Become a Part of Our Giving Tree!

Give the gift of play to a family in need this holiday season! Gifts of any amount will be added to our scholarship membership fund which provides free, one-year memberships to families that would not otherwise be able to experience the Museum & Theatre. All donations are tax-deductible. Donations of any amount are welcome and $95 funds an entire scholarship membership for one family for one year!

Make your gift in honor of a friend or family member and share the gift of play with someone special this holiday season.  We are happy to send a personalized holiday card to the recipient if you would like.

How It Works:

If you’re visiting the museum, simply remove an ornament from our giving tree and take it to the front desk to make your tax deductible donation. Then take the ornament with you and share it with a friend or family member to let them know that a donation has been made in their name! We can also mail an ornament to a recipient of your choice accompanied by a complimentary holiday card (see the Front Desk for details).

If you’d like to make a donation now, simply click here and choose the option that works best for you!

Thank You and Happy Holidays,

The Team of the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine

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Thank you for sharing the gift of play with families in need!

 

Our Fiscal Year 2015 Annual Report Is Now Online!

The Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine annual report for fiscal year 2015 is here. Thank you to all of our donors, business members, sponsors, members, volunteers, and visitors for making this one of our best years yet!

Click here to download a pdf copy from our website.

5th Annual 5% Day at Whole Foods Market on March 18th

Join our staff and volunteers as the Children’s Museum & Theatre takes over Whole Foods Market on Wednesday, March 18 for 5% Day!

Okay, we’re not actually taking over, but we will be on site all day to meet and greet customers, give out information about the Museum & Theatre and work on some fun, free craft projects. We’ll also be giving away four sets of free admission passes!

“We are so grateful to Whole Foods Market for their continued support of the Museum & Theatre,” said Executive Director, Suzanne Olson. “They have been a wonderful partner and helped us to maintain our commitment to serving our community by helping children and families make smart, healthy food choices.”

Whole Foods Market has been a major sponsor of the Museum & Theatre since 2010 and the exhibit they underwrite, the Our Town Market, is one of our most popular attractions. Every day, children “drive” to the bank to pick up some cash, pick out fresh seafood and milk among other pretend groceries at the Market, and take turns playing cashier and customer. In addition to being a place for endless daily fun, the tiny Whole Foods Market inside the museum encourages children to count, sort by size, quantity and color, and make healthy food choices as they play.

Thanks, Whole Foods Market, for helping to inspire five years of fun and learning at the Museum & Theatre, and for hosting 5% Day! We’ll be at Whole Foods Market in our red aprons throughout the day on March 18th (if you see us, come say hi!), but 5% Day lasts through the store’s open hours: 8am to 10pm. Every purchase that day, from a full pantry to a quick snack, helps us to provide top quality educational experiences every day at CMTM.

Whole Foods Market is located at 2 Somerset Street in Portland, just off of Franklin Arterial.

Our Own Model Citizens

Last week, we celebrated some new citizens of the US at a Naturalization service held in our Dress Up Theatre.

This week, we have heard news that one of our own, Board member and former Board president Barbee Gilman was recently featured in Old Port Magazine. This new publication currently has a feature called “Model Citizens,” and we are thrilled to see Barbee among some terrific company.

Congrats, Barbee, and thank you for all of your work here. And, thank you to Old Port Magazine for recognizing “Model Citizens!”

What’s Your Story?

WHAT’S YOUR STORY?

Make gratitude part of your story this holiday season! Celebrate play and learning by making a tax-deductible donation to the Museum & Theatre by December 31 and share the joy of giving back with your family.

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I was lucky to grow up in a philanthropic family. My parents always made charitable donations and they had a unique way of teaching my siblings and me about giving back. Each year, they would collect all the fundraising solicitations they had received during the year and put them in a pile on the dining room table. Then, the day after Thanksgiving, they would “give” each of us $50 to spend on the cause or causes of our choice. These weren’t big donations and they weren’t likely to change lives, but this simple family tradition taught us about giving without expecting anything in return but the joy and satisfaction of doing a good deed.

This year, I hope you’ll consider starting your own family tradition by making a gift to an organization that holds such happy memories for you and your children – the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine.

Our home on Free Street in Portland is a safe and fun space where children can climb on a pirate ship, build a giant fort, dress up as their favorite superhero, drive a fire truck, milk a cow, fly a space shuttle, harvest vegetables from our garden, touch a living sea star, drum, camp, read, sing, act and more.

Some people ask why we need to solicit donations when we charge for admission and memberships. The answer is simple: admissions, memberships, theater tickets and special events like our annual auction only cover 50% of our operating costs. We also believe that the Museum & Theatre should be accessible to all families regardless of their ability to pay so we provide free and reduced-price admissions to over 30% of our visitors each year. In order to keep the Museum & Theatre accessible and affordable, we use the money that we raise through grants, sponsorships and our annual fund campaign to make ends meet.

Please consider making an end-of-the-year gift to our annual fund today and celebrate play and learning!

Happy Giving!

Kyle

Need more inspiration? Watch Alisan talk about why she supports the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine.

Our Favorite Pizza Party of the Year on July 1st

We are so thrilled to announce one of our favorite yearly benefit events has gotten that much better with a new twist.

Please join us on Tuesday July 1st at Flatbread Company, located at 72 Commercial Street in Portland. For those of you who have never been, Flatbread Company’s homemade and handmade aesthetic is very similar to our own here at the Museum; use the best of what’s around, prepare it with thoughtfulness and ingenuity, and present with a smile.

Their dressed-down style, family-forward atmosphere, and waterfront location are perfect for a summer dinner, and we’ll be dining from 5pm – 10pm.

Flatbread is generously donating a portion of sales of every pizza sold to the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine. If you like their pizza as much as we do, you understand how exciting this is for us!

And, the twist? That night, we’ll announce a limited-time-only, special thank you gift for individuals and families who sign up for new Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine memberships this summer.

The Smallest Whole Foods Market & Our 5% Day

Whole Foods

Photo by Kaitlynn Perrault

Welcome to the smallest Whole Foods Market in the entire company!  Our exhibit in the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine may be small on space (a mere 211 sq ft!) but it is big on experience.  The colors and chalkboards were specifically chosen to mimic our Portland store, but in a miniature size.

I began my career as the Marketing Team Leader at the Portland store in 2007 when the store opened.  When I was dreaming up my marketing action plan, I secretly desired to have the grocery space at the CMTM but it was currently being utilized by another sponsor.  Imagine my surprise when two years later, I received a call from the Museum that the space is available and would Whole Foods Market like to sponsor it?  YES, PLEASE!!!

Several Portland team members were involved in the refurbishing of the space to have it resemble the Portland store; painting, ordering supplies, illustrating the chalkboards and imagining how the space would be best utilized. We also requested help from our regional décor team to find cute items (like the banana and the strawberry) to decorate the walls with and create a bench for parents to sit on while their kids “shopped”. One of our suppliers, Melissa & Doug had the most perfect kid-friendly faux fruit and veggies for our produce department. And the bakery? What can I say? I always want to chomp on one of those faux croissants.

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Photo by Olivia Birdsall

One of our core values is to satisfy and delight our customers.  At The Children’s Museum& Theatre of Maine, we have an opportunity to satisfy even the smallest and youngest with imagination and the chance to “shop” and “work” in a real grocery store. You can’t imagine how satisfying and delightful this is for us!

Don’t forget to shop at our real store, located at 2 Somerset Street on Tuesday, June 3rd when we will give 5% of the day’s net sales to the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine!

Please visit our website to learn more about what’s happening at our Portland store: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/portland-me

Barbara Gulino is the Marketing Team Leader for Whole Foods Market – Portland.  They are proud to provide charitable giving and community support to organizations that improve the lives of Maine citizens. 

TD Bank Volunteers for United Way Day of Caring

Thank you to our sponsors TD Bank for sending over some of their local employees to help out as part of United Way’s Day of Caring. They were awesome, energetic, and extremely productive! Thank you for the extra hands, folks.

Auction 2014: Thank You!

With beautiful views of the harbor, Ocean Gateway once again provided a fantastic location for our annual Auction. The biggest single fundraising event of the year, our Auction has long been a Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine tradition, bringing together over 350 friends of the organization to support our exhibits, theatre productions, family in need admissions and educational programming.

With great thanks to Auction Chair Dawn Gerding and the Auction Committee, everyone worked hard to provide hundreds of items available for bid on Friday, May 2nd. The evening was divided into two parts: attendees began arriving at 6:00pm for our Silent Auction, many of whom stayed for the Live Auction which ran from 9:00-10:00pm and concluded the event. Categories of items and gift certificates in the Silent Auction included For Her, For Him, Restaurants & Gourmet Foods and Fine Art – most of the items from which came from generous local establishments and artisans. Several Scholarship Memberships were bought throughout the evening as well, allowing us to continue providing free memberships to local families in need, as we take great pride in being available as a resource to all families in Portland and beyond.

Black Tie Catering provided a fantastic spread and two cash bars for Auction-goers and The Cookie Jar – of Cape Elizabeth – generously donated desserts for the evening, enjoyed while the evening shifted from the Silent to the Live Auction. Staff and volunteers worked hard from 8:30 in the morning until midnight – many thanks to Whole Foods Market, Anthony’s Italian Kitchen and Portland House of Pizza for providing food for our hard-working volunteers!

Many thanks to our Auction sponsors, Pierce Atwood LLP, MEMIC, WEX, Spectrum Medical Group and Berlin City Motor Group for making the Auction a remarkable evening, and to our generous in-kind and cash donors Baker Newman Noyes, Burr Signs, Deb Deatrick & Scott Vile, Steve & Christine Kelly, Moonlighting Production Services, The Cookie Jar, Pine State Services, Skelton, Taintor & Abbott and Thomaston Place Auction Galleries for helping to make the Auction a great success.

We thank our Board for their unyielding support – it was wonderful to see our Board Members on Auction night; we were also pleased to see past sponsors and members of the Board who continue to support our organization and our mission as we continue to provide unparalleled services in early childhood, science, multicultural and arts education within our broad community.

With a beautiful, picturesque spring Maine evening as a background, staff, Board, volunteers, Auction committee and Auction-goers all came together for a highly enjoyable event. All in all, the Auction was a great success – thank you to all who attended and to all who continue to support us here at the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine.

 5% Day at Whole Foods Market on June 3rd

If you’ve visited the first floor of the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine, you’ve probably seen visitors – children and adults alike – hard at play at our Whole Foods Market cash register, or picking out some healthy groceries from the Market shelves. On Tuesday, June 3rd, join us at the real Whole Foods Market on Somerset Street for our fourth annual 5% Day.

It’s one of our favorite days, hosted by the sponsor of the Museum’s popular Our Town grocery store: a chance to support the Museum & Theatre as you shop for groceries. 5% of all purchases at Whole Foods Market Portland will directly benefit our mission as we raise awareness and funds for early childhood education. And with summer just around the corner, it’s a great time to think about stocking up on seasonal fruits and fresh local veggies, about trying a new spread or picking out some summer favorites and selecting seeds and plants for your garden.

With each purchase you make at Whole Foods Market from 8am to 10pm on June 3rd, you’ll be supporting local arts and education, helping us develop and continue our broad range of educational programming. When you visit Whole Foods Market, you’ll be able to learn all about their healthy food options and meet staff members of the Museum & Theatre as  you shop – we’d love to talk with you about your favorite programs at the museum.

One thing we love about the Market here in the museum is the great sense of community it creates. On 5% Day, we hope to meet many of you from our vast Portland community. It’s going to be a fun day, we hope you’ll join us!