At Kidzu —make, build, explore and learn— an adventurous expanded Museum experience for age infant to tween. Kidzu’s new 8,500 square foot space is multi-sensory, play-centered, and focused on providing area children and their families, teachers, and caregivers an ever-changing menu of exhibits and programs that inspire creativity, collaboration and community. Kidzu Children’s Museum is a hands-on museum dedicated to inspiring young children and the adults in their lives to learn through purposeful play. We are planning to expand to a much larger site in the next few years. Read on to learn more about where we’ve been, what we’re up to, and where we’re headed.
Kidzu Children’s Museum inspires children and the adults in their lives to learn through creative (and purposeful) play.
What We Aim To Be
Kidzu’s vision is to become an innovator in museum-based learning for children and families and one of the best community children’s museums in the country. Our goal is to excel at serving, celebrating and reflecting our community. Kidzu believes all children should have access to learning experiences that challenge and delight them and environments that encourage curiosity, creativity, unlimited discovery and safe risk-taking.
Kidzu’s Core Values
Creativity: Kidzu is built on the premise that nurturing a child’s creativity will build confidence, lead to innovative problem-solving, and a position a child for adult success.
Collaboration: Kidzu believes that the whole is a greater than the sum of its parts and that collaboration results in bolder impact. We encourage collaboration through the design of our activities, and we practice collaboration internally and externally in all of our work.
Community: Kidzu believes that a children’s museum serves as an integral community hub for children, families and those who care about them. Children’s museums level the playing field, with inclusivity at the core of their philosophy. At Kidzu every child is valued, every family is welcome and diversity is celebrated.
Sustainability: Kidzu is committed to an agile and sustainable infrastructure while meeting museum goals and the changing needs of the community we serve. Our business model and organizational culture reflect a dedication to service and to sound financial stewardship.
Play as Lifelong Learning: Kidzu is founded on the premise that through play, children learn. The learning process is infinite, and we believe that age is irrelevant when it comes to discovery, engagement and enjoyment. No matter your age, there is always something interesting and new to explore at Kidzu.
Research + Best Practices: Kidzu embraces research as a guiding tool to create our visitor experience and to inform our community on everything related to the healthy development of the whole child. We invest time and resources to ensure the implementation of museum best practices in all that we do.
Kidzu Children’s Museum wouldn’t be here without the support of our friends and neighbors. The museum has always relied heavily on students from UNC Chapel Hill and area high schools to keep Kidzu running on a day to day basis. Kidzu prides itself on being a starter job for young people to help prepare them for entry into the workforce after college. We partner with more than 100 community organizations who provide our visitors access to a realm of sensory experiences. We’re on our way to welcoming our 400 thousandth visitor in 2017.
Lisa Van Deman
Lisa has more than 20 years in museum leadership and administration. She holds a MFA in theatre, and a BA in American literature and American history from Washington University.
Director of Development
With 15 years in non-profit administration, Kate is a former executive director of Trail Blazers – an experiential education based residential program. Kate holds a BA in theatre and sociology from Surrey University.
Melanie Hatz Levinson
Before joining Kidzu in 2007, Melanie spent 10 years at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the curatorial staff. She holds an MA in art history from Columbia University and NYU as well as a BA in Art History from the University of Michigan.
School + Family Programs Manager
Deanna is a former educator with the Chapel Hill – Carrboro City Schools system, former coordinator of family programs at the YMCA in Atlanta, and a visitor services staff member at Imagine It Children’s Museum in Atlanta. She holds a BS in elementary education and Spanish from Butler University.
Elisabeth joins Kidzu with four years of experience in elementary after-school program management and development – most recently through the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools system. She has a BA in American Studies through UNC-Chapel Hill.
Candace joins Kidzu with 9 years of museum experience with institutions across the state of North Carolina. She was a founding staff member of the Children’s Museum of Alamance County. She has a BA in corporate and electronic communications from Lenoir-Rhyne University.
Volunteer + Birthday Coordinator
Landis has been in the museum field for 11 years working in museums across the country and abroad and joined the Kidzu family in 2015. She has an MA in Fashion and Textile Studies from the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC and an MA in Archaeology from the University of Nevada, Reno. She also has a BA in Sociology from Elon University.
Administrative + Development Coordinator
Michelle recently graduated from UNC Chapel Hill where she earned a degree in Chemistry with a minor in Art History. She is the glue that holds the management team together.
Marcia holds a BA in Music with a minor in Education from UNC-Chapel Hill. She has worked with Kidzu since 2010. In addition to managing the Makery, she fills the museum with silliness, music, and purposeful play.
Visitor Services + Membership Manager
Kailey has over 8 years experience working with adults and children with special needs and worked as a vocational specialist. She’s also volunteered for over 4 years at a therapeutic horseback riding program. She has been with Kidzu since August 2015.
School + Fee Based Programs Coordinator
Katie has been with Kidzu since 2014 where she started off as an intern. She has a BA from UNC-Chapel Hill in Art History and Italian.
Outreach + Special Programs Coordinator
Rose is a recent graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a MA in Museum Education, and previously earned a BA in Art Studies from North Carolina State University. She joins Kidzu with previous experience at art museums around the state and a love for community outreach and art education!
Financials + Annual Report
KIDZU NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT
We invite you to get involved with Kidzu and help us build a permanent museum that serves all children in our community and inspires learning through purposeful play!
Closed July 4th
$7.50 per child over 12 months
$7.50 per adult
Children 11 months and under are free
Memberships start at $115 for a year of unlimited admission.
See our membership page for more information
201 S. Estes Drive,
Chapel Hill, NC