The mission of The Children's Museum of Indianapolis is to create extraordinary learning experiences that have the power to transform the lives of children and families. It is our vision to be recognized as the global leader among all museums and cultural institutions serving children and families. Our work is based on important core principles including: understanding how children and families learn to continually guide our work and to meet demands that we innovative and remain relevant; foster family learning and nurture interaction between children and their families; help all children reach their potential and become effective citizens through an environment that encourages hands-on, minds-on experiences; maintain a commitment to education by effectively reaching and impacting schools, teachers and teacher training institutions; act as a catalyst for the revitalization of the neighborhood in which we reside; provide a clean, safe, positive, quality environment that is affordable and accessible; continue to value the diversity of our staff, the audiences we serve, the programs we produce, and the relationships we pursue.
The Access Pass Program is an effort to reach Indiana's underserved families and provide them with a positive resource for learning. Through a collaborative effort with the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, state-supported families may visit the museum for only $1 per family member. About 74 of the 92 counties in the state have residents who are now Access Pass holders. The program serves Indiana families who are part of such programs as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, food stamps or Hoosier Healthwise Insurance. Visitors who qualify present their state-issued Hoosier Works Card (an electronic benefits card) or Hoosier Healthwise Program Card together with a picture ID at the museum box office. The museum then issues an annual pass that provides family members with the reduced rate throughout the year. As the Internet age grows, there is an opportunity to reach out to many different communities. The Children's Museum and FSSA will provide access to electronic versions of the Access brochure to FSSA state office employees. Indiana residents who are FSSA clients will be able to receive fast and sufficient information about the Access Pass program at the click of a button. The 30/34 Club provides free memberships for families residing between 30 and 34th Streets in the neighborhoods surrounding The Children's Museum of Indianapolis. In addition to free family memberships, families are invited to participate in special activities and programs throughout the year. The MAP (Museum Apprentice Program) is a mentoring, project-based program experience for youth. Participants ages 12 thru 17 select a path and are assigned to a mentor for that path. Those mentors along with other gallery and museum staff provide the training and guidance for participants to develop their projects. In this way, MAP provides extraordinary learning experiences and strong mentoring relationships. Participants are structured around three paths, arts, sciences and humanities that reflect the overall content of the museum's galleries and special exhibits.