Today, the Louisiana Children’s Museum announced that they have completed their goal of $45.5 million, and plan to initiate the construction phase of the New Louisiana Children Museum located at City Park.
According to Julia Webb Bland, the CEO of the Louisiana Children’s Museum, the museum raised $17 million from over 330 private sponsors during its “Takes it Outside” campaign. The additional $28 million was funded through city, state and private initiatives.
The New Museum will feature five new exhibit galleries, and literacy center, a poet and teacher resource center, and edible garden, a sensory garden and a full-service cafe.
City and state officials attended today’s press conference to express their excitement about the upcoming project. Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who was present at the reopening of the Louisiana Children’s Museum after Hurricane Katrina, said that the new museum is quintessential to New Orleans youth.
"This particular project brings together a partnership between City Park and children, which is essentially necessary for what it is we need,” Landrieu said.
Mayor Landrieu said that early childhood education has not received the attention that it deserves, and this new museum will change that.
“You have private sector, public sector, not-for-profits, you have a lot of things coming together not just to build a museum, but to build a space that actually going to provide a foundation so that the kids have a great future. That’s the model that is going to make New Orleans a success,” he said.
Parking and accessibility has been a concern at the 420 Julia Street location, according to Louisiana Children’s Museum officials. In response to its move, Councilmember Susan G. Guidry says the new location will ensure the museum will have a wide impact across the city.
“Now, to be able to have these programs, these exhibits, and educational opportunities in the open area, in the middle of the city where every mom and every dad can come without any cost or any concern with how to pay for parking, or how to get their children from the car to the museum,” Councilmemeber Guidry said.
“This will be so accessible to every parent in the city. And, I think that is its biggest draw: it will be there for all of our people of all needs,” she added.
The Louisiana Children’s Museum originally opened in 1986 and has been serving New Orleans over 30 years. Though, the museum has conducted several satellite operations throughout the city, including Central City and various schools. The new Louisiana Children’s museum is expected to be completed by 2018, which is also New Orleans 300th anniversary.
Stay tuned for additional information and renderings on the new Louisiana Children’s Museum located at City Park.