By Garin Groff
The Arizona Museum for Youth has received a $50,000 grant that will help it develop traveling exhibits that would go on multi-year tours across the nation.
The downtown Mesa museum was awarded the competitive grant by the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, which offered up to $50,000 to applicants. The museum will use the funding to continue work on an exhibit called Healthy Pet, Healthy Me, and then to create a larger traveling exhibit.
Also, the museum will work on establishing a client base of other museums and health organizations.
The museum that’s also known as AMY has been trying to offer more to its patrons and increase its revenue by entering the traveling exhibit business, which it expects to launch in mid-2013.
As part of that AMY executive director Sunnee O’Rork has traveled to 18 museums across the nation to learn how that business segment works. AMY estimates most traveling exhibits would cost $50,000 to $200,000 to develop.
AMY anticipates showing the traveling exhibits first at home, then taking them on the road. The museum anticipates the exhibits will help boost visitor numbers, which are about 60,000 to 75,000 a year.
Apart from the grant, the museum is planning to mark its 35th anniversary next year with a new name to broaden its appeal.
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