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The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis Awarded IMLS Museums for America Grant


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$150, 000 Grant Will Fund Enhanced Professional Development Program

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis has been awarded a Museums for America (MFA) grant in the amount of $150, 000 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). This grant will fund an enhanced professional development program for the purpose of training and development of the Museum’s operations staff in family learning principles.

“As the world’s largest children’s museum we host more than one million children and their families each year and we strive to make every aspect of their visit truly extraordinary – from the learning experiences provided by our immersive gallery spaces to their interaction with our staff and volunteers, ” said Dr. Jeffrey H. Patchen, president and CEO, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. “This grant will allow us to expand on our existing professional development program with enhanced training in family learning through a new experience mapping initiative.”

The new experience mapping initiative will include a process of identifying and leveraging visitor and family learning expectations at various touch points throughout the museum experience and then putting in place strategies, systems and protocols to ensure staff meet those family learning expectations. The Professional Development Program (PDP) will strengthen the role of family learning in the museum’s professional development program beyond exhibit and content staff, to include operations staff thus increasing the knowledge, skills and abilities of museum staff to serve all visitors. 

The IMLS awarded 178 institutions across America more than $19.5 million in MFA grants to fund projects such as educational programs and exhibits, staff and volunteer training, research, planning, technological upgrades and equipment purchases.

“This year’s MFA grant recipients are truly an exciting and diverse group of museums, representing the remarkable ways that large and small institutions are serving communities. Funded projects support digitization and collections management plans, enhanced accessibility, environmental literacy, and much more. The work of these institutions will educate and inspire citizens of all ages. IMLS is pleased to support museums as they engage their communities through programming tailored to their specific needs, and this round of MFA grants furthers this work, ” said Marsha L. Semmel, acting director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

IMLS MFA grants are awarded in three categories: engaging communities, building institutional capacity, and collections stewardship; The Children’s Museum’s grant was awarded in the category of building institutional capacity. Awarded institutions are required to match MFA grants 1:1.

A full list of 2010 MFA grantees is available on the IMLS website as well as a statistical breakdown of this year’s grants. For more about Museums for America, the largest museum grant program administered by IMLS, please visit the IMLS website.
About The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is a nonprofit institution committed to creating extraordinary family learning experiences that have the power to transform the lives of children and families. The 472, 900 square-foot facility houses 11 major galleries. Visitors can explore the physical and natural sciences, history, world cultures, the arts, see how dinosaurs lived 65 million years ago in Dinosphere: Now You’re in Their World®, experience Dale Chihuly’s Fireworks of Glass and examine children’s impact in shaping history in The Power of Children: Making a Difference. The Children’s Museum, situated on 20 acres of land in Indianapolis, presents hundreds of programs and activities each year. For more information about The Children’s Museum in English and Spanish, visit

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123, 000 libraries and 17, 500 museums. The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit

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