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Port Discovery

NEWS
August 11, 2002
IT'S EASY TO understand why the troubled Port Discovery children's museum would want to move to a more visible location near the National Aquarium. But should it then be allowed to hold on to its current home - which it leases from the city for $1 a year - and make a huge profit by leasing it to some other user? A fierce controversy has erupted over this question. The children's museum's boosters argue that this would resolve its long-term financial problems. Critics contend that such an arrangement would amount to a gargantuan taxpayer subsidy over the 96 remaining years of the lease.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Jess Blumberg | December 12, 2002
Meet Maisy the mouse at the third in a series of interactive story times at Port Discovery this Saturday. "Story Time With Maisy" presents tales from the Maisy books by Lucy Cousins. The books, which have been developed into a television series on Nick Jr., feature an adventurous little mouse with whom young children can relate. Along with brightly colored illustrations, each book has Maisy learning new things about the world. The Port Discovery event, which is geared toward toddlers and preschoolers, offers up to three stories read by Maisy herself.
NEWS
By Robert Guy Matthews and Robert Guy Matthews,SUN STAFF | April 16, 1998
At a time when Baltimore has seen its City Life Museums and the Columbus Center's Hall of Exploration close their doors for want of visitors, another downtown museum -- Port Discovery -- is poised to open at the end of this year.Work on the much-awaited children's attraction to be created inside the old Fishmarket building along Fallsway is set to begin early next month after years of planning, promises and false starts.Port Discovery planners are about $1 million shy of reaching their $32 million fund-raising goal.
FEATURES
By Amanda Smear and Amanda Smear,SUN STAFF | August 1, 2003
Kurt Zimmerle works just as long and hard as the next guy, though he certainly doesn't spend 40 hours a week trapped behind a desk. For him, work is truly child's play. As a Lego "master builder," Zimmerle, 30, is one of only 40 lucky adults who gets to spend his days painstakingly constructing intricate, often massive designs from tiny Lego bricks - the same ones designed for kids as young as 6. And he gets paid for it. His line of work demands artistic ability, patience and creativity as well as a masterful understanding of Lego bricks and the countless ways they can be combined to create larger-than-life masterpieces.
BUSINESS
By June Arney and June Arney,SUN STAFF | January 17, 2004
After years of struggling, officials at Port Discovery think they have found the right mix to solve the children's museum's financial woes and boost attendance. The $32 million museum is reinventing itself by targeting a younger audience and changing exhibits to encourage repeat visits. Its staff also is making a point of listening to customers more. "We're going through those growing pains that every new institution goes through," said Michelle Winner, a museum spokeswoman. "We've seen where we've made mistakes, and we've acted to correct them.
BUSINESS
BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | January 16, 2002
Port Discovery is ranked among the top four children's museums in the country, based on a survey by Child magazine which hit newsstands yesterday. The museum followed long-established museums in Indianapolis, Houston and Boston. "Port Discovery is honored to be recognized as one of the best children's museum's in the U.S.," said Alan M. Leberknight, president and chief executive of Port Discovery. "We are proud of the experience we provide and work hard to ensure that a visit to Port Discovery increases a child's confidence, piques new interests and strengthens the bond between children and their parents."
NEWS
March 29, 1997
PORT DISCOVERY, the children's entertainment and education center slated for a November 1998 opening, is Baltimore's mystery museum. Walt Disney Co., which is creating exhibits for the $29 million attraction, does not want any details to emerge so early that rivals could copy them and steal the thunder. About the only concept that seems to be known is a submarine-like boat that would shuttle visitors from Harborplace the museum's Jones Falls pier.None of this secrecy is hurting Port Discovery's fund-raising efforts, though.
BUSINESS
By June Arney and June Arney,SUN STAFF | July 24, 2001
Kathy Dwyer Southern, who oversaw the birth of Baltimore's Port Discovery, will now head to Washington to take the helm of the Capital Children's Museum just as it embarks on an expansion. Southern, president and chief executive officer at the $32 million interactive children's museum since 1996, will end her tenure Aug. 13. Alan Leberknight, retiring dean of Towson University's College of Business and Economic Development, will take over as interim president. Museum officials said they would conduct a national search for a permanent replacement.
BUSINESS
By Andrea K. Walker and Andrea K. Walker,SUN STAFF | July 18, 2003
Nearly two years after he was hired to save Baltimore's foundering children's museum, Alan M. Leberknight has stepped down as president and chief executive officer even as Port Discovery remains in a financial quandary. Bryn Parchman, who had been chief operating officer, was selected Tuesday to replace him effective immediately, Port Discovery announced yesterday. Leberknight's departure comes at a time when the museum faces a $1 million deficit after several attempts at a turnaround have failed.
BUSINESS
By Gary Gately and Gary Gately,SUN STAFF | March 6, 1996
Before asking others to shell out some $15 million for the Port Discovery Children's Museum, its chairman, Douglas Becker, has launched a fund-raising drive by donating $1 million.Mr. Becker, also president of Sylvan Learning Systems Inc., said yesterday that he made the donation on behalf of "Friends of Sylvan," with the money coming mainly from him and his tutoring company.He said he hopes the donation inspires others to follow suit to help foot the bill for the $27 million Port Discovery.
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