A Museum of Marbles

In Spring 2013 an ad-hoc task force of the board, along with the Executive Director and key staff began studying the feasibility of Seattle Children’s Museum permanently hosting a renowned Marble Collection Exhibit-this is one of the largest collections of marbles anywhere! This exhibit would provide a draw to adult enthusiasts interested in these collectibles, interest children older than our usual demographic, expand our public footprint on the Seattle Center Armory first floor, activate under-utilized space and create a new revenue stream.

The Details

Hosting the Marble Collection requires accepting the long-term loan terms by the collection donars, completing capital renovation and setting up a separate ticketing and entrance system. Approximately 1.400 square feet of current storage & shop space would be renovated to accommodate a public entrance, cabinetry and displays. New programming would be developed along with the establishment of two dedicated staff positions. Separate branding and marketing would also be required. The Marble Exhibit would be separately ticketed at a low cost to attract adults and older children, while also providing a space for our traditional younger audience (6 months-10 years) to play in a safe and monitored fashion.

The Space


The Numbers

Estimated Capital Costs: $365,000

Revenue Sources (potential and pledged)

Regional Family Foundation: Up to $300,000

Anonymous Individuals: $25,000 (pledged)

Current Government Grantor: $10,000-$15,000

Current & Targeted Foundations: $30,000-$50,000

Current In-Kind Construction Donors $10,000-$15,000

Individuals/Community Fundraising: $7,500-$10,000

Project Revenue Estimate: $367,500 to $400,000

The Return

Estimated Annual Revenue

Based on Current Attendance Museum Visitors, Non-Members = $45,000 Museum Members = $25,000 General (newly attracted visitors) = $59,000 Annual Sponsorship = $5,000 Total Annual Revenue Estimate = $134,000


Above: Photos from the marble exhibit’s previous location.

Get Involved!

For more information on how you can get involved with donations of your time, talents, or your treasures, contact Kirk Laughlin our Director of Advancement.

Watch this Marbleous Video

Kathy Runyan-Svacina and her husband Larry are the donors of the extraordinary marble collection coming to Seattle Children’s Museum. For them, collecting marbles is more than just a hobby, it’s an opportunity to effect change on the world around them. Kathy has used marble to teach kids about kindness, kinetic play, and even drug awareness. This is just one of the amazing stories from Kathy of how she has seen these tiny spheres make a huge impact in the lives of kids.