On November 3 The City of Indian Wells unanimously approved allocating $25,000 toward The Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert (CDMoD)’s reIMAGINATION campaign, making them the third of the Valley’s Cities to give their financial support. The City of Indian Wells 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 as well as a bit of history.
Indian Wells City Council Member Greg Sanders initiated the motion to support the $25,000 donation stating, “First of all, I think that the Children’s Discovery Museum is deserving of some support from the city. I say that because if you haven’t noticed the business models of our two major hotels here have evolved. They are now catering to families, as before they were catering primarily to the business community and that’s no longer the case. So, for all those attractions in the desert that attract families here, it’s in our self-interest to assist them because the more people that come here, the more people to stay in hotels, the greater transient occupancy tax revenues we generate.”
“We are so grateful to the City of Indian Wells for their generous support of the Museum. We are in a very similar scenario as we were 25 years ago. We had big ideas and a big vision, and we needed financial support. The Cove Communities were there for us then and have stepped up once again. We are an economic driver, encouraging families to visit the Coachella Valley and fill our hotels and resorts like those in Indian Wells.” Cindy Burreson, CEO CDMoD. “We are hopeful that as we request funding from other Valley cities, the support of Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage and Indian Wells 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, corporate donations 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 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 www.cdmod.org. Checks may be mailed to CDMoD 71-701 Gerald Ford Drive, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270.
ABOUT THE CHILDREN’S DISCOVERY MUSEUM OF THE DESERT:
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.