City of Mesa
Official Website of the City of Mesa, Arizona
City of Mesa News Article
Arizona Museum for Youth becomes The i.d.e.a Museum
By: Kevin Christopher
02/5/13 11:22 AM

Arizona Museum for Youth
For Release: Feb. 5, 2013
Contact: LaTonya Jordan-Smith
Marketing & Communications Specialist
480-644-4129 Tel 
Arizona Museum for Youth becomes The i.d.e.a. Museum
The Arizona Museum for Youth is now The i.d.e.a. Museum (imagination, design, experience, art), unveiling a new name, new brand and new logo to take the museum to a new level of creativity, participation and experience.

“After two years of research and strategic input from experts and the community, the new i.d.e.a. Museum will be a place to experience the world differently through science, engineering, art and math,” Museum Executive Director Sunnee O’Rork said.  “It will be an imagination-driven destination for families to be together, to do things together and to learn together.”

The decision to change the museum’s name and brand was based on research showing that nearly eight out of ten adults visiting the Arizona Museum for Youth participated along with their children.  This showed the museum was not only for youth but for the entire family.

“The i.d.e.a. Museum is another example of the innovative direction Mesa has taken as we continue to reinvent ourselves and become a destination for downtown Mesa, the valley and state,” Mayor Scott Smith said.

Research indicated that audience growth and expansion at the Arizona Museum for Youth would be a challenge because audience base and membership are in constant turnover.  Children’s visitation peaks at 2-5 years of age and after age nine, there is a significant drop in attendance and confusion about whether it is a children’s museum just for preschool or a family museum about Arizona.

“I have been involved with the Arizona Museum for Youth and its wonderful accomplishments in Mesa for 25 years, and its transformation to The i.d.e.a. Museum is a tremendous idea,” District 3 Councilmember Dennis Kavanaugh said.  “Most museums must reinvent themselves to be successful in the 21st century and I am confident the i.d.e.a. Museum and its staff and supporters are heading in the right direction.” 

With the unveiling at a ceremony today, the Museum begins an awareness-building process about the new brand that will include pop-up museums at different locations in the valley to provide information and to encourage nominations from the community for consideration for the Museum’s i.d.e.a. Hall of Fame.  The Hall will be a permanent reflection of the greatest, most creative and most useful ideas of all time.  The first inductees will be announced later this year.

The Museum will close for renovations that coincide with the new brand from May 27 through June 20.  The public will be invited to attend the grand reopening on Experience Weekend beginning June 21.  The first exhibit, Dream On, explores both the scientific and artistic aspects of dreams.

A special event, The Big Idea Fundraiser, has been scheduled from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at the William Barnhart Studio, 506 N. Center St. to support the new brand.  Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling (480) 644-5564.

For continuous updates about the launch of The i.d.e.a. Museum, visit   


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