Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys

The Museum utilizes our collection of over 20,000 objects donated from generations of Coloradans to stage exhibits ranging from vintage star wars toys to artisan dollhouses and from antique dolls to well-loved toy soldiers. It is a sanctuary where the unique is celebrated and a place of learning where history and art meet humanity. We have been entrusted with preserving Colorado's childhood for 35 years and we intend to do just that for generations to come.

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Organizational Overview

Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys
1880 Gaylord St
Denver, CO 80206
The mission of the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys is to provide educational and cultural services to the greater Rocky Mountain region through the preservation, exhibition, collection and interpretation of the visual arts using miniatures, dolls and toys.

The Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys is half way through a complete inventory of the 20,000 items in our collection. This project began in 2014 with our toy collection with a Institute of Museum and Library Sciences grant. In 2015, we completed the toy collection and moved on to our miniatures collection. In 2017 we plan to complete a full inventory with the review of our doll collection.
After 30 years as a tenant of the State of Colorado, we are looking for a new building in the metro Denver area. We are looking for a building that will fit our ever growing collection, have better access for handicap visitors and parking for the general public. We are excited to move the Museum into a new era.

Needs Statement

1. A new facility that better meets our security, storage and accessibility needs.
2.Money for General Operating Expenses
3. Volunteers including Board Members especially volunteers with site management, exhibits building, legal, accounting, PR and treasurer skills
4. Increase Visibility in the Greater Denver Metro Area
5. Funding for additional staff in Education and for a part time Volunteer Coordinator and Curator

Background Statement

The Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys (DMMDT) was founded in 1981 through the support of a grass-roots community coalition of miniature doll artists, business owners, and civic leaders.  From 1981 to 1987 volunteers managed the museum with no paid staff or public facility and its exhibits were presented throughout the community.  In the fall of 1987 the museum opened at its present location, leasing the Pearce-McAllister Cottage from the State of Colorado Historical Scoiety.
DMMDT began to draw visitors through our fun exhibits and unique collection. The Museum staff utilizes the collection of over 20,000 objects to stage four major exhibit changes each year. The exhibits range from vintage Star Wars toys to artisan dollhouses and from exquisite antique dolls to well-loved toy soldiers. Objects collected from generations of Coloradoans serve as an excellent stepping stone into both art and history. Many objects, such as the Japanese Friendship Doll, Miss Yokohama, make history more accessible and open the door to a new experience.
The DMMDT is so much more than toys. It is an opportunity to share and make memories with family and friends. It is a venue for collectors to share and explore their passion. It is a sanctuary where the unique is celebrated. And finally, it is a place of learning where history and art meet humanity. The Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys has been entrusted with preserving Colorado's childhood and we intend to do just that for generations to come.

Impact Statement

In 2015, the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys served just over 12,000 people. Eighty two percent of people served were from Colorado, 77% were from the 7 county metro Denver region.

Our goal is to remain affordable and accessible to everyone. We strive to keep our prices low and provide free or reduced cost activities for people throughout the Metro Denver area. We are an active part of our community and therefore have participated in the City Park Arts festival, Aurora Jack-o-Launch, Doors Open Denver, and The Smithsonian's National Museum Day. We have also worked with Metro Volunteers, Citizens for Lakewood's Future and Community Resources Inc. to bring our fun perspective on art and history to people throughout the metro area. The Museum collaberates annually with ArtReach in order to allow everyone an opportunity to experience arts and culture. On average the Museum donates 1,000 admission tickets to those in need of assistance. We also work with Jefferson, Arapahoe and Aurora Libraries to provide free admission and we provide traveling exhibits that allow people to experience the Museum in public spaces near their homes.
The Museum serves as a resource to those looking for assistance repairing, replacing or selling miniature, doll and toy collections. On average the museum receives 20 calls a week from people needing help with their personal collections. The Museum is offered nearly 200 objects per week for their permanent collection. This is a clear indication that the Museum is a trusted institution in Denver and that DMMDT plays a special role in the community.
The Museum has also hosted the Miniature & Doll Fall Show & Sale for the past 35 years. This event brings internationally recognized artists to Colorado once a year. The event includes a benefit auction, seminars, workshops and more. Each year more than 1,500 people attend this event. Without DMMDT an event of this size would not be held in Denver.

DMMDT Mission and Goals
The Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys is a 501(c)(3). The mission is to provide educational and cultural services to the greater Rocky Mountain region through the preservation, exhibition, collection and interpretation of the visual arts using miniatures, dolls and toys.
Our major goals, which we believe will help us best carry out our mission, are:
To create educational exhibits with relevance to the lives of Museum visitors and members highlighting the social and cultural history of miniatures, dolls and toys
To provide arts education to all children of the greater Denver area while working especially hard to reach those children who would normally not have an opportunity to engage in arts education
To establish ongoing education within the organization and the creation of a culture of learning
To be a consistent resource to our community
To increase involvement of local doll, miniature and toy clubs.
6. To diversify our funding sources.

DMMDT By the Numbers
20,000 objects in Collection
9,370 people served in 2014
5,174 visitors in 2014
500 international visitors each year
400 volunteers
323 tea party guests in 2014
255 days open per year
200 programs each year
150 museum members
35 years serving the Denver Area
2 full time staff members

Executive Director Statement

When I joined the staff at the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys in 2005 as the Coordinator of Education and Programs, I knew I had found a unique place. Toys are an area where we all have something in common. I love asking the visitors what their favorite toy is and what they think will be the next big thing in the toy world will be as much I enjoy the gasps of amazement as people explore the tiny world of our dollhouses. We've increased our collection size, attendance and programs in the past few years as well as created an endowment.
After 30 years in the same building, we are now looking for a new home that will both increase our accessibility to the public, and safety of our collection.
As director, I am working hard to ensure that these stories and experiences will be shared for years to come.

Board Chair/President Statement

The Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys is now in its 35th year of sparking the imagination and creating memories for people in the Metro Denver Area through the fun and engaging medium of miniatures and toys. As we look to our future, we are planning ways to be more accessible to visitors of all ages and mobility levels as well as how to continue to grow our collection to reflect the full history of miniatures, dolls and toys

"My youngest child is adopted. He has severe ADHD, PTSD and anxiety. You should have seen him when he came across the circus display. He actually stood there…(I didn't think he could stay still for that long). He looked at all the little people and animals. When he found a family he pointed them out and said, "Look Mom, that's us!"" -Celena R., Denver, CO

"Thank you so much for showing me around the museum. It was extremely interesting and I learned a lot. Most field trips aren't that helpful but this one was amazing! -Lena, The Logan School, Denver, CO
"This is one of the best museum's I have ever been to!" -Nicole, Mexico City, Mexico
"Art and culture maintained with a heart." -Jelam Gunjam, Aurora, CO
"A Beautiful and fascinating collection." -Gabrielle, Denver,CO
"A child's fantasy come true!" -Ramona, Pueblo, CO
"This museum brought back my happiest memories." Suzanne, Taylor, MI

From our Guest Book:
"Best museum ever"
"Loved it!! So interactive and beautiful"
"Very interesting :) and enjoyable"
"This museum is so beautiful!"
"Such fun-Thanks for Everything!"
"A real treat. Fantastic. Thank you"
"lovely and nostalgic, we'll be back"
"lovely- very awesome CIRCUS! COOL!"
"A child's fantasy (an adult fantasy)!
"Beautiful and fascinating collection, love the cat dolls."
"Awesome matchstick stuff!! unforgettable"
"Excellent Collection!"
Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.

Fundraising For This Nonprofit

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New Building Fund!

by Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys

It is with a great deal of excitement that we are writing this letter to you announcing our Capital Campaign! We hope to answer any and all questions you have, and use this letter to keep you "in the loop" and "up-to date" regarding the future of our beloved Museum.
Reflection Recently, we have been remembering our early days. Thirty-nine years ago we began planning and fund raising. Ten years later we moved into our current location. We obtained a professional decorator, painted, wallpapered, carpeted, furnished the galleries, loaned our personal collections, set-up exhibits, held parties and taught workshops. We did ALL of these things to further this beautiful Museum.
Reality Fast forward to present day. We have become one of the Top 100 attractions in Denver and a Top 10 Hidden Gem by Westword. But, the reality is, our Museum has outgrown our current space. Furthermore, History Colorado has decided to repurpose the Pearce-McAllister Cottage and we are time limited in our space. While the Museum continues to welcome a record numbers of visitors, the staff and volunteers have been busy preparing the collection for the upcoming move. Additional questions you have may be answered on the enclosed fact sheet. We need to find a home that conserves the collection, allows for growth, heightens accessibility, and ensures parking.
Response Your Board of Directors and staff have inspected possible locations. We have established a budget and hired a fund raising consultant. We are now launching our Treasured Past - Future Treasures: A Campaign for our New Home. One hundred percent of the Board Members have made a financial commitment in solid support of this endeavor. Our capital campaign goal is $1,500,000. We have already raised $300,000 which has been designated to kick off this campaign. Your financial help is truly needed now.
Request We have enclosed a pledge form and a self-addressed envelope for your convenience, as well as a packet of more detailed information. As always, we hope you will feel free to give any of us a call with any questions or suggestions you may have. We encourage you to dig deep; help us find the Museum a new home, and preserve this treasure for many generations to come.
DMMDT Board of Directors and Staff

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