The Association of Children’s Museums meets in Saint-Louis

InPark visited the ACM MarketPlace on May 17, 2022 – as part of Interactivity, the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) annual gathering, held this year in St. Louis at the St. Louis Union Station Hotel and hosted by The Magic House. The theme was “PLAY The Long Game” to explore ways children’s museums can adapt to today’s dynamics while preparing for the future.

Conference Keynote Maxine Clark, Founder and former CEO of Build-A-Bear Workshop®, discussed how entertainment, education and merchandising can combine to help children’s museums succeed in their missions as well only financially.

ACM presented its annual Great Friends to Kids award to PBS KIDS, citing its outstanding impact on children’s lives, knowledge acquisition, critical thinking, imagination and curiosity.

On the JRA booth: Shawn McCoy, Executive Vice President and Mike Meyer, Senior Project Manager. This well-established design firm is active in museums, theme parks, zoos and attractions and was recently acquired under the RWS Entertainment Group umbrella. “We’re busier than ever,” reports McCoy.

Founded in 1962, the ACM is a professional member organization in the field of children’s museums which today celebrates its 60and Anniversary year. ACM member museums and professionals are dedicated to early childhood play and learning through play, the beginning of the lifelong learning continuum.

At the Beaudry Interactif booth: Valeria Beaudry, director and Heidi Pinchal, business development. Active in museums and themed entertainment, the company’s recent work includes pioneering applications of gesture technology to interactive mascots and immersive live games.

The Saint-Louis region is home to many exceptional and unique museums. In addition to a full schedule of developer 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, the St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station, the St. Louis Zoo, the St. Louis Science Center, the Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum, and the World Chess Hall of Fame, among others.

Jennifer Lee Hackett, Director of Museums and Non-Theatrical Sales at Sinking Ship Entertainment, was on hand to promote the company’s special media for educational museum exhibits and streaming.

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Andrew B. Reiter