The mission of the Maine Discovery Museum (MDM) is to educate children and families, encourage creativity, nurture a sense of wonder, and to challenge all to learn in new and innovative ways. Exhibits and programs will be fun, interactive, and thought-provoking, and encourage participation by children and families of all abilities and socioeconomic backgrounds. As a unique community resource, the museum will provide opportunities for exploration and discovery that incorporate aspects of Maine into a greater understanding of the world in which we live.
Maine Discovery Museum began with a public forum in 1997, sponsored by five community organizations led by the Partnership for Healthy Communities. The response was overwhelmingly positive. A feasibility study was commissioned, a board of directors was formed, and the museum was incorporated in 1998 as the Eastern Maine Children’s Museum.
Government support came from the City of Bangor, whose leaders believed in the museum’s mission and saw the children’s museum as a catalyst for downtown economic development. It is the cornerstone of the downtown art, culture, and entertainment district. Located in a part of the historic Freese’s Department Store building, the museum opened its doors in February 2001, with a new name, Maine Discovery Museum, reflecting its statewide reach and broad vision.