Museum of Discovery Claims Record Attendance Since January - Innovate Arkansas
Museum of Discovery Claims Record Attendance Since January
By Lance Turner, 7/24/2012 7:22:30 AM
The Museum of Discovery of Little Rock said Tuesday that it has welcomed more than 100,000 visitors and sold more than 1,600 membership packages since it reopened in January.
"We anticipated an increase in visitation and memberships, given the fact that we had been closed for nearly a year for a major renovation," said Nan Selz, executive director of the museum. "But the magnitude of the increase in such a short period of time has been pretty phenomenal.
"What's even better is that we keep seeing people return. There is so much to explore at the science center. It lends itself to new experiences each visit," she said.
The River Market District museum closed for renovation April 2011, and re-opened Jan. 14. At 2010's six-month mark, attendance was nearly 60,000. In 2010, membership sales were close to 500. As of July 15, membership sales neared 1,700.
There are three membership packages, with family memberships making up the bulk of sales. Family memberships can include up to five people.
Benefits include free admission for one year, free admission to science and children's museums nationwide, discounts on store purchases, summer camps and birthday parties, and museum special events.
The renovation came after the museum received a $9.2 million grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation in 2008. The project included a new entrance directly on President Clinton Avenue; renovation of old space into three distinct galleries that interpret the three main branches of science-health science, earth science and physical science; all new exhibits that reflect the latest technology and are innovative, hands-on and interactive; and new open areas for public gatherings and presentations to large groups.
Selz, who took over at the museum in February 2004, announced last month that she will retire as executive director at the end of the year. The museum's board of trustees has begun looking for a replacement.
The Museum of Discovery is Little Rock's oldest museum, dating to 1927.
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