A group of Sonoma County mothers inaugurated plans for a children’s museum, addressing the need for a local place for parents, grandparents, and teachers to provide children enriched, learning experiences.
Faced with increasing budget cuts to science and art programs within schools, this educated team established Children’s Museum of Sonoma County (CMOSC) as a federal 501(c)(3) corp.
Without funding from outside groups or donors, they launched the Museum-on-the-Go (MOG) mobile science and art outreach program.
The Junior League of Napa-Sonoma provided the first seed funding to officially sponsor MOG, expanding outreach across the county
CMOSC launched the Founding Family program – more than 100 families committed to the vision over the next three years.
CMOSC secured a physical site on 4.2 acres and was awarded a $1.8M CA state grant to build an outdoor nature education area (Mary’s Garden).
CMOSC launched an $8.3M capital campaign to build the permanent museum. The Ella Bisbee Foundation was the first major seed funder with the legacy gift of an art room (Ella’s Art Studio).
CMOSC opened the first phase, Mary’s Garden, to the public.
CMOSC opened the Science and Imagination Gallery (SIG) and TOTopia interior galleries with a generous $1M stakeholder gift from the Ernest L. and Ruth W. Finley Foundation.
The CMOSC campus includes over 7,000sq ft of existing interior space, coupled with 36,000sq ft of outdoor exhibits. All exhibits are devoted to science, art or nature, with a specific emphasis in Mary’s Garden on environmental sustainability, water conservation and renewable energies.