The Year Ahead:Creating Amazing Moments

The Year Ahead:Creating Amazing Moments

Museum maintains interactivity through multiple channels


The Scott Family Amazeum may have had to temporarily shutter its doors last spring due to covid-19, but staff and educators at the interactive children’s museum in Bentonville didn’t slow down a bit.

As countless other organizations turned their focus to digital content, so too did the Amazeum staff work to expand theirs. The team created new offerings with the aim of replicating a visit to the physical Amazeum as closely as possible, reveals marketing manager Paul Stolt.

“Within a week, we launched AmazeumYOU on YouTube and started delivering virtual experiences,” he demonstrates. “Families and educators from Northwest Arkansas and beyond embraced AmazeumYOU as a platform for STEAM-rich, interactive learning any time, anywhere. Our foray into digital delivery now includes not only AmazeumYOU content, but virtual ‘Unfield Trips,’ camps and grown-up experiences.”

As a hands-on, interactive museum, the Amazeum was certainly challenged by covid to maintain and enhance the high degree of cleanliness guests have always expected from the institution. It also required some creative thinking in continuing the pursuit of the Amazeum’s mission: creating STEAM-rich (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) interactive experiences that inspire and activate curiosity, as well as build community at the intersection of the arts and sciences to promote a better understanding of and innovation in the world in which we live. It’s a mission that hasn’t changed in light of hybrid programming, Stolt asserts, as staff will continue to develop virtual content to make Amazeum experiences accessible online.

“Our biggest goal is to stay connected with a curious, creative community through virtual and onsite experiences in an environment that continues to present challenges,” Amazeum spokesman Paul Stolts says of the museum’s guiding principle before, during and since the outbreak of the pandemic. The institution has shifted to a hybrid of in-person reduced capacity and virtual programming to make Amazeum experiences as accessible as possible.
(Courtesy Photo/Christine Pendry via Amazeum)

“Our biggest goal is to stay connected with a curious, creative community through virtual and onsite experiences in an environment that continues to present challenges,” he says. “We are expanding our efforts to reach an increasingly diverse population in Northwest Arkansas by launching workshop sessions for teens and adults this spring co-facilitated by our team and participants in our Makers in Residence Program. This program brings diversely talented makers, artists, craftspeople and creatives to the Amazeum.”

In addition to the teen and adult workshop sessions, the Amazeum will host a new exhibit just in time for the World Cyclocross Championships in the fall: “Gear Up: The Science of Bikes” will open in the traveling gallery in September. Already open, the “Creativity Cubed: Think Outside the Blocks!” experience is accessible in the traveling exhibit gallery through fall. The annual UnGala FUNdraiser scheduled for April 24 is moving forward as a hybrid virtual/onsite event and staff are hoping that by October, the Amazeum will be able to gather the creative community for Tinkerfest.

“We do have big plans for the future to share soon,” Stolt hints of more to come. “Currently, we are excited to be collaborating with Crystal Bridges to design and develop an accessible play space called Convergence in the woods between our museums. Experiences in the arts, sciences and nature connect in Convergence to allow for playful exploration of all interconnected elements.”


The Amazeum expanded its online presence in response to covid-19, but the institution is still preparing for several new exhibitions and exciting developments this year for which staff are hoping to be able to gather the community by later in 2021. Here, visitors explore ice balloons at the Amazeum’s outdoor Playscape during a pop-up activity shortly after the museum reopened last summer.
(Courtesy Photo/Christine Pendry via Amazeum)

Scott Family Amazeum

WHEN — 9-11 a.m., 12-2 p.m., 3-5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday; 12-2 p.m. & 3-5 p.m. Sunday; closed Tuesday

WHERE — 1009 Museum Way in Bentonville

COST — $10; free for members & children younger than 2. Ticket reservation required to maintain reduced capacity.

INFO — 696-9280 or

FYI — Amazeum is closed for one hour between sessions for cleaning.


How To Help

“Covid continues to impact museums and other cultural institutions. Across the country, many remain closed, or are open with reduced capacity like the Amazeum. It is likely that many will not reopen,” says Amazeum spokesman Paul Stolts. “We are fortunate to have incredible community support from donors, members and our community that allowed us to continue creating amazing moments and ask that they continue to support us as we all move toward a post-covid world.”

Categories: Family Friendly