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CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF WINSTON-SALEM AND SCIWORKS TO MERGE

The boards of directors of the Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem and SciWorks announced that the two organizations will merge effective July 1, 2016, with the possibility of eventually combining museum operations into a single, larger building in downtown Winston-Salem that would transform the visitor experience.

The merger unites two fiscally sound organizations with complementary missions, engaged boards, and strong fundraising track records. By combining resources, the new organization has the opportunity to reduce costs, offer better visitor access, expand educational programming and better pursue a combined mission: “Inspiring wonder, curiosity, and lifelong learning in our children and community through interactive play and discovery.”

“SciWorks, founded more than 50 years ago in Reynolda Village as the Nature Science Center, has been a popular attraction for multiple generations of visitors and currently attracts almost 100,000 visitors each year,” said SciWorks Executive Director Paul Kortenaar. “Similarly, the Children’s Museum has served a generation of families well since it opened more than a decade ago. However, the SciWorks building is in a somewhat inconvenient location for much of the city and will require a substantial investment for repairs and improvements, and the Children’s Museum is in need of more space. Together, our two museums are prepared to serve a new generation from a site that is centrally located and easily accessible.”

“The new organization will expand on both museums’ commitment to developing exhibits and programs that provide authentic educational experiences grounded in research-based pedagogy,” said Children’s Museum Executive Director Elizabeth Dampier. “The combined museum will remain focused on our key themes of literacy and science but would offer much greater programming.”

A possible new museum in downtown Winston-Salem could become a major destination that can compete with similar museums in Charlotte, Greensboro and other cities. “This is an incredibly exciting time for Paul, me and our museum staffs, and we are excited by the energy that is being generated by the merger,” Dampier said.

ACTION GREENSBORO ANNOUNCES SPARK FUND MICRO-GRANTS

Action Greensboro, in partnership with Downtown Greensboro Inc., recently announced three Spark micro-grants recipients. Spark Fund grants are aimed to support unexpected, fun and exciting projects in Downtown Greensboro with an effort to create buzz and community involvement.

Micro-grants will be made to the following projects:

Westerwood Neighborhood Beautification Mural: The Westerwood Neighborhood Association, Inc. will install a colorful, positive mural on the side of the Greensboro College theater shop building in the Westerwood neighborhood, directly adjacent to the path of the future Downtown Greenway.

“As a historic Downtown ring neighborhood located along Greensboro’s future Downtown Greenway, the installation of a mural at this location will enhance the experience of neighbors and visitors alike. We’re excited to use this gift to help create a unique sense of place in one of Westerwood’s most interesting corners,” said the Association’s President Jeff Nimmer.

Selfies with Spoonboy: “Selfies with Spoonboy” involves the production of several customized inflatables of the Weatherspoon’s “mascot” Spoonboy, in conjunction with its 75th Anniversary year in 2016. The inflatables will be taken to various locations throughout downtown and extensions of downtown.

“I’m thrilled that our “Selfies with Spoonboy” project has been awarded a SPARK grant,” said Nancy Doll, Director of Weatherspoon. “It will help spread awareness of the Weatherspoon–one of Greensboro’s major cultural resources–to new venues and audiences. And it will be fun!” Reconsidered Goods Pop Up Shop: The Reconsidered Goods Pop Up Shop will be a new, month long creative reuse green initiative. It will be aligned with Earth Day events and open to the public for four consecutive weekends. The Pop Up Shop will offer free hands-on activity for visitors and families to enjoy while exploring the downtown area.

“This SPARK grant will allow Reconsidered Goods to raise awareness of the positive impact that a creative reuse center can have on our city,” said Paige Cox, Director of Reconsidered Goods.

The next deadline for Spark Fund microgrants is April 13, 2016. The application is available online at actiongreensboro. org. !

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