InPark visited the ACM MarketPlace on 17 May 2022 – part of Interactivity, the annual gathering of the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM), held this year in St. Louis at St. Louis Union Station Hotel and hosted by The Magic House. The theme was “PLAY The Long Game” to explore ways that children’s museums can adapt to today’s dynamics while simultaneously preparing for the future.
Conference keynote Maxine Clark, founder and former chief executive of Build-A-Bear Workshop® provided insight on how entertainment, education and merchandising can come together to help children’s museums succeed in their missions as well as financially.
ACM presented its annual Great Friends to Kids Award to PBS KIDS, citing for outstanding impact on the lives of children, building knowledge, critical thinking, imagination, and curiosity.
Started in 1962, ACM is a professional member organization for the children’s museum field now celebrating its 60th Anniversary Year. ACM member museums and professionals are dedicated to early childhood play, and play-based learning, the starting point in the continuum of lifelong learning.
The St. Louis area is home to many outstanding and unique museums. In addition to a full program of development sessions as well as the MarketPlace, ACM attendees were welcomed (with free admission) May 15-20 to The Magic House, CityGarden, Missouri Botanical Garden, Missouri History Museum, the Museum at the Gateway Arch, the National Blues Museum, St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station, St. Louis Zoo, St. Louis Science Center, Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum, and the World Chess Hall of Fame, among others.