Green Mountain Power has donated $20,000 to help underwrite
design work and a feasibility study for Rutland's proposed
destination Children's Museum currently functioning as Wonderfeet
"Green Mountain Power's donation brings us to 80 percent of our
fundraising goal for an important match that will help determine
the future of the museum in Rutland," said Myra Peffer, co-chair of
the Creative Economy Children's Museum Committee.
"This is a critical step forward in our effort to develop plans
for the museum and a sound understanding of what those plans would
cost to implement." "The Children's Museum will provide quality
multi‐generational, hands‐on experiences for families, with an
educational connection to GMP's EIC," said Paul Gallo, chairman of
the Rutland Creative Economy.
"We hope GMP's contribution will be a catalyst for others to
support the museum, which we feel will enhance the cultural
ecosystem of the Rutland area and help rejuvenate downtown as a
destination." The Children's Museum is an initiative of Rutland
In partnership with the Rutland Redevelopment Authority, the
group is seeking a $25,000 feasibility/planning grant from the
National Endowment for the Arts, which requires a one‐to‐one
The RRA's research forecasts a cost of $15,000 for each of three
architectural designs focused on specific potential sites in
downtown Rutland, thus utilizing $45,000 of the grant/matching
The remaining $5,000 would cover expenses related to mailings,
sponsoring a community forum and advertising for Requests for
"We see the Children's Museum as a wonderful cultural and
economic addition to the continuing transformation of downtown
Rutland," GMP President and CEO Mary Powell said.
"As we've developed plans for our new Energy Innovation Center,
we've come to see the Children's Museum and the EIC as
complementary assets to each other and the community at large."
Steve Costello, GMP's vice president for generation and energy
innovation, said he envisioned at least one display in the
company's energy innovation center that would be connected to the
"We are still in the early planning stages, but we support the
museum concept and envision a direct link between the facilities'
educational programs," Costello said.
The Children's Museum has already been tested on a smaller
scale, having been well received by the community over the past two
summers, when a temporary museum was open for limited hours.
During the museum's 30 hours of operation in 2011, it attracted
more than 1,700 visitors, and more than 1,200 visited during 24
open hours in 2012.