As the four stories of Explore & More's new $29 million home take shape at Canalside, the children's museum has launched its first crowdfunding effort to help shape its inside.
Marketing Director Jeannine Weber Kahabka says Explore & More is preparing to install new exhibits at its Canalside site in December. While much of the fundraising to date has comes from corporate sponsors or other large donors, this new crowdfunding effort allows individuals to help create an exhibit.
'"What can I do to help' is such a common question that people ask of us and this is the opportunity for the community to come together," Kahabka says. "Our crowdfunding campaign is going to be six weeks. We have a wonderful video that explains a little bit about the exhibit that we're focusing on for this crowdfunding campaign and how people with as little as $10 can be part of that larger-picture vision."
Kahabka says the goal is to raise $100,000 over six weeks to bring the exhibit "Lighting Buffalo's Imagination" to life.
"This particular exhibit is all about innovators, creators and dreamers from Western New York and helping us learn about our roots and our history and our waterfront," she says. "Really, the whole museum is teaching us more deeply about ourselves and helping our children have that community pride. It's really helping the children see themselves as innovators."
She says visitors can expect a "huge STEM component" to all of its exhibits.
"We're like an informal educational institution and study after study has shown that children learn through play," she says. "Recent studies have shown that even one visit to a museum such as ours improves their test scores in third grade. It's actual, measurable. It opens up and creates brain synapses that may have laid latent otherwise and gone unexplored. It helps develops those interests."
The waterfront museum is slated for a spring 2019 grand opening.