Ignite Society Member Spotlight

Christi Wilking

Christi Wilking and her family have been members of the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota (CMSM) for six years and part of the Ignite Society since the beginning. Her passion and enthusiasm for CMSM originates from her experience as a mom with her two boys, Gavin (10) and Ethan (7). Those treasured memories with her kids are her motivation to ensure other families have the opportunity to enjoy the awe-inspiring environment in the same way her family has.

As the Museum enters its eighth year (Happy Birthday), we celebrate another year of inspiring play and learning experiences for the next generation. Christi’s family grew with the Museum and her boys experienced our mission first-hand – to ignite the natural curiosity of every child through the power of play in a dynamic, awe-inspiring environment.

“When my youngest son, Ethan, was just starting to walk he would grab onto the shopping carts in the market area and push them all over using the cart to help him balance.”

As Gavin and Ethan grew, they were excited to explore other exhibits and found their inspiration in Cecil’s Imagineering Loft.

“My kids were using the PVC pipes on the magnetic wall in The Loft to build a track for a ball drop. They spent almost an hour perfecting their run and then insisted I record it on my phone. They were so excited and enthusiastic to make each run faster and more successful.”

The Museum plays an important role as a regional asset in providing a unique opportunity for children to explore and learn about history, science, art, and culture in an interactive and engaging way. In addition to the educational benefits, the Museum also serves as a safe place to cultivate play and learning.

“The philanthropy of the Ignite Society ensures that the Museum is accessible to all. The upcoming expansion will make CMSM even more inclusive and I look forward to seeing how our region’s support will help the Museum to become even more amazing and awe-inspiring.”

By staying current with the latest research and trends in child development and education, the Museum will continue to provide meaningful and impactful experiences for years to come.