The Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem/SciWorks, which merged on July 1st, 2016, has a new name: Kaleideum. While still in two separate locations, The Children’s Museum will be called Kaleideum Downtown, and SciWorks will be called Kaleideum North. Eventually, the two museums will be united under the name Kaleideum in one location downtown, on the corner of Third Street and Town Run Lane, at the site of the former Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department.
“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,” said Paul Kortenaar, Executive Director–Community. “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.”
The word Kaleideum is a blend of kaleidoscope + museum. The etymology is from the Greek kalos, meaning “beautiful”; eidos, meaning “shape”; and mouseion, meaning “a seat or shrine of the Muses.”
“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 Dampier, Executive Director–Museum. “Each time a child or adult 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.”
Over the next few months, Kaleideum will be rolling out the new brand and transitioning to the new name as the Executive Directors and board members plan for the future in one location. “A wonderful new museum isn’t built in a day,” Dampier 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 Museum worked with the Wildfire agency on the new name and logo with input from members of the board of directors of Kaleideum.
“Kaleideum is a great example of a public-private partnership working at its best to create a new museum that will be educational, engaging, and will fulfill the functions of both the former The Children’s Museum and SciWorks,” Kortenaar added. “In terms of timing, we’re continuing work on fundraising and are narrowing the search to select an architectural firm. We’re looking forward to working with the community to design, develop and construct the Kaleideum experience.”
Kaleideum was formed by the merger of The Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem and SciWorks on July 1st, 2016. Kaleideum Downtown (formerly The Children’s Museum) was founded by the Junior League of Winston-Salem and opened its doors on November 20th, 2004. Kaleideum North (formerly SciWorks) was 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 new mission of “Inspiring wonder, curiosity, and lifelong learning in our children and community through interactive play and discovery.” The merged entity combines all features of both museums—fusing arts, literacy, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) orientations into an integrated approach to learning. For more information, visit kaleideum.org.