National Children’s Museum Prepares to Reopen in Washington, DC at Kickoff Celebration
For immediate release:
June 18, 2018
– Guests were treated to an exclusive tour and first look at exhibit renderings –
Washington, DC – National Children’s Museum (NCM), a nationally recognized cultural and educational institution that serves children and their families, opened its doors today for an exclusive tour of the new space and first look at exhibit renderings at their Kickoff Celebration. NCM will officially open in March 2019 in Woodrow Wilson Plaza at the intersection of 13th St. and Pennsylvania Ave. in downtown Washington, D.C.
NCM served children and families in the Washington, D.C. area for 30 years before operating as a museum without walls through traveling exhibits, partnerships with other nonprofits and community outreach programs. In 2012, NCM occupied a small space on the National Harbor, but closed in 2015 to prepare for its move back to the District.
Friends and honored guests of NCM, including Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Councilmember Jack Evans, Karima Woods from the Deputy Mayor’s Office and Kay Kendall from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, helped celebrate the Museum’s return. Congresswoman Norton expressed her excitement that the Museum would be back home, serving the District’s children, as well as tourists to the area.
“After serving the local community for decades, we were Congressionally designated as the National Children’s Museum in 2003,” said Crystal Bowyer, president and CEO of the National Children’s Museum. “We are America’s children’s museum and we’re designing a space that is worthy of such a title.”
The Museum’s exhibits are focused on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) education, including a 50-foot climbing structure called “The Dream Machine.” This cloudlike structure – and centerpiece of the Museum – gives guests the chance to float, explore and dream of the impossible, while hidden physics challenges provide interactive learning opportunities. An Innovation Sandbox will feature interactive digital experiences and the Tinkerer’s Studio will house learning labs for school field trips, as well as host daily programming for guests and members.
Nickelodeon announced a $1 million commitment to the Art + Tech exhibit, which will explore digital and analog technologies that encourage creative self-expression. The exhibit will feature beloved Nickelodeon characters inside a modern aesthetic with robust educational experiences. This permanent exhibit will be accompanied by Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer traveling exhibit, the first to be featured in the Museum’s Visiting Exhibit Hall. PNC Bank is the lead sponsor of the Dora the Explorer exhibit, which will be presented in both English and Spanish.
“Nickelodeon is honored to be a founding partner of the Art + Tech exhibit at the National Children’s Museum,” said Jean Margaret Smith, senior vice president of Public Affairs & Administration at Nickelodeon. “The Museum’s vision for a truly unique and future-forward experience for kids and families that emphasizes STEAM and ‘play’ aligns perfectly with Nick’s mission of making the world a more playful place and in the transformative power of play for learning, growth and collaboration.”
“We are so grateful to Nickelodeon, PNC Bank and all our supporters for their tremendous support,” said Bowyer. “Since D.C. does not have a science center, we have the opportunity to incorporate science and technology in order to reach a wider audience with quality learning experiences. Our goal is to create a dream-like world where children can see themselves accomplishing something they never thought possible. We’re driven by the desire to design a place that will expand young minds.”
Performances by local youth groups, Kids Konnection children’s chorus and CMI Kidz dance troupe, served as a reminder of NCM’s mission: Inspiring children to care about and improve the world through the power of knowledge.
About National Children’s Museum
Founded as the Capital Children’s Museum in 1974, the Museum served kids and families in the Washington region for thirty years in Northeast Washington, D.C. The Museum was renamed in 2003 when the U.S. Congress designated it the National Children’s Museum (NCM). For several years, NCM operated as a museum without walls by serving the region through traveling exhibitions, partnerships with other nonprofits, as well as community and school outreach programs. From 2012-2015, a small museum space was opened to the public at National Harbor, but closed in preparation for NCM’s next chapter in downtown D.C. Today, the National Children’s Museum is poised for its greatest chapter yet, as it prepares to reopen off Pennsylvania Avenue in March 2019.