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Enjoy the latest feature story from The Nucleus
Meet THE MUSES!
For more than 60 years, THE MUSES of the California Science Center Foundation has been a steadfast partner in helping to advance the California Science Center’s mission to stimulate curiosity and inspire science learning in everyone. THE MUSES’s dedicated efforts to support science education for children, particularly those in under-resourced circumstances, have contributed greatly to our success in expanding educational resources and programming for youth in the Science Center’s local community of South Los Angeles and beyond. Together, we work to create educational opportunities for young people that inspire them to explore the world around them and to appreciate the impact and importance of science in their daily lives.
With a membership of over 70 members, THE MUSES engage in fundraising and volunteer activities that support and promote the California Science Center Foundation and its education programs for youth. The organization was founded in 1962 by the spouses of 22 members of the Board of Trustees of the California Museum of Science and Industry (our predecessor institution). The founders selected the name to emulate the nine mythological muses of ancient Greece, whose purpose was to advance the communication of knowledge through the study of the arts and sciences.
THE MUSES’s diverse membership includes both new and longtime members, some who have been actively involved for decades, who all share a commitment to making science education available to everyone, especially young people. Christine Hessler, a member of THE MUSES since 1993 and Vice President of Finance for the organization, says "I joined THE MUSES because I wanted to be active in a volunteer community that understands the importance of making hands-on science accessible to every child, regardless of their circumstances. I’ve seen the programs we support at the California Science Center grow into some of the most successful science education programs for children in Southern California. Our financial and volunteer support over the years is only possible because of dedicated members who enjoy being part of who we are and what we do.”
Patricia Torres joined THE MUSES in 2011 after making a generous planned gift to the California Science Center. Since then, she has remained an active member of THE MUSES and an enthusiastic supporter of the Science Center. She says, “Being a member of THE MUSES is purposeful and very rewarding for me, because it provides financial support to underserved children through educational science programs. I consider the Science Center to be an important part of my life. Being a member of THE MUSES is the reason that I grew to passionately support the California Science Center.”
Thanks to devoted and generous members like Christine and Patricia, and many others, THE MUSES has contributed some $3 million since 1980 to the California Science Center’s education programs for youth. One of the ways in which THE MUSES support and advocate for the California Science Center is through their annual “Woman of the Year” signature event, which serves to raise funds for programs as well as raise awareness by introducing new people to the Science Center’s mission and vision. The luncheon has been hosted by THE MUSES for more than 50 years to recognize and celebrate women who have achieved remarkable success in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) or business. Most recently, THE MUSES honored Nobel Prize winner Dr. Andrea M. Ghez, renowned astrophysicist, UCLA professor, and a recognized role model for young girls pursuing careers in STEM fields.
Other distinguished past “Woman of the Year” honorees over the decades have included: aerospace luminaries Dr. Anna Fisher (NASA Astronaut), Dr. Wanda Austin (The Aerospace Corporation President & COO), Eileen Drake (Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO & President), and Gwynne Shotwell (SpaceX President & COO); internationally recognized Alzheimer disease researcher and neurologist Dr. Helena Chui (Chair, USC Keck School of Medicine); groundbreaking designer Ray Eames; pioneering marine biologist and oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle; leading primatologist and conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall; seismologist and trusted public authority Dr. Lucy Jones; and surgeon and breast cancer researcher Dr. Susan Love.
In addition to their fundraising activities, members of THE MUSES support the Science Center’s programs and students by regularly participating in tours of our Hands-On Science Camp and Community Youth Programs to see them in action, and also have a history of volunteering in various capacities. They are careful observers of the education staff’s hands-on, inquiry-based approach to science education and enjoy the enthusiasm and energy from their interactions with students. In turn, our education staff and youth participants benefit from engaging with such an interested and encouraging group of supporters.
The California Science Center deeply appreciates THE MUSES’s tremendous dedication, generous commitment and hands-on involvement with the Science Center and our youth education programs. We look forward to continuing our ongoing partnership with THE MUSES to serve children and families in our shared communities with much-needed, high-quality science learning opportunities for decades to come.
Valued Members of the Science Center are eligible to receive a limited number of complimentary parking validations based on your Membership contribution level. Parking benefits are stored electronically in your Member record along with your IMAX and Attractions benefits. After parking your car, please stop by the Membership Services Window at the Box Office, where staff will confirm your available allotment before validating your parking ticket. Please be sure to validate your parking before the Membership Services Window closes at 4:30 p.m.
Parking validations are not valid on Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Banc of California Stadium major event days. If you arrive on a non-major event day when the gate arms are up and the parking operations staff is taking payment at the kiosk you can show them your Membership card to identify yourself as a Member of the Science Center and enjoy your parking benefit.
See the Exposition Park events calendar here to consider when planning your visit to the Science Center.
(Please note that parking validations are not valid on Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Banc of California Stadium event days.)