Minn. Children’s Museum to open in Rochester

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(Photo courtesy Minnesota Children’s Museum)

The Minnesota Children’s Museum has announced it will open a satellite museum in Rochester in early 2012.

The opening will make the MCM one of the few children’s museums in the country to open a second location, according to museum officials.

“Opening a second museum in Rochester will allow MCM to fuel imagination, creativity and love of learning in more of Minnesota’s children,” Dianne Krizan, president of Minnesota Children’s Museum, said in a statement. “With a large number of young families and a growing demand for learning experiences for children, Rochester is the ideal location to expand our footprint. We’re energized by the positive response and support we’ve received from the community.”

In January 2010, the MCM signed a memorandum of understanding with the non-profit Children’s Museum of Rochester (CMR) to explore the feasibility of developing and operating a children’s museum in Rochester.

A Minneapolis consulting firm recently completed the operational feasibility study to evaluate the various partnership and operational models for the new museum. The study supported MCM’s strategy to open a small, temporary site and move forward with a well-developed plan for funding and operating a larger site over the next two to five years.

As part of the acquisition, CMR has officially dissolved as an independent nonprofit.

A new Rochester Advisory Board reporting to MCM’s Board of Directors has been formed. The current members of CMR’s board have been elected as the first members of the Advisory Board. Currently, MCM is searching for a director and an approximately 5,000-square-foot location to open the museum.

In July, MCM received a $1,000,000 appropriation from the Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund of the Legacy Amendment. The appropriation includes support for the start-up and operations of an approximately 5,000-square-foot museum in Rochester.

Museum officials estimate the new museum will welcome approximately 30,000 visitors annually during its first few years of operation.

“CMR’s collaboration with MCM is a win-win for everyone,” Melissa Brinkman, former CMR president and current Advisory Board chair for Minnesota Children’s Museum of Rochester, said in a statement. “MCM is the ideal partner to transform the concept of a children’s museum in Rochester into reality.”

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