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

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Imagine a 30,000-square-foot museum and theatre devoted to making Maine an extraordinary place to be a child. Set to open in 2021 at Thompson’s Point in Portland, the Museum & Theatre will double its size, diversify the age range it serves, increase accessibility to public transportation, connect closely with Maine’s natural habitats, and dramatically increase its impact on the educational development of children of all means and abilities. Here’s a sneak peek.

Children's Museum

Barbee GilmanBarbee Gilman, MBA
Mother, Imagine Capital Campaign Co-Chair, Volunteer Board Member

Like a lot of families, Drew and Barbee Gilman moved to Maine to give their kids a safer, more down-to-earth upbringing than they thought they’d get in New York City. During their first winter in Portland, the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine was a lifeline. After school, the exhibits and galleries became their go-to destination. The kids and families they met there became their community. “I treasured the quality family time we spent at the museum and the stimulating educational experiences the kids got there,” Barbee says. “And I cherished this incredible network of parents that I met through volunteering at the Museum & Theatre.”

Barbee’s passion for the museum and her belief in the importance of early childhood education has endured. A devoted Museum & Theatre volunteer and board member for over 15 years, she is leading the capital campaign for the new Children’s Museum & Theatre, set to open next year. One of the exhibits on an entire floor devoted to STEM education will be named by Drew and Barbee Gilman as a legacy for their children. It is the Air, Ramps & Balls Exhibit, designed to let kids experiment with the laws of physics.

“When I look back on my life,” Gilman says, “helping to make this project a reality for future generations will be one of the things that I’ll be most proud of.”

There are many ways that your family’s name can appear in the new Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine. See how you can help build this experience at kitetails.org/imagine.

Illustration by Patrick Corrigan