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Great River Children’s Museum

The Extraordinary Power Of Play

Family Fun Club – Where Teachers Come From

Play is a powerful factor in a childs healthy development.

From birth, children practice and develop a wide range of skills as they play, explore, discover, and learn. Play encourages critical thinking and problem solving, cross-cultural competence, creative thinking, collaboration, persistence, communication and curiosity.

Its essential to family and community life. Great River Childrens Museum will deliver learning experiences through five platforms:

Salary Of Key Persons

Presented here are up to five of this organization’s highest compensated employees. This compensation data includes salary, cash bonuses, and expense accounts and is displayed exactly how it is reported to the IRS. The amounts do not include nontaxable benefits, deferred compensation, or other amounts not reported on Form W-2. In some cases, these amounts may include compensation from related organizations. Read the IRS policies for compensation reporting

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GRCM shines a bright light on the power of play to spark childrens learning,strengthen families, and build community connections. Its dynamic,interactive environments and experiences are a gateway to the world and itspeople for children and families of all backgrounds.

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What Is The Great River Childrens Museum

Great River Childrens Museum is a nonprofit that creates a space where children and their caregivers can create, explore, and discover through the power of play right here in central Minnesota. GRCM is looking to create a space outside of a childs home and school that offers fun interactive learning. Focusing on STEM-based education, the museum is looking to offer programming and opportunities to build cultural awareness, music education, art, and much more.

Programming at the museum will include core exhibits, day-to-day projects and activities as well as group field trips and classes. This will be split into indoor play areas, outdoor play areas, and classroom settings. The museum hopes to also include traveling exhibitions and outreach projects to best serve the community. It will be a space for regular visitors and annual trips as well as an option for last-minute fun.

Besides just area residents, Great River Childrens Museum hopes to provide a fun space for groups looking for activities closer to home saving a long drive to and from the Twin Cities. Its also a great stopping point for campers or cabin-goers looking to blow off a little steam halfway between home and the lake.

Forecast: Cloudy With A Chance Of Awesome

Great River Childrens Museum Hires Executive Director

Kids will soon have their head in the clouds .

Higher and higher, kiddos will climb above cityscapes and rivers in Climber to the Clouds, an exhibit sponsored by Coborn Family Foundation.

On Oct. 9, 2021, Great River Childrens Museum board members and committee volunteers were wowed with the second round of design schematics for the museums core exhibits.

Climber to the Clouds will be the heart of the museum, awing museum visitors as they enter the spectacular atrium.

Once museum visitors pass through the ticketing area, the museum space opens up to reveal the towering, immersive exhibit.

Scattered throughout Climber are physical play features to scurry over, under and around. Cranks and buttons invite explorers to interact to learn about weather systems and even create their own rain, thunder, wind, and rainbows.

Passersby also will be captivated by the illuminated, three-story, cloud-filled sky visible from outside.

Great River Childrens Museum would like to thank Coborn Family Foundation for sponsoring this exhibit.

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Building For The Future

And in addition to funding the current project, the team is already thinking about access and sustainability into the future. According to Miles, GRCM is trying to build an endowment to support general operations, including programs and discount museum access.

Miles said she feels good about the momentum volunteers, staff and the community have built.

“We’ve made a lot of progress,” she said. “It’s all the things you can’t see behind the scenes when you’re gearing up to build a facility like this.”

If you’re anxious for a preview of the museum, GRCM has partnered with Great River Regional Library on a set of traveling sneak-peek exhibit experiences currently planned for 21 libraries. The exhibits will be feature rotating experiences what you see one week at the library will be different the next week at the same library, Miles said.

These exhibits will start in May in Annandale. The first cohort of exhibits will be hosted at Annandale, Richmond, Paynesville, Clearwater, Becker, Pierz and Swanville.

This article was edited to include the correct number of exhibits planned for the Great River Children’s Museum.

Sarah Kocher is the business reporter for the St. Cloud Times. Reach her at 320-255-8799 or skocher@stcloudtimes.com. Follow her on Twitter .

Support local journalism. Subscribe to sctimes.com today.

Great River Childrens Museum

  • EIN: 30-0716191
  • Children’s Museums
  • Nonprofit Tax Code Designation: 501 Defined as: Organizations for any of the following purposes: religious, educational, charitable, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition , or the prevention of cruelty to children or animals.
  • Donations to this organization are tax deductible.
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Not Your Everyday Play: Our Adventures At Acm And Aam

Last week, museum staff ventured out to attend the Association of Childrens Museums and the American Alliance of Museums conferences as a way to connect with other museums and gain more insight about the ever-changing industry.

Program and Outreach Manager, Kylie headed off to St. Louis, Missouri for InterActivity 2022 ACM annual conference. This years theme, PLAY The Long Game, explored how to adjust to todays dynamics, while also preparing for the future of serving the many generations of children and families ahead. It was held at the St. Louis Childrens Museum, also known as The Magic House. The conference included an emerging museums track, which was especially beneficial to us in our pre-construction state.

Kylie teamed up with Exhibit Designer, Betsy Loring, of expLoring exhibits & engagement and Game and Experience Designer, Greg Trefry, of Gigantic Mechanic to host a session on Role Play Games in museum settings and how it can help to spark childrens creativity and encourage collaboration. Kylie shared ideas around how RPGs can expand programming for older children in a childrens museum setting. Since there are many other benefits to RPGs like imaginative learning and communication skills, they can be adjusted to use for a variety of audiences.

Business Master File Data

2019 Linn-Mar’s HiStyle Treble Prep Show Choir at Great River

Below are some key data points from the Exempt Organization IRS Business Master File for this organization. Learn more about the BMF on the IRS website


Activity data not reported from the IRS

Foundation Status:

Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public 170


Independent – the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary .

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Coming To Central Minnesota

Help us open our doors at Great River Childrens Museum to open worlds of exploration and discovery for families in our region. Show your support and give securely online today.

Together, with our community we are working to develop a place where every child and their caring adults can create, explore, discover and be inspired through the extraordinary power of play. In the process, the museum will serve as a life source to strengthen families, build community connections, and increase the value of our local economies.

The museum will reside in downtown St. Cloud, thanks to Liberty Banks $1.4 million donation of its building.

The museums Board of Directors is working with experienced museum planners and architects to transform the 25,000 square foot space into one that celebrates the rich, natural elements of Central Minnesota. The dynamic and varied experiences, exhibits, and environments explore rivers, cultures, woods, and clouds.

Great River Childrens Museum is a non-profit organization and a member of the Association of Childrens Museums.

$7 Million From The State

The physical efforts of creating a children’s museum are coupled with a continued push for funding. As of this year, that effort includes a bill introduced to the state Legislature intended to appropriate funds for children’s museums in Greater Minnesota.

Local legislators Rep. Dan Wolgamott, D-St. Cloud Rep. Lisa Demuth, R-Cold Spring and Rep. Tama Theis, R-St. Cloud, have expressed support for the effort in the House Sen. Aric Putnam, D-St. Cloud, has supported the accompanying Senate bill.

Of the $32 million mentioned in the bills, $7 million would go to the Great River Children’s Museum in fiscal year 2023 as a one-time appropriation. A paired bill, asking for money for Rochester’s children’s museum, brings the total to $36 million but was separated due to building ownership logistics.

As it stands, one children’s museum in the state gets a direct annual appropriation. Miles sees value in that, and would like to see others receive similar funding.

Great River Children’s Museum is working with the Greater Minnesota Children’s Museum Coalition, and all seven members are asking for funding from the state. Miles said six of the museums received a one-time appropriation from the Legislature last session, but that the museums would like to see that continue.

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“There’s kind of a gap in funding for children’s museums in Greater Minnesota,” Wolgamott said.

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The Form 990 is a document that nonprofit organizations file with the IRS annually. We leverage finance and accountability data from it to form Encompass ratings. .

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Impact & Results

This score estimates the actual impact a nonprofit has on the lives of those it serves, and determines whether it is making good use of donor resources to achieve that impact.

Impact & Results Score

$1 Million Anderson Gift Drives Great River Childrens Museum Closer To Opening Doors And Opening Worlds

Great River Children

Sponsorship of river exhibit keeps museum plans flowing

St. CLOUD Barbara and Rollie Anderson have announced a personal $1 million dollar pledge to Great River Childrens Museum for sponsorship of the Great River exhibit.

Weve always said family is the most important thing, Rollie explained. Great River Childrens Museum will be a welcome addition to Central Minnesota as a space for families to explore, discover and learn together, and were proud to be a part of its development.

The Andersons have a deep history of strengthening families in our region through their work with Early Childhood Family Education, service, community engagement, and history of generosity with Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota, CentraCare, and Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity, to name a few.

Were honored to deepen the sense of community in our region by sharing our wonderful heritage and history of life along the river with families, Barbara said. Great River Childrens Museum will deliver on the importance of children having an opportunity for hands-on learning experiences.

GRCM currently is in the fund-raising phase of museum development. At the same time, the organization is working with three professional exhibit design firms to finalize core museum exhibits.

The Andersons join the Coborn Family Foundation as the museums first two exhibit sponsors.

About Great River Childrens Museum

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Coming Soon To St Cloud: Great River Childrens Museum

by BadCat Digital | Aug 21, 2021 | Uncategorized |

This will be the first of three blogs dedicated exclusively to our work with the new Great River Childrens Museum, located in downtown St. Cloud. This particular blog will discuss who Great River Childrens Museum and the community outreach they are targeting.

Now and again, a project comes along that generates a buzz around the BCI office and our community. Of course, we take pride in every project that we work on and do our absolute best to create lasting, beautiful solutions for our clients, but some are especially close to our hearts. For example, the work we have done for Anna Maries Alliance and Tri-County Humane Societys new facility was especially impactful.

We are excited to announce our next great venture. BCI Construction has been awarded the Construction Manager Role for the new Great River Childrens Museum, in downtown St. Cloud.

And Were Rolling Rolling With The River

Kiddos will set a course for adventure as they head downstream on the Great River. This exhibit celebrates and teaches about the importance of water as habitat, a means of transportation for commerce as well as a sacred resource and lifeline for our communities.

On Oct. 9, 2021, Great River Childrens Museum board members and committee volunteers were wowed with the second round of design schematics for the museums core exhibits. At the Great River, museum visitors will hear and read stories about relationships with the river throughout history.

A massive water table flows with ample space for boat races, movement of goods, building locks, dams and more.Humans arent the only ones who live along the banks of the Mighty Mississippi, and families can get deep into the weeds to learn more about critical habitats and the critters who call the river home. With rapids, beaver dams and a water wheel, rest assured, kiddos will get wet! And theres so much fun in that!

Great River Childrens Museum would like to thank Barbara and Rollie Anderson for sponsoring this exhibit.


To learn more about sponsorship or corporate partnerships, please contact Executive DirectorCassie Miles at

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Connecting With Childrens Museums In Greater Minnesota

During 2021, we focused on building relationships and partnerships that will strengthen our ability to serve Central Minnesota families when our doors open. Establishing collaborative relationships with childrens museums across the state was a top priority and an effective way to spread our mission beyond our region.

Thus, the Greater Minnesota Childrens Museum Coalition was formed. We are joined by 7 other childrens museums across Minnesota to make a difference in the lives of children and their caring adults throughout the entire state.

Greater Minnesota Childrens Museum Coalition members will serve nearly 500,000 guests annually, capturing visitors from nearly 100% of the states 87 counties. The coalition includes Otter Cove Childrens Museum, the Childrens Museum of Southern Minnesota, Duluth Childrens Museum, Spark Childrens Museum, and more. We aim to focus on the areas surrounding the Twin Cities that may not receive as much support.

Our goal is to raise the voice of childrens museums to:

  • Reveal the impact childrens museums have on early childhood development
  • Strengthen bonds between children, their caring adults, and our shared communities
  • Increase cross-cultural competency through early exposure to diverse ideas, perspectives, and backgrounds
  • Drive economic development and improve quality of life of families in the regions we serve
  • Bridge the gap in funding for childrens museums in greater Minnesota
  • Drive tourism to Greater Minnesota

How To Get To The Childrens Museum

Toms River Library Tour – Children’s Program

The Childrens Museum is located at The Forks, in the heart of downtown Winnipeg.

to open a new window with a Google map of The Forks area.

Visitors can reach The Forks on Waterfront Drive from Pioneer or Water Avenue and through three entrances off Main Street, including:

  • Via the Fort Gibraltar Trail at the foot of the Bridge of The Old Forts on Main Street
  • Through the underpass just south of Union Station
  • Through The Forks underpass at Main Street and York Avenue

A. Walking & Biking

Pedestrian and bicycle access is available along the Riverwalk and other pathways. Bicycle commuters can plan their bike route using any of the four main Active Transportation Routes to The Forks, and can then find free bicycle parking at a number of locations as indicated on this Bicycle Parking Map courtesy of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ.

B. Driving & Parking

Complimentary parking is now available through FNP Parking while visiting the Childrens Museum!Simply register your license plate number with an Admissions Attendant after you check-in at the Childrens Museum for a maximum of 3 hours of free parking onsite at The Forks.

C. Public Transportation

There is public transit service available to The Forks with the #38 Salter route via Winnipeg Transit. Call the Transit information line at 204.986.5700 for further details.

D. Boating & Splash Dash Water Bus Service

Free three-hour docking at the main bay of docks on the Assiniboine River is available for those arriving by boat and canoe.

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Experimenting With Imaginative Play At Camp Beyond

As the museum begins to take shape through the exhibit design process, so too are the programming components of the museum.

Museums are so much more than just the building and the exhibits themselves. Great River Childrens Museum plans on having additional, hands-on learning experiences including field trips and summer camps.

At the beginning of August I was able to run a pilot summer camp program. I named this experiment Camp Beyond, because what I wanted was us to think past what traditional summer camps at museums often look like. I combined three different elements together for the curriculum of Camp Beyond practicing social emotional learning skills, hands-ons imaginative play, and TableTop Role Playing Games.

What resulted was a week of absolute joy as I watched a group of campers work together through a series of challenges that culminated in overcoming a challenge and a pizza party at the park!

Over the course of the week GRCM hosted 10 Adventurers , they were broken into groups of five and were led through various activities by their Adventure Guides . The various activities included building a world narrative together, making a character and costume, building a cardboard fort, and lastly defeating the bad guy plaguing their world.

Youre invited to sponsor an exhibit

On July 20, 2021, our exhibit designers shared their vision with museum board members and volunteers as well as our construction partner BCI.

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