This Saturday from 7 – 11 PM is Ignite the Night, one of the Mississippi Children’s Museum’s signature annual fundraising events. This year, the adults-only party will be a celebration of the Birthplace of America’s Music – from Delta Blues, to church choir gospel, to hill country and Gulf Coast rock, Mississippi music will take center stage. There will be festive food, great music and fun activities including photo booths with quirky costumes, mystery guests and creative cocktails! To truly appreciate the event, however, it helps to know the history of the museum that its proceeds support.
In 1994 the Mississippi Children’s Museum was created “from the urgent need to improve the health, literacy and
well-being of Mississippi’s children.” A group of dedicated volunteers from the community came together to create the Museum in hopes of educating children through innovative and creative methods.
Almost ten years later, the Junior League of Jackson took on the Children’s Museum as their second signature project. They led a statewide team of educational partners, community and business leaders, elected officials, parents, volunteers, children and nationally recognized children’s museum experts to develop and undertook a $26.6 million capital campaign to build the one-of-a-kind museum we see today.
It was not until December 2010, that the 40,000 square foot museum opened its doors. Inside houses five galleries of educational, interactive exhibits and enriching weekly programs that focus on literacy; health and nutrition; the cultural arts; science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and Mississippi heritage. In 2014, they opened their Literacy Garden on the sixth, outdoor floor. This floor encourages early language and reading skills development as well as showcases exquisite and unique landscape architecture.
The mission of the museum is to provide children with the desire to learn, discover and have a thirst for knowledge. As children utilize all the resources that the museum provides for them it allows people of all backgrounds to discover and achieve their potential in a variety of fields. With fun events happening every day, it comes as no surprise that the Children’s Museum is a constant topic with an average of 225,000 visitors annually from all fifty U.S. states, every county in Mississippi and several foreign countries.