Wake Forest Baptist Health makes $1 million gift to Kaleideum

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 19, 2021

WINSTON-SALEM — Kaleideum has announced a $1 million gift from Wake Forest Baptist Health that will go toward exhibitions and learning spaces on the second floor of the reimagined Kaleideum at the corner of West Third Street and Town Run Lane in downtown Winston-Salem.

The groundbreaking for Kaleideum’s new building is scheduled for today, and the new location is slated to open in fall 2023. The second floor of the building offers the largest indoor exhibitions including a digital dome theatre/planetarium; an exhibition centered around the physics of motion; a feature hall for traveling exhibitions; and multi-purpose learning spaces that can be utilized for field trip programming, camps, meetings, rentals and special events.

“Kaleideum is thrilled that Wake Forest Baptist Health has committed to helping us realize the vision of a learning museum that blends science and art and recognizes the value of both, not as silos, but as integrally connected tools that work together,” said Elizabeth Dampier, Kaleideum executive director. “Our second floor is our core learning area with spaces that can be dedicated to many of the STEAM — science, technology, engineering, arts and math — activities that are crucial to fostering a passion for learning while gaining skills such as problem-solving, communication and creativity that help us all be more successful in our future careers and direction.”

“We have been investing in the education and health of this community for a long time, and we are so pleased to continue that tradition by supporting this project,” said Julie Ann Freischlag, M.D., CEO of Wake Forest Baptist Health, dean of Wake Forest School of Medicine and chief academic officer of Atrium Health Enterprise. “The museum’s core educational space will be a place for children in our community to explore, immerse themselves in science, and think big, just like our own researchers, scientists and clinicians at Wake Forest Baptist.”

Freischlag said Kaleideum will help extend and amplify Wake Forest Baptist’s three-part mission as an academic learning health system, which includes education, research, and clinical care. In addition, she noted that Kaleideum will not only benefit families who already live in this area but will help attract new families to Forsyth County.

“The learning will happen throughout Kaleideum, and we cannot wait to welcome the community and region through the doors of a brand-new building with state-of-the art spaces where learning happens every day,” Dampier said. “We could not do this without partners who share our vision for the future. Wake Forest Baptist Health has been a supporter of Kaleideum for many, many years, and we look forward to moving into the future with this leading academic institution by our side.”

Kaleideum was formed by the merger of The Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem and SciWorks in July 2016. Kaleideum Downtown (formerly The Children’s Museum) was founded by the Junior League of Winston-Salem and opened its doors in 2004. Kaleideum North (formerly SciWorks), also founded by the Junior League of Winston-Salem, opened its doors as the Nature Science Center in 1964. The two museums merged into a single organization with a new mission — “Inspiring wonder, curiosity, and lifelong learning in our children and community through interactive play and discovery.”