Shop Talk: Julia W. Bland
Chief Executive Officer, Louisiana Children’s Museum
Please describe your role at the Louisiana Children’s Museum. I’m the chief cheerleader! I often think of myself as a “weaver,” weaving together big ideas, strategic partnerships, funding and key users or stakeholders – all in an effort to strengthen the lives of our children.
What does the LCM hope to achieve with their educational programs and exhibits? The museum always brings together learning and play, the real work of childhood. Everything we do on-site and in the community is purposeful in engaging children in hands-on learning about topics of great relevance, while coaching the adult caregivers about roles they can play in their child’s development through everyday moments.
What are you looking forward to the most about the LCM’s move to City Park? We have worked for over 13 years to design and build a world-class facility in one of the region’s most beautiful areas. I can’t wait for children to come and experience what we’ve been planning, and for parents to find the tips and prompts all throughout the spaces – indoors and out that will help guide them in their parenting. In many ways, the real work will start when we open our big blue doors!
Is there a specific program or exhibit that you would like to highlight? We have recognized water as a globally significant topic to address, and are really thrilled with the way something so meaningful to us in southeast Louisiana (and as global citizens) will be experienced. Inside we’ll have one of the world’s most fabulous water tables in the “Move with the River” gallery. Likewise, we have a sedimentation table in the “Dig into Nature” gallery. Outside, in the various gardens and learning environments, we offer tremendous demonstrations of water management through green infrastructure, such as our 7,000-gallon cistern, runnels, bioswales and wetlands.
What is the best way to support the LCM? With your engagement and your money! We want people to come and enjoy what we’ve worked so hard to create! Visit us, become a member, support our mission financially – it’s an investment in the future well-being of our community. We are also building a big volunteer program, so we welcome your time and talent!
Louisiana Children’s Museum New Location 15 Henry Thomas Drive, 523-1357, LCM.org