Kidspace Children's Museum Announces Executive Change After 8 Years of Visionary Leadership

Published : Wednesday, September 18, 2019 | 5:01 AM

Michael Shanklin

After eight years of dedicated, visionary leadership as the Chief Executive Officer, Michael Shanklin will be moving to Washington, D.C. to build a new children’s museum and will be leaving his position at Kidspace on September 30, the Museum announced.

“Michael’s tenure with Kidspace has been transformative. The museum has experienced tremendous growth in attendance, revenue, and has significantly expanded Kidspace for All access programs that helps to make the museum available to all families.” Mike Bryant, Board President, went on to say, “We are sorry to see Michael go but we are excited for his new opportunity and are grateful for his many contributions.”

Shanklin took the helm in 2011 and has focused on the museum’s fiscal health, strategic growth, and exhibit development. The successful completion of a $13 million Campaign for the Future of Kidspace realized the opening of several immersive hands-on exhibit experiences that includes: Galvin Physics Forest, Imagination Workshop, Arroyo Adventure, Storyteller Studio, and the redesigned S. Mark Taper Early Childhood Learning Center.

These exhibit spaces have been instrumental in delivering powerful educational experiences on a daily basis.

Kidspace said it remains committed to being inclusive to all families and in 2018 welcomed more than 90,000 annual guests through the Kidspace for All free and discounted programs that ensure that everyone has the opportunity to learn through play.

“It has been rewarding to have led Kidspace during a pivotal period of transformation. It has been my privilege to have worked with board, staff, donors, and volunteers, who are committed to advancing early childhood education,” said Shanklin.

Kidspace’s Board of Directors have begun an executive search for Shanklin’s successor. Mike Bryant will serve as both the Board President and Interim CEO during the search.

“During this transition our dedicated team will continue our commitment to serving Kidspace’s mission by expanding programming, updating exhibit experiences, and engaging the community. We celebrate all that Michael has done in helping to establish Kidspace as a leader in the children’s museum field. We look forward to working with future leadership to continue to launch new innovative educational initiatives for another 40 more years,” said Bryant.

For more information, visit

blog comments powered by Disqus