Children's Museum

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Children's Museum Joins Wonder Collective

21 institutions launch “Wonder Collective,” designed to enrich families

As families begin the ritual of planning their summer vacations, 21 of America’s most prestigious and respected museums and attractions are embarking on a new venture to  make the extraordinary available to everyone.

Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh has joined the “Wonder Collective,” a consortium that covers a national map, allowing a unique set of offerings through children’s museums,  science centers, zoos and aquaria, botanical gardens, historic attractions, and music and art institutions.

"Nothing currently exists that approaches the scope and diversity of the combined collections of the 21 inaugural members of the Wonder Collective," said founding member Jeffery Patchen, President and CEO of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. “Until now, it has been difficult for a family to learn about, visit and enjoy the host of truly family-friendly cultural institutions in the US. The creation of the Wonder Collective represents the first time major institutions have come together to reach families eager for quality affordable learning experiences for children and adults. We look forward to growing the consortium in the months and years ahead."

Armed with polling data and trends identified by family travel experts, the consortium was established to meet the needs of American families yearning for affordable, educational and intergenerational family experiences beyond highly marketed commercial attractions. Early support for marketing the assets of the consortium will come through a partnership with Gannett and its broad array of media outlets – print, broadcast, digital – which together will bring new value-laden opportunities for families nationwide.

The Wonder Collective creates a new consumer market defined as intergenerational, attracting a population ranging from newborns to baby boomers. Members offer families
an opportunity to have fun and learn together and create lasting memories. The consortium will work together to create innovative and substantive online activities through social media and mobile platforms.

“The bar was set high for quality and visitor experience as the consortium was created,” said (institution representative.) “We firmly believe that our institutions can transform the
lives of children and families, create unique memories and offer the opportunity for family members through several generations to learn and share experiences together at
an unparalleled value.”

In total, the 21 founding consortium members account for more than 16 million visitors each year, with combined membership beyond 450,000 members. Their operating budgets top $725 million. With institutions in 10 of the top 25 Designated Marketing Areas, and a total population pool of more than 31 million, the organizations offer a diverse range of programs and collections to visitors.

“We wanted to join the Wonder Collective because of its philosophy to provide unique and once-in-a-lifetime experiences for children and families,” said (institution representative.) “Families say they want to be empowered to learn together and to experience fun adventures built around a collection of star attractions that offer something for everyone, and we are prepared to respond to this need through a cooperative venture of great attractions.”

Founding members of the “Wonder Collective” include:
· Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (Springfield, Illinois)
· American Folk Art Museum (New York, New York)
· Atlanta History Center (Atlanta, Georgia)
· B&O Railroad Museum (Baltimore, Maryland)
· Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, Alabama)
· The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis (Indianapolis, Indiana)
· Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
· Colonial Williamsburg (Williamsburg, Virginia)
· Denver Botanic Gardens (Denver, Colorado)
· EMP Museum (Seattle, Washington)
· George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate, Museum & Gardens (Mt. Vernon, Virginia)
· The Heard Museum (Phoenix, Arizona)
· The Henry Ford (Dearborn, Michigan)
· Kentucky Horse Park (Lexington, Kentucky)
· National Constitution Center (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
· National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (Dubuque, Iowa)
· National Railroad Museum (Green Bay, Wisconsin)
· Please Touch Museum (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
· Saint Louis Science Center (St. Louis, Missouri)
· San Diego Zoo (San Diego, California)
· Tennessee Aquarium (Chattanooga, Tennessee)

The consortium was organized with the belief that, given recent trends in family destination travel, institutions that provide authentic learning experiences for families and have extraordinary collections can work cooperatively to serve intergenerational audiences. The consortium has the potential to respond to a new market demand for experiences that go beyond what the more commercial market offers for families, yielding individual and societal benefits that are multifaceted and rich.

For more information about the Consortium, contact Josh Lohmer at Marmillion + Company, jl@mcopr.com, or by calling 720-279-7578.