

“I am honored to join the Board of Directors for the Association of Children’s Museums and look forward to supporting other important institutions around the world as they work to be champions for their communities,” Bowyer said. “Children’s museums are critical resources in the learning ecosystem for every child. They provide hands-on, play-based experiences, encouraging social emotional learning through real interaction, and inspiring spaces to help spark creativity and innovation.”

Bowyer has dedicated her career to serving children with nearly 20 years of experience in government and nonprofit administration. Before coming to National Children’s Museum, she spent a decade in arts and culture in Chicago, last serving as Director, External Affairs at the Museum of Science and Industry, contributing to the development and execution of a $380 million capital campaign. Previously, she worked in government in Missouri and DC. Additionally, Bowyer has served on the boards of The Cradle Adoption Agency and The Driskill Foundation. She has been featured as a business leader in The Washington Business Journal, Modern Luxury DC, Washington Life Magazine, WJLA, The Chicago Sun-Times, and Crain’s Chicago Business. 


About the exhibition

National Children’s Museum reopened in February 2020 as a unique hybrid that combines a science center with children’s museum experiences. As an entirely STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) focused institution, playful, hands-on engagement opportunities fill a critical void for early childhood learning in our nation’s capital and upend expectations for how a space designed for families can look and feel. Located just steps from the White House and National Mall at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, and with accessible Metro and transportation options, more than 500,000 locals and tourists each year will meet at National Children’s Museum for an inspiring experience. Founded in 1974, the Congressionally-designated Museum has served Washington’s youngest learners for over 45 years.