Miriam P. Brenner Children’s Museum’s mission is to engage all children and families in hands-on, fun learning experiences which contribute to their growth and development through play, creation, outdoor exploration, and STEM experiences.

Today, more than 400 children’s museums throughout the United States break the rules of traditional institutions by encouraging visitors to touch, talk, have fun, and learn. In a children’s museum, the audience is most important, not the objects. The exhibits, however, are catalysts for questions, exploration, and discovery and the entire experience is a playground for the mind.

Designed to inspire hands-on learning through play, the Miriam P. Brenner Children’s Museum (MBCM) offers a fun, energetic, and safe environment for children of all ages. Located in downtown Greensboro, children, their families, and teachers can interact with more than 20 exhibits including the 30-foot-tall Neptune XXL Climbers and half-acre learning garden, which are each designed to stimulate children’s imaginations and provide educational play experiences.

Our History

Founder Jerry Hyman

The Miriam P. Brenner Children’s Museum began with one man’s dream of bringing a children’s museum to Greensboro. Jerry Hyman was inspired by traveling to children’s museums around the country, and he began to share his vision with community leaders. Cynthia Doyle, a local legend in the area of civic duty and volunteerism, who in turn contacted a group of alumni from the Leadership Greensboro Program. This group served as the Steering Committee, then launched a Capital Campaign led by Doyle. Three years later, on May 15, 1999, the Greensboro Children’s Museum opened its doors at 220 N. Church Street.

Community leader Cynthia Doyle and family

In September 2009, Food Activist and Chef Alice Waters came to Greensboro to open The Edible Schoolyard at the Miriam P. Brenner Children’s Museum. The Edible Schoolyard is a hands-on, half-acre organic teaching garden and kitchen classroom. Since its grand opening in May 2010, The Edible Schoolyard has been a destination for children, families, and teachers to learn about growing, cooking, and sharing fresh, delicious food. With an ecosystem of plants and animals, the garden features vegetables, herbs, fruits, flowers, trees, and shrubs, as well as chickens, worms, and insects. A special thank you to The Edible Schoolyard donors for their generous contributions.

In 2015, MBCM launched the “Reaching Greater Heights” expansion project and capital campaign with the objective of opening multiple signature features to strengthen MBCM’s mission. Phase 1 was completed in summer 2017 with the addition of the Outdoor Play Plaza; and phase 2, an indoor, interactive water exhibit, was completed in fall 2018. Phase 3 of construction was completed in 2020, adding the technology exhibit, The Growing Place, to the Museum’s list of fun STEAM-based activities.

Annual Reports

MBCM Staff

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Joe Rieke

President & CEO

I’m a huge fan of the Miriam P. Brenner Children’s Museum and have been with the organization since 2018, working first in Advancement and Marketing before taking over as the Museum’s director. I love the role that the Museum plays in our community and the impact it has had on multiple generations of families in the Triad region. My two young kids love coming to MBCM whether it’s to play (fun!) or hang out in my office (not as fun). Originally from Seattle, WA, I’ve grown to cherish Greensboro and have found community and connections here I know will last a lifetime.

p: 336.574.2898 ext. 313
e: jrieke@mbcmuseum.com

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Stephanie Ashton

COO

I came to Greensboro from my home state of Ohio by way of UNC – Chapel Hill where I received my Masters of Public Administration. I transitioned from working in economic development in the areas of business retention and entrepreneurship to my current role as the Director of The Edible Schoolyard and Education at MBCM. I love seeing first-hand how inspired kids are while working in the garden or in cooking classes. When I’m away from the Museum, you’ll find me cooking, playing with my two young children, and enjoying three out of four of the seasons.

p: 336.574.2898 ext. 320
e: sashton@mbcmuseum.com

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Stephanie Clifford

Development Director

As a mother of two children, I have enjoyed visiting and playing in the Museum for many years. In my role, I get to bring the excitement of learning through play to many more children and families in our community. I am typically busy at work helping to celebrate kids’ special days or raising funds to ensure everyone has access to the Museum’s offerings.

p: 336.574.2898 ext. 313
e: sclifford@mbcmuseum.com

Michael Robinson, Finance Director

Michael Robinson

Finance Director

I enjoy learning and learning atmospheres so working at the Miriam P. Brenner Children’s Museum is exciting to me. I’ve lived in Greensboro since 1984 and remember when the Museum was the Suburu dealership. I’ve spent my entire career in a variety of accounting roles and a lot of years in non-profits. Outside of work, I enjoy photography, yardwork, traveling, and seeing my grandchildren grow up.

p: 336.574.2898 ext. 307
e: finance@mbcmuseum.com

John Richardson

Facilities and Exhibits Director

I joined the Museum staff in 2018 to oversee the physical condition of all aspects of the Museum in order to help promote entertaining, inspiring, and stimulating experiences for families. The smiles on the children’s faces as their imaginations take them to different worlds makes it all worthwhile. When I’m not at the Museum, I operate a craftsman business and spend most of my leisure time doing outdoor activities, cooking, and trying to keep up with my new rescue puppy.

p: 336.574.2898 ext. 314
e: jrichardson@mbcmuseum.com

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Emma McHone

Garden Educator

I return to my hometown to share a deep love for growing food in community. As a Garden Educator, I align my work and Masters in Environmental Education with my experience in various farm/garden spaces. I love connecting horticulture with joyful and playful learning so that we can collectively grow our gratitude for the places, plants, and animals that give us life. Outside of work, I love to go on adventures where you’ll find myself and friends fully embracing the wonder and magic of our amazing world.

P: 336.574.2898 ext. 318

E: emchone@mbcmuseum.com

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Siri Johnson

Early Childhood Educator

As an early learning educator, I’m able to combine my two favorite things: the museum experience and kiddos! The opportunity to excite and encourage inquisitive minds is as fulfilling as it is continuous. I am so thrilled to be a part of such an important and steadfast staple of the community. The Miriam P. Brenner Children’s Museum welcomed me with open arms from Lynchburg, Virginia, where community resources for learning and exploration are similarly celebrated. When not at the museum, I can be found enjoy Greensboro’s plethora of parks, illustrating, or surfing Pinterest.

P: 336.574.2898 ext. 315

E: sjohnson@mbcmuseum.com

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Maria Cabel

Sales Manager

There is not much to know about little old me, but just for fun I’ll go ahead and name just three.

I hail from Boston and call it my home, but one day decided I just wanted to roam.

So I packed up my things and headed out west, and ended up in a place that was truly the best.

Colorado was huge with breathtaking views and the snow was so fluffy but I just couldn’t choose.

Yes it was beautiful but boy was it cold, and I thought to myself, “When did I get this old?”.

I headed down south and found a nice spot, somewhere I could soak in some sun but not get too hot.

North Carolina is the place for me, it’s where I’ve settled and where I’ll be.

I hope you learned a little or maybe a lot, but what else can I say that’s all I’ve got.

P: 336.574.2898 ext. 302
E: mcabel@mbcmuseum.com

Sam Gillespie

Sam Gillespie

Sales Coordinator

Born in Greensboro, raised in the small town of Liberty, North Carolina, the Children’s Museum has always been a favorite spot of mine, from early childhood right into motherhood. It is now a favorite spot for my kiddos as well! I am a lover of all things visual and performing arts. With a background in music, teaching, and childcare, as well as customer service, client relations, and sales, I like to bring an insightful, empathetic, and dedicated approach to all the work that I’m involved in. I am always excited to learn new things and believe that children are our greatest teachers. When I’m not at the Museum, I work as a Color Guard Director at two high schools here in NC. During my free time, I enjoy painting, wire wrapping crystals and gems, making jewelry, making music alone or with friends, and most importantly spending time with my wonderful husband and two beautiful children.

 

P: 336.574.2898 ext. 309

E: sgillespie@mbcmuseum.com

Jessica Clifford

Jessica Clifford

Marketing Manager

Everything you see that’s communication-based within and about the Museum is my role! I try to bring an extra level of excitement that draws your family into the educational fun that is the Museum. Although I am a northerner at heart, I have a soft spot for the south after receiving my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communication studies at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. When I’m not at work, I am usually found reading a book, writing poetry or short stories, and spending time with friends and family. P.S. Follow us on social media – you won’t regret it!

P: 336.574.2898 ext. 316

E: jclifford@mbcmuseum.com

Jadarius McCoy

Guest Services Team Leader, Visitor Experience

Born in Greensboro and raised in High Point, I played in the museum as a child. Since then, I have developed a deep appreciation for serving my community. I graduated from North Carolina A&T State University, where I studied Journalism and Mass Communication. My hobbies include football, music, and over-analyzing movie plots.

p: 336.574.2898 ext. 304
e: jmccoy@mbcmuseum.com

Melissa

Melissa Ramsaur

Guest Services Team Leader, Visitor Education

Growing up, I was a child with a vivid imagination who loved to visit my local children’s museum in Louisiana. I understand the importance of providing developing minds with a wildly fun and educationally enriching environment. As a newcomer to Greensboro, I’m thrilled to join the team as head of props and programming. I bring to the table a professional background in administration, customer service, and childcare. I am also an aunt to 11 (and counting) energetic nieces and nephews! In my spare time, I enjoy baking, participating in various musical activities such as singing in local choirs and playing piano or harp, baking loaves of bread or sweet treats, and simply hanging out at home with my husband Daniel, our cat Lila and 3-legged dog Pippin.

p: 336.574.2898 ext. 305

e: mramsaur@mbcmuseum.com

Gabby Bragg, Tead Lead

Gabby Bragg

Guest Services Team Leader, Recruitment & Training Coordinator

It’s difficult to think of interesting things to write about yourself when you work in a museum that’s filled with amazing exhibits! Growing up in a small town, I’d only have the opportunity to visit the museum on a class field trip. But these museums were full of things we couldn’t touch or interact with. After receiving my bachelor’s degree in human development and Family Studies, I had no clue I’d be working in a museum that encourages children to learn through play. My inner child is delighted to come to work every day!

 

p: 336.574.2898 ext. 306

e: gbragg@mbcmuseum.com

Matt

Matt McCarthy

Edible Schoolyard Associate

I have lived in Greensboro for four years and have fallen in love with this great city. I have an MA in Public History from UNC Greensboro and have fallen in love with garden work. In my spare time, I spend it watching horror movies, caring for my massive container garden, and giving my two kitties some much needed love.

p: 336.574.2898 ext. 317

e: mmcarthy@mbcmuseum.com

Miranda Young

Miranda Young

Edible Schoolyard Associate

I am a perpetual sophophile. By trade, I am an art director / graphic designer, but I joined the Edible Schoolyard to get back to the basics – the earth and good old hard work – to bring sustainable goodness to the community.

Jude

Jude Harper

Edible Schoolyard Associate

I have found out that what I am most passionate about is sharing my love and knowledge about gardening, and minimizing plant waste. Growing our own fruits and veggies is fun, but also makes it taste better. Gardening has taught me so much about patience, confidence, and mindfulness. Come check out our garden and feel the same peace that we do!

Guest services associates

2023 MBCM Board of Directors

Officers

Robert Johnson, Board Chair

Chris Heffner, Chair-Elect

Emily Taylor, Treasurer

Laura Collie, Secretary

Members at Large

Bryan Clemmons

Kate Ettefaugh

Danny Gatling

Victoria Hammett

Molly Harbaugh

Maria Hicks-Few

Rosemary Kenerly

Jodi Knox

Brian Lopatka

Michael Mahoney

Alex Maultsby

Carolyn McGovern

Mary Katherine McInnis

Skip Purcell

Virginia Spillman

Adam Tracey

Skotty Wannamaker

Kellee Watkins

In honor of Cynthia E. Doyle, creative visionary, volunteer extraordinaire, community activist and dedicated leader in the city’s efforts to build promising futures for our families and their children.  

The Miriam P. Brenner Children’s Museum is a testament to the unfailing generosity & the community spirit of Joseph McKinley Bryan, Sr. He has enlivened the lives of our children and we are forever grateful!