Minnesota Children’s Museum of Rochester is now Spark!

Behind the Scenes: Meet the Impact and Narrative Committee

By Eric Anderson

Museums have a bad reputation of being stuffy buildings filled with glass cases collecting dust, hushed whispers and, of course, absolutely no running. At the Minnesota Children’s Museum Rochester, we are determined to change that perception by creating new experiences that engage, challenge and inspire our community. From Pop-Up Play events to urban prototypes, we are redefining the role and potential of our museum to better meet the needs of our members and to create new partnerships with local institutions. With these goals in mind, we formed the Impact and Narrative Committee.

The Impact and Narrative Committee is an evolving group comprised of civic leaders and citizens, hungry entrepreneurs and happily retired professionals. Some of the members come from specialized fields, such as videography, workforce development, health and wellness, preschool development, and design. Others are experienced in multi-disciplinary project management. Some are parents, other are not. But there is one thing they all have in come: they believe in the power of play.

To compliment the diverse backgrounds of the committee, we’ve entrusted them to work together using an iterative methodology that allows their various perspectives to conceive unexpected opportunities around the museum’s focus on experiential learning. Without the limitations of prescribed goals or agendas, the committee can go beyond its own initial expectations as it works to identify, align, measure and advocate for opportunities to maximize the impact of experiential learning in our community.

It’s no coincidence that the methodology employed by the Impact and Narrative Committee mirror the associative and critical thinking benefits of play. From preschool through adulthood, play allows us to discover new ways to perceive how we interact with the world, foster new relationships, and discover what we are truly capable of accomplishing. Plus, it can be fun.

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