Chicago Suburban Family


The Imperative of Children’s Museums Now and in Our Future

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“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” Nelson Mandela

Childhood does not pause for a pandemic. The earliest years in a child’s life shape 80% of their brain architecture. Children’s museums across our state shape the crucial interactive learning experiences that are the foundation of our children’s development and nurture lifelong adult-child relationships. Together with the families, caregivers, and educators who are our members, guests, donors and advocates, we create the next generation of artists, innovators, scientists, business leaders, and problem solvers our future requires.

Children absorb and are affected by the people they rely on for love and security. Now more than ever, families in isolation need support to ensure healthy child development. Children’s museums are stepping up to help by redirecting investments into remote supports and continuing as sources of comfort, connection, and information for parents and caregivers facing new challenges. In this new era, children’s museums are finding new ways to mitigate the stress brought by fear and isolation.

We continue supporting families and striving to sustain ourselves through this unprecedented time while losing nearly all of our earned revenue. The rich cognitive, physical, and social experiences unique to children’s museums will be as critical when the world re-opens as they have been throughout our history.

This is the time to build bridges to the future. Arts & cultural institutions must be included in philanthropic and government funding priorities now.  No one wants to imagine our brave new world void of special spaces that celebrate creativity, curiosity, awe, and wonder. Children’s museums need your support now. 

  • Donate directly to your local children’s museum. 
  • Share the beauty and power of our work on social media. 
  • Appeal to area funders to support children’s museums with philanthropic resources.
  • Write your federal or state representatives; urge them to include children’s museums in funding.

Now is not the time to de-prioritize rich early childhood experiences essential for brain and relationship building. Today’s young child is tomorrow’s bright, thoughtful, caring citizen – who just may be the next disease-decoding scientist, life-saving doctor, or courageous leader.  

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