We are so grateful for the work that you and the Chamber are doing to support educational opportunities for children and the advancement of arts and cultural institutions in the area. And we thank you for recognizing the hard work Kidspace is doing for the community. We are hoping that you might be able to help us get the word out to your members about sponsorship of one of our upcoming Free Family Nights.
This year has been remarkable for Kidspace. After opening the award-winning Galvin Physics Forest, we ended the year with our second best attendance in history with 255,522 guests. Everyone has been inspired to keep this upward trajectory going, and so we are on track to break that attendance record this year. In fact, we are anticipating welcoming our 2 millionth guest to this location before the year is over!
The Board of Directors and staff have outlined a comprehensive roll out of several more new exhibits that will continue to help reinvigorate the Museum and its constituency. In the fall, we will be opening The Imagination Workshop. Leveraging the very popular “maker movement” spreading across the country through formal and informal education alike, this will be a space for guests to design, build, demolish, investigate, and create whatever their imagination can dream up. We will have daily design challenges and offer children the real world tools to build a mini-robot or their own ukulele, for example. We will proudly display anyone’s creation who wants to share and be a permanent part of Kidspace. We are embracing the idea of children becoming co-curators of their museum experience. Then in the spring of 2014, we will be renovating our very popular Early Childhood Learning Center into a unique space that will combine the best of early childhood education pedagogy with new developments in environmental education. The space and the programs we currently offer have been in huge demand, and we feel that this is a piece of our constituency that deserves the best experience we can offer them.
Free Family Nights
All of these new initiatives have increased enthusiasm for our signature programs. None has benefitted more than our Free Family Nights, and the staff remains dedicated to enhancing the program any way we can. We know economic stresses have reduced the amount of discretionary spending for many families. To provide affordable, engaging, educational and entertaining opportunities for children and families, Kidspace offers Free Family Night on the first Tuesday of the month (except September) from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Families of all sizes are treated to the full menu of a regular day at Kidspace – animal encounters, story time, special Explorations of our various exhibits – as well as special cultural and artistic performances all free of charge. Demand for these events has skyrocketed, and we are managing right now until we can figure out a way to either add more events, more hours, or some other addition to our free programming. Although with our current trends and the upcoming new additions, we suspect those.
The goals of the Museum’s Free Family Night Program include promoting family learning and expanding cultural and artistic opportunities for underserved families, communicating cultural traditions and artistic disciplines that reflect the diversity of Southern California, and supporting local artists and art organizations. Each Free Family Night showcases artistic disciplines and diverse cultural traditions through live dance, storytelling, poetry, musical performances, and art projects. Examples of the various events that take place during Free Family Night include “African Traditions” featuring storytelling through dance and music; “Philippine Culture” in partnership with the Kayamanan Ng Lahi Philippine Folk Arts Group; and “Family Theater Night” presenting child-friendly adaptations of classical and Broadway theater by the Pasadena Playhouse performers. These festive evenings also include hands-on workshops that teach children about the techniques behind the art forms being presented during the night’s activities, and art projects that complement the featured performance and culture of the evening.
In July, we welcomed 2,400 people on Free Family Night, and last week we had more than 2,700 people in those four hours at our August event! It is wonderful to see the diversity of people coming through the door, not just in ethnicity but also in age, family size, and more. These are great events for family gatherings where grandparents and aunts and others can get together with the kids. Older siblings, who probably wouldn’t normally pick Kidspace as a destination, come along to play with little brothers and sisters. Parents arrive after work to meet the family for dinner, the performance, and educational play time. It’s busy but the energy is contagious. We could not be more pleased that so many people are finding their way to Kidspace on these nights.
While attendance of course varies throughout the year, almost every month is outperforming the previous year. The great Southern California weather gives families every reason to come by and check it out even for an hour or so. The demographic data we gather shows that Pasadena representation is strong but that people are attending these events from all over Southern California. And in general, our population very much represents your average family household in terms of economics with more than half falling at or below the median income levels. Events like this are very important to us as we want the Kidspace experience and the chance to learn and play to be offered to as many children as possible. And with our new exhibit offerings we will have great new programming to tie in and market each month in the year to come.
To keep these events going we need support and sponsorship from foundations, corporations, service organizations, and local leadership. Each event costs the Museum $5,000 to host. By donating these funds, your office would be supporting an important nonprofit organization as well as providing for the enrichment of your constituents lives. We have three Free Family Nights remaining on the 2013 calendar and full sponsorship and full recognition for sponsors is still available for all three events. While fall events usually elicit a smaller turnout than the summer they are no less important to the Museum. We would be honored to have your office included at any of them.
Sponsorships will be featured prominently in all print, online and on-site publicity. We have a significant online following through our membership and regular patrons and a strong relationship with local and regional media. Sponsors are welcome to set up a table or booth at the Museum during the evening. Kidspace welcomes the opportunity for cross-marketing with community and business partners to promote programs and events relevant to both parties audiences. And we would be happy to supply your office with a number of Family Passes to use at your discretion for admission to the Museum on other days.
I would be happy to answer any questions or you can contact our Director of Development, Erica Blodgett at (626) 449-9144, ext 5211 or email@example.com, about securing the details of this sponsorship opportunity. We have every reason to believe that we will continue this upward trend we are on and with that we want to be of as much benefit to our community as possible. We have done significant strategic planning to keep the momentum going. Kidspace is claiming its spot as the premier children’s museum in Southern California, and we hope that you can find a way to support this work and join us in a mutually beneficial partnership.
Michael Shanklin, CEO