History of Kaleideum Downtown
Kaleideum Downtown (formerly The Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem) was conceived by the Junior League of Winston-Salem as its 75th anniversary gift to the community. The Museum opened its doors on November 20, 2004, after a successful capital campaign.
In 2011, the Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem was honored to be awarded a $150,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Museums for America program. Museums for America is the nation’s largest federal funding program for museums. Reviewed by panels of professional peers, these grants are highly-competitive. The Museum’s grant funded a new interactive playscape – Kaledioscape – and six additional, outdoor, participatory art installations.
Kaleideum North (formerly SciWorks) was also founded by the Junior League of Winston-Salem and opened its doors as the Nature Science Center in 1964. The two museums began talks of a possible collaboration in early 2015, with a mission of “Inspiring wonder, curiosity, and lifelong learning in our children and community through interactive play and discovery.” On July 1, 2016, The Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem and SciWorks merged and announced the new name — Kaleideum — a few months later. The merged entity combines all features of both museum – blending arts, literacy, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) orientations into an integrated approach to learning.