The Children’s Museum of Cleveland was first established in 1981 by a coalition of parents, educators and civic leaders. Over the past two decades, the Museum has evolved from merely providing outreach programs and one traveling exhibit, to being known as the only cultural and educational resource completely dedicated to young children in the Cleveland area.
In response to the need for outreach programming, The Children’s Museum of Cleveland (CMC) was founded in 1981 to provide outreach educational programs and activities to elementary school classrooms. In 1986, the CMC opened as a children’s museum when it moved to its current facility on Euclid Avenue in the city’s University Circle cultural center. Since 1986, young children have benefited from the intimacy and uniqueness of their own building so they could freely explore, touch and learn about the world in which they live. In 1993, The Children’s Museum of Cleveland added a pavilion which provided over 2,400 square feet of additional exhibit space for rotating exhibits that keep the Museum experience intriguing. Since 2001, the CMC restructured its operations and focused on building quality exhibits and programming, creating outreach services for the under-served community, developing valuable partnerships, and establishing fiscal stability and balanced budgets. As a result, at the end of 2014, the CMC completed its thirteenth straight year of positive financial results.
The Museum welcomes over 100,000 visitors annually and has one of the most diverse visitor bases of museums in the region. Visitors come equally from the eastern and western sides of Cuyahoga County with approximately a quarter coming from beyond the County.
In December 2014, the Museum purchased the historic Stager Beckwith mansion in the Midtown neighborhood of Cleveland for its first permanent home in its history. Due to its lease not being renewed at its current location, the Museum will close its University Circle facility on Sunday, Jan. 3 2016 and begin to serve the community through a dynamic series of programs held throughout the community until the time when the renovation in Midtown is complete and the Museum is ready to open its new home to visitors.
Vision & Mission Statements
Vision and Mission Statements of The Children’s Museum of Cleveland stem from the vision of the Association of Children’s Museums which is to bring children and families together in a new kind of “town square” where play inspires lifelong learning.
The Children’s Museum of Cleveland is to be “the” Northeast Ohio destination and resource for all young children, parents and caregivers to engage in fun, innovative, interactive play that accelerates the child’s creativity, development and education.
In line with community, market, and societal needs, The Children’s Museum of Cleveland is dedicated to providing unique, innovative, and impactful experiences, exhibits, and education programming, within and outside of the Museum, that will foster learning and development in all children ages birth-8; with a special emphasis on birth-5.
To achieve this, The Children’s Museum of Cleveland will focus on:
- Fostering creativity via exhibits and programming featuring the arts and the concept of invention.
- Being a key resource for parents/caregivers to learn about parenting and how to accelerate their children’s learning and development.
- Creating powerful tools to enhance school readiness and literacy within CMC’s early birth-5 target cohort.
- Playing a role as a valued strategic partner and collaborator, complementary to other regional early childhood stakeholders.
- Creating a forum and incubator where childcare, education, parenting and academic experts can access and train young families and help advance the field of early learning.
- Being a community resource for information and programming on health/nutrition/exercise.
- Providing an appealing “town center” where all children and families can interact.
- Providing an exciting introduction to the world of cultural institutions and life long learning experiences for young children and their families.
- Developing and disseminating a broad/deep portfolio of multi-disciplined education programming.
The Children’s Museum of Cleveland is committed to meeting the needs of all children regardless of background or ability.
View The Children’s Museum of Cleveland’s 2012 Form 990
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