City of Palm Desert Approves $150,000 in Funding to Support Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert

June 16, 2022

RANCHO MIRAGE (June 16, 2022) – On June 9th the City of Palm Desert unanimously approved allocating $150,000 toward The Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert (CDMoD)’s reIMAGINATION campaign, making them the second city to give financial support.  The City of Palm Desert is part of the Cove Communities which was an integral part of funding to open the Museum 25 years ago.  Several city council members reflected on the importance of the Museum in our community and shared a bit of history.


The museum is a “wonderful and important resource” for the valley, Mayor Pro Tem Sabby Jonathan said. “It was on a lifeline several years ago, pre-COVID19,” when he served on the board as the city’s liaison. “They were concerned about the next dollar for operating expenses the next day. It was that dire,” Jonathan said. “I believe that what is happening now is a rebirth, a reimagination of a very important resource and as a city we have to contribute to the potential for their success in pursuing this goal.”


Councilmember Karina Quintanilla is the city’s current liaison to the museum and said she has seen the progress made under Burreson’s direction. “Cindy Burreson has been absolutely amazing how she’s been able to become a tornado and swirl funding and get partnerships everywhere…,” Quintanilla said.


“We are so grateful to the City of Palm Desert for their generous support of the Museum and the families that live in their city.  36% of our visitors come from Palm Desert and this support shows how much the city values the Museum and realizes the impact it has on the children of Palm Desert and our Valley.  We are also grateful for the support and feedback of Councilwoman Quintanilla as our Board Member.  Her fresh ideas for programming and community outreach are appreciated.” Cindy Burreson, CEO CDMoD.  “We are hopeful that as we request funding from other Valley cities, the support of Palm Desert and Rancho Mirage will have an impact.”


With a goal of raising $3 million to reopen, the museum has already passed the halfway mark, with a diversity of funding sources and community support that includes grants, major gifts from individual donors, grassroots gifts, and support from the City of Rancho Mirage and the City of Palm Desert.


The Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert has been closed since March of 2020. The Re-IMAGINATION campaign is a multi-phase capital campaign to replace the original exhibits and reopen the museum. At the time when the pandemic forced the museum’s closure, 85% of the organization’s income had been coming from memberships, admissions, and gift sales. With no visitors to provide revenue, the museum had little choice but to suspend operations and lay off staff.


During that time of uncertainty, the board conducted introspective conversations about what it would take to not just re-open the museum, but to renew the organization for decades to come. The bold decision was made to create a full-scale revitalization and mount a capital campaign in order to restore this treasured community resource which the matching grant will help support.

The Children’s Discovery Museum is a space which allows children to experience joy and laughter, to make happy memories with their families, and forget about the grown-up problems of the world.  It gives children a place to explore, imagine, learn, and express in creative ways.  Children’s museums, in general, are popular, yet neutral, sources of information, attract a diverse cross-section of people and provide shared experiences through interpretative and interactive exhibits. They are uniquely positioned to help reverse stigma and discrimination. In a time when the world is faced with trauma, the presence of a strong children’s museum in the desert community will provide a safe-haven to help families re-establish the normalcy of childhood.


Community members are invited to make donations. All efforts are welcome. Please give today by visiting Checks may be mailed to CDMoD 71-701 Gerald Ford Drive, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270.

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The Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert is a valuable community resource for children and families to experience the joy of learning about themselves and the world around them. The museum inspires personal growth by engaging curiosity and creativity through hands-on explorations of exhibits and programs. Learning: The Museum values being a space which nurtures thoughtful, hands-on learning in a creative and engaging environment that celebrates learning as an innately joyful activity. Family: The Museum values being a place where multigenerational family members can grow their relationships through comfortably exploring, sharing, and learning together. Community: The Museum values being a community resource and a welcoming safe space where people of all ages and backgrounds can come together to share experiences while learning about themselves and the world about them.