Winston-Salem Museums Renamed Kaleideum

Jerry Blackwelder

The recently merged Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem and SciWorks have selected Kaleideum as their new name. The Children’s Museum will be known as Kaleideum Downtown and SciWorks will become Kaleideum North.

The word Kaleideum is a blend of kaleidoscope and museum. Paul Kortenaar, Executive Director-Community explained that “Many of us worked very hard over several months to find the right name that would best help people imagine this new organization as we move into the future and into a single location in downtown Winston-Salem.

“We found our inspiration in the idea of a kaleidoscope-a simple scientific instrument and toy that also creates beautiful art when you look inside. The kaleidoscope represented the perfect blend of art, creativity and science,” he added.

“We loved the image of a kaleidoscope because the instrument itself is a free-choice learning experience that subtly encourages the individual to explore and learn more about our world,” said Elizabeth Dampler, Executive Director-Museum.

“Each time a child engages with or manipulates the kaleidoscope, the outcome changes, revealing an image that is new and different. As we plan for a new museum, we want to offer more of these multi-faceted, open-ended experiences that prompt children to test theories, seek answers to questions, think critically, and explore at their own pace. We want to fulfill our mission to inspire wonder, curiosity and lifelong learning through interactive play and discovery outside the boundaries of a formal classroom,” she added.

The word Kaleideum is a blend of kaleidoscope and museum. Paul Kortenaar, Executive Director-Community explained that “Many of us worked very hard over several months to find the right name that would best help people imagine this new organization as we move into the future and into a single location in downtown Winston-Salem.

“We found our inspiration in the idea of a kaleidoscope-a simple scientific instrument and toy that also creates beautiful art when you look inside. The kaleidoscope represented the perfect blend of art, creativity and science,” he added.

“We loved the image of a kaleidoscope because the instrument itself is a free-choice learning experience that subtly encourages the individual to explore and learn more about our world,” said Elizabeth Dampler, Executive Director-Museum.

“Each time a child engages with or manipulates the kaleidoscope, the outcome changes, revealing an image that is new and different. As we plan for a new museum, we want to offer more of these multi-faceted, open-ended experiences that prompt children to test theories, seek answers to questions, think critically, and explore at their own pace. We want to fulfill our mission to inspire wonder, curiosity and lifelong learning through interactive play and discovery outside the boundaries of a formal classroom,” she added.

Plans call for the two museums to be joined into one location. The new Kaleideum will be downtown on the corner of Third Street and Town Run Lane at the former location of the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department.

“A wonderful new museum isn’t built in a day,” Dampler said. “But we are going to be working as fast as we can to share the vision for the future Kaleideum with visitors at both existing museums and the entire community.”

The new museum will be “Educational, engaging, and will fulfill the functions of both the former The Children’s Museum and SciWorks,” Kortenaar explained. “In terms of timing, we’re continuing work on fundraising and are narrowing the search to select an architectural firm. We are looking forward to working with the community to design, develop and construct the Kaleideum experience,” he added.

The Children’s Museum originally opened on November 20, 2004 and was founded by the Junior League of Winston-Salem. SciWorks was also founded by the Junior League and opened as the Nature Science Center.

The merger of the two museums combines all the features of both facilities – fusing arts, literacy and STEM orientations into an integrated approach to learning.

 

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