CDM Receives Museums Empowered Grant

CDM Receives Museums Empowered Grant

Published On:
Mackenzie Steele

Creative Discovery Museum (CDM) is excited to announce the awarding of a 3-year $243,425 grant from Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) as part of their Museums Empowered program. With this grant, CDM will promote staff professional development through trainings in customer service, job-specific activities, personal development, and leadership with the formation of the Creative Discovery Museum Academy (CDMA).

CDMA will provide robust employee training and development to help the Museum’s staff achieve their career development goals in a personalized way. Research shows that employees value opportunities to develop skills in their career, and CDM recognizes the value of helping all staff members realize their potential.

“One of the strengths of the Museum is our strong belief in the potential of every child (and adult) who walks through our doors,” said Henry Schulson, President and CEO.  “Every day our exhibits and education programs send out thousands of ‘sparks’ to ignite that potential. As we discussed this value, we concluded that if ‘potential’ was a CDM core value, then as an organization we must dedicate ourselves not only to develop the potential of our visitors but also to develop the potential of our staff.”

“CDM has strived to create more professional development opportunities for our staff for many years,” stated Samantha Teter, Vice President of Advancement. “This grant will finally allow us to hire a full-time staff member in charge of staff trainings and will afford us the time and resources we need to ensure every one of our 60+ employees receive valuable workplace and personal growth training opportunities.”

CDM is one of 20 institutions chosen for the Museums Empowered: Professional Development Opportunities for Museum Staff initiative of the Museums for America grant program. This grant allows each recipient institution to focus on projects in one of four categories: digital technology, diversity and inclusion, evaluation, or organizational management.

“This year’s awardees demonstrate the continuous learning efforts of museums,” said Laura Huerta Migus, Deputy Director, Office of Museum Services. “These projects reflect the implementation of lessons learned to revitalize museum practice and workforces while continuing to serve their communities.”

As the Museum continues its extensive renovations, training will be critical for orienting staff to the new learning opportunities in each exhibit. Through CDMA, all staff will have the opportunity to learn about child development and how to best engage with young children to further the Museum’s knowledge of early learning. This knowledge will allow our staff to confidently engage with all guests from the moment they enter the Museum in a respectful and welcoming way.

The Creative Discovery Museum Academy will officially launch in 2023. To learn more about Creative Discovery Museum’s mission and vision, visit

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America's museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. IMLS envisions a nation where individuals and communities have access to museums and libraries to learn from and be inspired by the trusted information, ideas, and stories they contain about our diverse natural and cultural heritage. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About Creative Discovery Museum
Creative Discovery Museum (CDM) is a non-profit, hands-on, children’s museum providing educational programs and exhibits in the arts and sciences. The Museum services nearly 300,000 individuals annually through museum visits, educational programs, free and reduced-price admission and much more. CDM is a prime tourist attraction and ranks among the best children’s museums in the country. The Museum’s vision is to make our community the best place for a child to grow up.

Visit us every day except Wednesday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at 321 Chestnut Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402. To learn more, visit and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.