The Greensboro Children's Museum's mission is to engage all children and families in hands-on, fun learning experiences which contribute to their growth and development through play, creation, outdoor exploration and STEM experiences.

Today, more than 400 children’s museums throughout the United States break the rules of traditional institutions by encouraging visitors to touch, talk, have fun and learn. In a children’s museum, the audience is most important, not the objects. The exhibits, however, are catalysts for questions, exploration and discovery and the entire experience is a playground for the mind.

Designed to inspire hands-on learning through play, the Greensboro Children’s Museum (GCM) offers a fun, energetic and safe environment for children of all ages. Located in downtown Greensboro, children, their families and teachers can interact with more than 20 exhibits including the 30-foot-tall Neptune XXL Climbers and half-acre learning garden, which are each designed to stimulate children’s imaginations and provide educational play experiences.

our history

Founder Jerry Hyman

The Greensboro Children’s Museum began with one man’s dream of bringing a children’s museum to Greensboro. Jerry Hyman was inspired by traveling to children’s museums around the country, and he began to share his vision with community leaders. Cynthia Doyle, a local legend in the area of civic duty and volunteerism, who in turn contacted a group of alumni from the Leadership Greensboro Program. This group served as the Steering Committee, then launched a Capital Campaign led by Doyle. Three years later, on May 15, 1999, the Greensboro Children’s Museum opened its doors at 220 N. Church Street.

Community leader Cynthia Doyle and family

In September 2009, Food Activist and Chef Alice Waters came to Greensboro to open The Edible Schoolyard at the Greensboro Children’s Museum, hands-on, half-acre organic teaching garden and kitchen classroom. Since its grand opening in May 2010, The Edible Schoolyard has been a destination for children, families and teachers to learn about growing, cooking, and sharing fresh, delicious food. With an ecosystem of plants and animals, the garden features vegetables, herbs, fruits, flowers, trees and shrubs, as well as chickens, worms and insects. A special thank you to The Edible Schoolyard donors for their generous contributions.

In 2015, GCM launched the “Reaching Greater Heights” expansion project and capital campaign with the objective of opening multiple signature features to strengthen GCM’s mission. Phase 1 was completed in summer 2017 with the addition of the Outdoor Play Plaza and phase 2, an indoor, interactive water exhibit, was completed in fall 2018. Construction on phase 3, a technology exhibit, is scheduled for completion in 2020.

annual reports

gcm staff

Marian King

CEO

Raised by parents who were very committed to community service, I can honestly say I love working with board and committees. I am a true nonprofit geek with a career focused on youth development and leadership organizations. I am a native of Greensboro with an undergraduate degree from UNC-CH and a graduate degree from ASU. I am a Tarheel through and through much to the dismay of my NC State grad husband. Things that make my heart pound are gardening, UNC basketball, a great sale on shoes and of course my husband Jim!

p: 336.574.2898 ext. 301
e: mking@gcmuseum.com

Stephanie Ashton

Education and The Edible Schoolyard Director

I came to Greensboro from my home state of Ohio by way of UNC – Chapel Hill where I received my Masters of Public Administration. I transitioned from working in economic development in the areas of business retention and entrepreneurship to my current role as the Director of The Edible Schoolyard and Education at GCM. I love seeing first-hand how inspired kids are while working in the garden or in cooking classes. When I’m away from the Museum, you’ll find me cooking, playing with my two young children, and enjoying three out of four of the seasons.

p: 336.574.2898 ext. 320
e: sashton@gcmuseum.com

Stephanie Clifford

Birthday Party Coordinator/Development Assistant

As a mother of two children, I have enjoyed visiting and playing in the Museum for many years. In my role, I get to bring the excitement of learning through play to many more children and families in our community. I am typically busy at work helping to celebrate kids’ special days or raising funds to ensure everyone has access to the Museum’s offerings.

p: 336.574.2898 ext. 309
e: sclifford@gcmuseum.com

Joe Rieke

Development Director

Like Whitney, I believe that children are our future. Creating equitable & accessible educational experiences is a life mission; so working at GCM is a dream come true! I have lived in every state on the West Coast and am therefore qualified to say it is empirically the ‘Best Coast’. When not trying to meet new people to be friends with, you can find me toiling in a kitchen, running in a street, or in the Cook-Out drive-thru line over-ordering.

p: 336.574.2898 ext. 313
e: jrieke@gcmuseum.com

Sandy Shuler

Finance Director

I am a life-long North Carolinian and a lover of numbers. I enjoy being outdoors, doing yoga, traveling, and spending time with my dogs Truman and Niles.

p: 336.574.2898 ext. 307
e: finance@gcmuseum.com

John Richardson

Facilities and Maintenance Manager

I joined the museum staff in 2018 to oversee the physical condition of all aspects of the Museum in order to help promote entertaining, inspiring, and stimulating experiences for families. The smiles on the children’s faces as their imaginations take them to different worlds makes it all worthwhile. When I’m not at the Museum, I operate a craftsman business and spend most of my leisure time in outdoor activities, cooking, and trying to keep up with my new rescue puppy.

p: 336.574.2898 ext. 314
e: jrichardson@gcmuseum.com

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Erin Blackledge

Group Sales Coordinator

Through and through a museum kid, I relocated in 2017 from Mississippi to pursue a master’s degree in museum studies at UNCG. With an emphasis on visitor experience, I consider myself a museum jack of all trades who enjoys creating engaging methods for people of all ages and backgrounds to learn. When not at the museum, I can often be found unapologetically watching bad reality TV or taking long walks while listening to podcasts and attempting to pet all the neighborhood cats.

p: 336.574.2898 ext. 302
e: eblackledge@gcmuseum.com

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Mariama Abubakri

Guest Services Team Leader

I am a ‘Boro native and former GCM summer camp volunteer so this place is near and dear to my heart. I graduated from East Carolina University with a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science with a double major in International Studies and a Certificate of Distinction in Global Understandings! I recently finished service as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America) in Wilson, North Carolina. I love working in the non profit industry and the Children’s Museum is chicken noodle soup for the soul! In my spare time I enjoy studying Korean and Spanish and imagining myself as an outdoors person.

p: 336.574.2898 ext. 310
e: mabubakri@gcmuseum.com

Jadarius McCoy

Guest Services Team Leader

Born in Greensboro and raised in High Point, I played in the museum as a child. Since then, I have developed a deep appreciation for serving my community. I graduated from North Carolina A&T State University, where I studied Journalism and Mass Communication. My hobbies include football, music, and over-analyzing movie plots.

p: 336.574.2898 ext. 304
e: jmccoy@gcmuseum.com

guest services associates

2021 gcm board of directors

Officers

Rosemary Kenerly, Board Chair

Allison Durham, Chair-Elect

Robert Johnson, Treasurer

Chris Heffner, Secretary

Members at Large

Bryan Clemmons
Jeff Davis
Danny Gatling
Tom Guerrieri
Maria Hicks-Few
Clay Johnson
Jodi Knox

Simone Langley
Michael Mahoney
Chuck Mattina
Vanessa McCutchen
Carolyn McGovern

Parrish Peddrick
Skip Purcell
Emily Taylor
Tara Thacker
Skotty Wannamaker
Meade Willis

In honor of Cynthia E. Doyle, creative visionary, volunteer extraordinaire, community activist and dedicated leader in the city’s efforts to build promising futures for our families and their children.  

The Greensboro Children’s Museum is a testament to the unfailing generosity & the community spirit of Joseph McKinley Bryan, Sr. He has enlivened the lives of our children and we are forever grateful!