About the CMA
A letter from leadership:
Dear Children’s Museum of Acadiana Family,
As we step into the dawn of a new year, I am filled with immense excitement and gratitude for the incredible journey we’ve shared together at the Children’s Museum of Acadiana. It is with great pleasure that I extend my heartfelt greetings to our cherished audience – the heartbeat of our museum.
As the Executive Director, I am thrilled to share with you the exciting developments and initiatives that lie ahead in the coming year. Our commitment to creating a vibrant and enriching experience for children and families remains steadfast, and we are embarking on a journey of transformation and growth.
One of our primary focuses for the upcoming year is the refreshing of our exhibits. We understand the importance of providing dynamic and engaging spaces that stimulate curiosity and foster learning. With this in mind, we are dedicated to bringing you updated and innovative exhibits that will captivate the imagination of our young visitors.
In addition to revitalizing our exhibits, we are introducing new programs designed to enhance the educational value of your museum experience. These programs will not only be entertaining but will also offer valuable opportunities for learning and exploration. We believe in the power of play as a tool for education, and our new programs aim to make every visit an enriching adventure for children of all ages.
Furthermore, we are committed to making the Children’s Museum of Acadiana more accessible than ever. We believe that every child should have the opportunity to explore, discover, and learn through play. By implementing measures to enhance accessibility, we are working towards creating an inclusive environment where everyone feels welcome and can participate in the magic of discovery.
As we embrace the new year, we invite you to join us on this exciting journey of growth and transformation. Your support and enthusiasm have been the driving force behind the success of our museum, and we are deeply grateful for the privilege of being a part of your children’s lives. Together, let’s make the Children’s Museum of Acadiana a place where wonder knows no bounds, where curiosity is celebrated, and where the joy of learning is ignited in every child who walks through our doors.
Wishing you a year filled with laughter, discovery, and endless possibilities.
Learning by Doing,
The Children’s Museum of Acadiana (CMA) is dedicated to creating an immersive and engaging environment where children and their families can actively explore, discover, and learn about everyday experiences, diverse cultures, and the uniqueness of individuals. We are committed to enriching the lives of children from all socioeconomic backgrounds, fostering self-expression, building self-esteem, and promoting respect for others.
At the heart of our philosophy is the belief that children learn best through hands-on experiences. As an educational resource for both educators and families, the CMA serves as a catalyst for innovative and creative learning approaches. We strive to nurture a future generation of museum enthusiasts by instilling a lifelong love for museum experiences and recognizing their essential role in the educational journey.
Our mission is to empower children to embrace curiosity, ignite their imaginations, and cultivate a passion for exploration. By providing interactive exhibits and dynamic programs, we aim to create lasting memories, inspire critical thinking, and foster a love for continuous learning.
The Children’s Museum of Acadiana is committed to:
• Serving the developmental needs of children aged infant to ten, along with their families and teachers, by offering a diverse range of participatory exhibits and programs that cover a wide array of subjects.
• Designing and delivering exhibitions and programs that stimulate analytical thinking and foster interaction with visual, auditory, and physical aspects, promoting human development and fostering cultural understanding.
• Engaging a broad audience and inspiring imagination, curiosity, critical thinking, and a sense of realism in children and adults alike.
• Cultivating and sustaining a volunteer program that instills in individuals a lifelong dedication to community service while fostering a sense of belonging and purpose.
• Enriching and expanding the school core curriculum through collaborative partnerships and innovative educational initiatives.
• Attracting and leveraging a diverse staff and board of directors who are passionate about children’s development, bringing creativity and expertise to enhance the museum’s offerings.
The CMA aims to have a meaningful impact on families across Acadiana by providing a secure and nurturing environment where they can explore, learn, and actively engage with the museum’s interactive exhibits and education enrichment programs. Through these experiences, we empower them to discover their potential and expand their horizons.
The Children’s Museum of Acadiana History:
The Children’s Museum of Acadiana (CMA) is a private non-profit corporation founded in 1990 by three women who recognized the need for a hands-on children’s museum in Acadiana. The CMA, housed in a circa 1935 building formerly operating as Heymann Grocery Store in downtown Lafayette, LA, underwent renovations beginning in 1994 through a community effort utilizing primarily donated labor and materials by the people of Acadiana. The CMA opened its doors to the public in January 1996 and remains the longest-running premier children’s museum in the eight-parish Acadiana area (Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, and Vermilion). Within our mission parameters, the CMA serves children Pre-K thru ten years. In six years of planning and 27 years of operations, the CMA now serves approximately 44,600 annual visitors and schools representing 37 central and south Louisiana parishes and works collaboratively with over 27 agencies in the Acadiana region, benefiting children and their families.
The CMA exists to foster a creative environment through “hands-on” exhibits and programs where children and their families explore and make discoveries that de-mystify everyday experiences, cultures, and human differences. As a first-museum experience, we want to enhance the lives of children of all socioeconomic backgrounds and to provide an environment inspiring self-expression and achieving self-esteem while learning respect for others. Central to our philosophy that a child “learns by doing”, we wish to serve as both a learning resource for educators and a development center exploring new art and informal education methods. We strive to develop a future generation of museum attendees by initiating and encouraging a lifelong love of art through museum experiences as an integral part of their educational process.