Museum Makeover: 1

Children’s Museum of Atlanta undergoing revamp at hand of Sandy Springs resident

Anticipation is building as the Children’s Museum of Atlanta lays the groundwork for its massive renovation. The $8.2 million project, set to be completed in late 2015, will add two new exhibits, a 3,000-square-foot mezzanine level, permanent performance space, enhanced learning zones with state-of-the art technology and many other upgrades to existing spaces that will completely transform the experience for families.

“This is the Museum’s first major transformation since opening our doors 12 years ago, and we can’t wait to reveal all of our big improvements with the community later this year!” says Jane Turner, Sandy Springs resident and executive director of the Children’s Museum of Atlanta.

As Atlanta’s only children’s museum, this nonprofit organization was among the first to take an important step toward the revitalization of downtown Atlanta with its opening in 2003. Now, alongside the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, Center for Civil and Human Rights, College Football Hall of Fame and many other top attractions, the Children’s Museum of Atlanta has become an iconic gathering place for families representing the importance of early childhood education and the “Power of Play” philosophy.

“This revamp has been a long time coming,” says Turner. “We’ve taken into account several years of extensive and thoughtful planning as well as combined feedback from our members, visitors, educators, industry experts and established Children’s Museums around the country to ensure every detail of the redesigned Museum will be reflective of our community’s needs.”

Once completed, the newly renovated space will feature targeted, age-appropriate programming with the adaptability to correspond to changing themes, enabling the Museum to be a source for hands-on, experiential learning and engagement. In addition to literacy; culture and geography; social and emotional; and health and wellness, Children’s Museum programming will have a new focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math education) to equip young visitors with the skills needed to drive innovation, foster critical thinking and make meaningful connections between school, community, work and global issues.

The Museum is currently closed to the public for renovation work, but the learning hasn’t stopped. Until they are ready to unveil the new-and-improved space, the Museum team is bringing educational activities to various locations throughout the Atlanta area with their “Imaginators On The Go!” program. The Imaginators are the Museum’s dedicated troupe of professional actors and educators.

“The Children’s Museum actually began in the late 1980s as a Museum Without Walls concept,” says Turner. “Until we officially opened our physical space, we put all of our efforts into community outreach – going to schools in the nearby neighborhoods and engaging children in the power of play. While the Museum undergoes renovation work this fall, we see it as an opportunity to reconnect with our mobile-based history and bring a piece of the Children’s Museum out into the community.”