If You Build It, They Will Come (and Learn)
Photo by Stacey Ewald
What began 10 years ago as a volunteer position for Corinne Zola has grown into a board presidency of Westchester’s most anticipated cultural attraction. In 2013, the Westchester Children’s Museum (WCM)—currently operational as a set of traveling educational programs called the “Museum Without Walls”—will begin construction of a building at the site of the historic North Bathhouse at Rye Playland. If all goes well, the museum may open its doors within 18 months.
Zola is not just a cheerleader. She’s helped the WCM to develop a strategic plan and to establish strong communications with its board, volunteers, and constituents. She put together focus groups to help create the exhibition plan. She undertook a national search for an architectural firm, an exhibition firm, and an executive director. And she led the fundraising campaign.
“While some of us in Westchester can get in our cars and drive to New York City or Long Island to experience a children’s museum, there are many families in the county without the resources to do so,” Zola, a Mamaroneck resident, says. Beyond its impact on the region’s children, the museum will create a significant number of construction jobs, and 14 staff positions, draw nearly an estimated 200,000 annual visitors, and contribute $4 million each year to the local economy.