During her years working in the DC policy world, Cara Lesser recognized a need for more creative thinking and innovative leadership to drive meaningful societal change. As a parent of two school-age children, she was struck by the mismatch between what kids were learning in school and what they needed to thrive in the future. In 2011, she dreamed up the concept for a children’s museum that would harness a child’s natural creativity, highlight cultural awareness and acceptance, and spark a passion to make a difference.
Cara soon joined forces with Jill Chessen and David Goldberg, friends who were also local parents. Using their combined expertise in business, education, public policy, and law, the team set about developing the type of museum they’d want for their own kids—one focused on empowering the next generation to invent the future with imagination, resourcefulness, and compassion.
In the two years preceding the museum’s opening in Davis Library, KID Museum became active in the community by hosting a myriad of popular festivals and events, including Maker Faire Silver Spring (now KIDfest). The Maker Faire, the first event of its kind in the DC region, drew over 12,000 visitors in its first year. The fair features the same kinds of hands-on, creative activities visitors will find at KID Museum.
From the Rockville Science Day to the MLK National Day of Service, the museum has become a presence in events throughout the region. The World of Montgomery Festival, also hosted by KID, is a large, yearly event that celebrates the cultural diversity of Montgomery County through music, dance, food and traditional arts. The exploration of world cultures will also be featured in KID Museum.
The KID Museum site at Davis Library was made possible by Montgomery County, which donated the space, and a host of other supporters. It is a first step toward the museum’s broader vision of establishing a permanent home in Montgomery County.