Children's Museum Tucson receives $242k grant for diversity & inclusion programs

The Children’s Museum Tucson received a $242,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to develop diversity and inclusion.

“It’s federally funded grant money and it is a very competitive grant cycle. We submitted a proposal for the Museums for America grant and we were one of two grantees awarded in the state of Arizona this year,” said executive director Hillary Van Alsburg. “We just learned it and we are thrilled.”

Van Alsburg said the money will be used towards continuing expanding the museum’s bilingual programs.

“We are expanding our I Am A Scientist program with our collaboration with two neighborhood schools and introducing bilingual programming through all of our tours and outreach,” Van Alsburg said.

The schools that are involved with the after school program with the Children’s Museum are Carrillo K-5 Magnet School and Safford K-8 School. The museum had provided the after school offering before with IMLS support and they will be able to continue doing it with the grant – only for third, fourth and fifth graders.

“It’ll last for three more years with this funding alone,” Van Alsburg said.

They moved their satellite location Children’s Museum Oro Valley to Tohono Chul Park, which has been “gangbusters” as visit numbers have gone up.

“We are also in the middle of plans downtown for expansion on a much larger scale,” Van Alsburg said. “We have just purchased a building to the west of the Downtown location. We’re in the process of renovating that building, which will allow more programming and more events as we’re beyond capacity in Downtown.”

Renovations at the new building include a science garden, a cafe and a new gift shop.

“We’re working on making the museum a much more enjoyable place for the next five or seven years,” Van Alsburg said.

Aside from the renovations and bilingual opportunities, the funding will help allow the museum to bring schools to visit as well as bringing back the free Thursday Bilingual Discovery Nights.

The Children’s Museum Tucson is located at 200 S. 6th Ave. and they’re Tuesday-Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Children’s Museum Oro Valley at Tohono Chul is open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday – Sunday.