Every Gesture

Marie Beam
February 2, 2017
three children play among hay bales and fallen leaves

I recently received an email that moved me. It said in part:  “I can't save everyone, but I can at least help shore up the walls around the things that really matter to me, and I've decided that I'm going to do my best to be a ‘patron’ of the Discovery Museums.” 

The author went on to talk about her sons, and described The Discovery Museums as “a place of joy and wonder, a safe place for my boys to play and explore who they are.”  She added that her financial resources are limited, but that she has talent, creativity, and energy she’d like to invest in helping to make our museum stronger and protect it so that it can serve her children and others like them for many, many years to come.

I ask those who read this and feel similar affection for The Discovery Museums to consider offering it a gesture of philanthropy this year—your words of support, a small financial gift, the referral of a family who would benefit from some free passes, your ideas, your connections, your advocacy.  Our expansion plans will make us more beautiful and functional physically, but the soul of this place will remain, as it has always been, fed by the love of our community.

Our Campaign for The Discovery Museums, launched in 2013, has raised more than $8 million in three years, almost the full amount we need to complete our campus transformation this year, and an incredible feat for an organization with only a $1.5 million annual budget.  Along with the capital campaign, we’ve also asked donors to provide for about $330,000 a year, on average, to support our daily operations through our annual fund.  You might be surprised to know that this money, campaign and annual fund, has been provided by only 300 incredibly generous donors.  We were visited by 195,000 people in 2016.

If you are seeking a way to make a difference; want to support a place that is doing really good, quiet work for children and families in hardship; or just need to play a little bit more, I invite you to engage with The Discovery Museums.  Here, every gesture of philanthropy means the world.

headshot photo of Marie Beam
Marie Beam

I've been a full-time fundraiser for more than 20 years at all kinds of organizations, and at the Discovery Museum I've found my home. It's a privilege to be working on behalf of the kids and families of our region, and at an organization that stands up for science and the natural potential of all children. My husband and I are parents to two boys, a future train conductor and automotive engineer, who test the durability of all museum exhibits and occasionally appear in my PowerPoint presentations. 


We firmly believe in the fundamental value of play for children—and families—to support emotional, developmental, and social health and well-being. This blog will explore why play matters, and touch on all aspects of our work to encourage play and support early STEAM learning.