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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Surviving and Thriving in Challenging Times

New exhibits and programs plus community support add up to steady growth at
Lied Discovery Children’s Museum

December 10, 2009 – LAS VEGAS – This year will go down as one of the most challenging in the history of Las Vegas and the state of Nevada. But for Lied Discovery Children’s Museum, a nonprofit educational institution serving Southern Nevada children and families, 2009 was a year of growth, change and success.

The addition of new permanent exhibits such as The Green Village, a mini-city with an environmental awareness, and It’s Your Choice, focused on health and nutrition, combined with popular traveling exhibitions Adventures With Clifford The Big Red Dog and Grossology: The (Impolite) Science of the Human Body sparked greater community interest in the museum, located in Downtown Las Vegas’ Cultural Corridor.

The results: Attendance for the museum’s fiscal year (July ’08 through June ’09) reached 106,668, an increase of 23 percent over the previous year. The museum experienced greater success as 2009 stretched on, including record-breaking visitation during Spring Break and the summer months. Since April, attendance has improved over last year by an incredible 50 percent.

“We are celebrating another exceptional year due to a wide range of improvements that have allowed us to better serve the community,” Executive Director Linda Quinn said. “Our new programs and exhibits are part of a very thoughtful plan, our strategy to continue to pursue our mission. We are so happy to see that planning blossom into positive results.”

Programming extended beyond the museum’s doors in 2009. Torn From Home: My Life as a Refugee, a ground-breaking human rights exhibition created by Lied Discovery Children’s Museum in 2008, began its North American tour in the spring. In the fall, the museum fortified its local education connection with the launch of House Calls, a health science outreach program that takes unique curriculum straight to Southern Nevada classrooms.

The museum was recognized for excellence in 2009. Once again, Las Vegas Review-Journal readers selected Lied Discovery Children’s Museum as Best Museum in the newspaper’s annual Best of Las Vegas awards. Nickelodeon’s Parents Connect website honored the museum in the Parents’ Picks Awards, and Las Vegas Weekly named it Best Place to Take the Kids in the Vegas’ Best issue. The museum was a finalist in the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce Biz E Awards.

The times may be tough. But armed with enhanced facilities and programs, staff and board members are confident the generosity of museum supporters will continue, paving the way for more progress.

“We have come a long way and we are very grateful to the many individuals and organizations who have supported our efforts to return this institution to greatness,” Board of Trustees President Judy Cebulko said. “It is in honor of those that founded it so many years ago that we proudly steward this effort. It is so exciting to see our dream for the children and families in our community become a reality, especially in light of such difficult times, and we are striving to provide them with a fun, educational way to spend quality time together when they need it most.”

In 2010, Lied Discovery Children’s Museum will celebrate 20 years of educating and inspiring Las Vegas. For more information, visit www.ldcm.org.

posted by Brian Paco Alvarez, Curator and Chronicler of Culture at


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