Friday, January 27, 2012

National Children's Museum Set to Open Nine Months Early Through Transitional Space

Courtesy National Harbor
Washington, DC, USA /PRNewswire/ -- The National Children's Museum (NCM) has announced that it will begin meeting the demand of children and families in Prince George's County, the State of Maryland, the National Capital region, and the nation, nine months earlier than originally anticipated through A Place for Being Me, a transitional space at National Harbor.

"We could not be more excited about this opportunity to bring our unique programming and expertise to local communities and the nation as soon as possible," said Kathy Dwyer Southern, President and CEO of NCM. "A Place for Being Me will use an innovative combination of indoor and outdoor spaces to open 75,000 square feet of entertaining and educational experiences in the spring of 2013." This transitional space is the next stage in the creation of the National Children's Museum and will offer programs comparable in scope and excellence to the fully completed, Pelli-designed National Children's Museum.

A Place for Being Me is another important step in the development of NCM and is in direct response to market demand. "We are thrilled the National Children's Museum has committed to opening ahead of schedule," said Milt Peterson, Principal of the Peterson Companies. "The overwhelming public response to the NCM Launch Zone has clearly proven there is an immediate need and desire for a children's museum in the National Capital Region, and we look forward to NCM serving as an anchor of the family-friendly National Harbor development." Over the past year NCM has served over 300,000 kids and families through its Launch Zone in National Harbor, and community outreach activities including its Museum Without Walls programs in Prince George's County, the region, and the nation.

"We have been supportive of the National Children's Museum since they began planning to build the Museum in the State of Maryland," said Anthony Brown, Lieutenant Governor of Maryland. "This is an exciting step in the development of this national institution." With the continued support of Prince George's County, the State of Maryland and the private funding community, NCM will be able to serve more than 480,000 visitors annually at the National Harbor site in Prince George's County prior to the Pelli-designed Museum's grand opening.

All of NCM's major themes will be expressed in A Place for Being Me. A rich indoor experience will cover play, civic engagement, the environment, the arts, health and well being, and global citizenship. A creative outdoor space will provide a wide range of active outdoor play activities supporting the Museum's goals of creating healthy, fit, and informed children. Elements include a toddler zone; "challenge mountain" adventure; water play zone; fantasy garden; and a variety of other activities where children can explore, create, and discover the wonders of the natural world. "Millions of children experience the joy of learning through active outdoor play at their local children's museum. Children growing up in the nation's capital deserve nothing less. NCM's vibrant destination will inspire a whole new generation of kids to be active and to care about nature," said Janet Rice Elman, Executive Director of the Association of Children's Museums.

Opening this new space will create 200 construction jobs followed by up to 65 permanent Museum staff positions. Opening A Place for Being Me will also provide additional resources and help stimulate NCM's fundraising for the new Museum.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL CHILDREN'S MUSEUM

Founded in 1974 as the Capital Children's Museum, and designated by Congress in 2003 as a nationally recognized cultural and educational institution serving children and families, the National Children's Museum is poised to become Greater Washington's premier family attraction and the only national museum dedicated entirely to children and their families and caregivers. NCM seeks to be a world-class cultural and educational center dedicated to engaging children and empowering them to make a difference. The mission of NCM is to inspire children to care about and improve the world.  www.ncm.museum