Frequently Asked Questions

When will the museum open?

Children’s Museum of St. Tammany (CMST) will open initially in Kids Town, a cooperative endeavor of the Tammany Trace Foundation and St. Tammany Parish Government that is slated to open at the Koop Drive Trailhead in spring 2017. The interim CMST at Kids Town will be a fully operational museum with exhibits for toddlers to early childhood and additional programming for older children. CMST leaders are working with the Tammany Trace Foundation and parish government to complete Kids Town. We anticipate being at Kids Town for several years as we power up our fundraising for our permanent location in the Cultural Arts District.

Why is it taking so long to open the museum?

Our primary objective is to build the best possible children’s museum for our community. That means carefully and strategically planning for our flagship museum. As members of the Association of Children’s Museums, we understand the process from start to finish takes approximately 9-12 years. Even with a major hurricane, a financial downturn and an oil spill in our state, we’re well on track.

Is the museum a parish project?

CMST isn’t a parish project. It’s an excellent example of a public-private partnership. We are working in partnership with parish government and St. Tammany Parish Public School System. CMST began as an idea of the Junior League of Greater Covington (JLGC). JLGC initiated talks with St. Tammany Parish Government and received full support from parish officials to begin research and planning for a facility for children and families in the area. In 2011, CMST incorporated with the State of Louisiana and received its own 501(c)(3) non-profit status. In recent years, a board of trustees was formed to work with a community advisory board and oversee day-to-day management of the museum. 

How will CMST have a positive economic impact on the community?

In addition to being an excellent educational resource for our children and schools, the museum will boost tourism and generate local spending in the area. Research from the Association of Children’s Museums shows that museum visitors spend an average of $23.14 per person, not including the cost of admission, at nearby shops, restaurants and cafés. The findings of the association also reveal that non-local attendees spend nearly twice as much as local attendees. A business management firm estimates our annual attendance at 100,000 visitors per year. 

What are the goals of the campaign?

First and foremost, our immediate goal is to open the interim CMST at Kids Town. Our Visionary Goal is to raise $10 million to build a state=of-the-art museum with exhibits, party rooms and classrooms on five acres of undeveloped land with completed infrastructure at the Cultural Arts District (CAD). We will also create additional outdoor learning spaces. We will have further phases to expand our museum to more than 30,000 interior square feet of space. If we are able to raise more than $10 million, we will build the first two phases at the same time to save on building costs.

What is happening with the Cultural Arts District?

St. Tammany Parish is in the planning and development phase for the Cultural Arts District. CMST was invited by Parish President Pat Brister to participate in the planned CAD, which will be located adjacent to the Colonial/Pinnacle retail property at Highway 21/I-12 and the Tchefuncte River. CMST has solidified our permanent site within the CAD with parish leaders. The CAD plans include a performing arts center, amphitheater and nature trails as well as the future home of CMST. For more information on the CAD, please contact parish leadership.

Where have my previous donations been spent?

The overwhelming majority of funds CMST has received through charitable giving are invested and managed for growth as part of our Visionary Goal. Some of the funds raised over the years have enabled CMST to operate as a “Museum Without Walls” and to open the interim CMST at Kids Town. To create a top-rated museum takes careful planning and strategic spending. As good stewards of your funds, we have carefully and thoughtfully invested donor gifts and used funds on design and project development to build our permanent home. We are also excited to report that we are committing $500,000 of our raised funds as a seed pledge to the Power of Play Capital Campaign.

How can I get involved?

There are many ways you can help CMST. We will need volunteers and docents to begin working at the interim CMST at Kids Town when it opens in spring 2017. We are also in the planning phase for our Power of Play Capital Campaign. We need people to help us raise the funds for our permanent home in the CAD. You can also become a community or corporate sponsor, make a donation, support Black & Gold Day, attend Celebration, buy a car magnet or join our mailing list and keep up with our progress. If you are interested in helping us out, please send an email to CMST at info@cmstkids.org 

childrens museum rendering