Creative Discovery Museum Relocates Administrative Offices to Increase Exhibit Space

Creative Discovery Museum Relocates Administrative Offices to Increase Exhibit Space

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Creative Discovery Museum (CDM) is on the move! As a part of its $10M Ignite Discovery renovation project, CDM moved nearly half of its administrative offices across 4th street. The move will create 3,000 square feet of additional exhibit space within the Museum  without adding on to the building.

“This move kicks off a very exciting time in Creative Discovery Museum’s history,” said Henry Schulson, CDM’s executive director. “The Museum has undergone several small renovations over the last 25 years, but this will be the first time the entire facility will be updated for generations of families to come.”

The second-floor will house ARTSpace, CDM’s new exhibit dedicated to performing and visual arts, along with a small number of education offices and a volunteer center. ARTSpace will feature an art studio, recording studio, theater area and ample opportunities to create with a variety of mediums. Cultural exhibits will highlight and explore an East Tennessee Ramp Festival including bluegrass music and the traditions of Guatemala's Day of the Dead celebration.  

“The new ARTSpace will be a vibrant exhibit for children and families to explore together,” said Schulson. “Our new cultural exhibits will give visitors the opportunity to learn more about the world around them and allow us to foster deeper relationships with our community.”  

Renovations to the second floor are slated for August 2021. This phase will include construction of several new exhibit spaces, including ARTSpace, STEM Zone presented by Volkswagen Chattanooga, and the Tree House Adventure outdoor exhibit.  

CDM re-ignited its $10 million capital campaign in September 2020 after temporarily suspending efforts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, $8.1 million has been raised from a broad base of supporters including corporations, foundations and community leaders.  

Ignite Discovery: Creating the new CDM capital campaign will fund comprehensive renovations of CDM’s 43,000 square foot facility, providing opportunities for children and families to explore, innovate, create and play for generations to come. The initiative is centered on three goals: to ensure CDM remains a leader in experiential learning, a gathering place for all children and a gateway to a vibrant downtown Chattanooga.  

Ignite Discovery addresses community challenges that were identified in a 2018 Feasibility Study conducted by POWER 10, an Atlanta-based fundraising firm that previously assisted with the campaign. These challenges include strengthening early childhood education, providing new opportunities for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) learning, increasing access for all children regardless of background and helping revitalize the Riverfront District. In addition to facility renovations, this campaign addresses each of the needs by updating and installing new exhibits, expanding outreach programs and creating a new, vibrant urban space on the CDM Plaza.

Ignite Discovery: Creating the new CDM campaign is chaired by Susu and Paul Brock and Leah and Jay Hill.  

Since opening its doors in 1995, CDM has welcomed over 5 million visitors. It has been nationally-ranked by Trekaroo and Child magazines. CDM received the CICL Pinnacle Award for its work in biofuels distance learning lessons. Locally, CDM was named Best Museum in the Times Free Press’s Best of the Best competition and is a two-time Nonprofit of the Year finalist. In addition, CDM was the first organization in Tennessee to participate in Museums for All, a national initiative that encourages cultural organizations to provide significantly reduced admissions to families that receive food assistance.

For more information about Ignite Discovery: Creating the New CDM, visit or contact Katie Hanners, CDM’s director of advancement, at (423) 648-6043.

A special thanks to Bellhop for helping with our move!