Impact Report 2023

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Greetings from Thinkery’s CEO and Board Leadership................................. 2-4 Forty Years of Joyful Learning........................................................................... 5-7 How We Celebrated Turning the Big 4-0........................................................ 8-9 Thinkery - Del Valle: Coming Soon.............................................................. 10-11 To Go Far, You Cannot Go Alone................................................................... 12-13 Partnering to C.R.E.A.T.E. a Pipeline of Local STEM Talent...................... 14-15 Joyful Learning for ALL................................................................................... 16-17 Thinkery by the Numbers................................................................................18-19 Oh, the Places You’ll Go Little Thinkers....................................................... 20-21 Thinkery’s Next Evolution: The STEAM Learning Institute....................... 22-23 The Time to Invest in Thriving Futures is Now........................................... 24-25 Our Supporters................................................................................................. 26-27 Our Cultural Fluency Journey.............................................................................. 28 The Best Team in Town.................................................................................. ......29
Table of Contents


All children cultivate a lifelong love of learning.


Lead the future of play-based STEAM learning experiences that inspire and equip ALL children to be confident, creative thinkers.


Thinkery’s new values are Playfulness, Belonging, Innovation, and Collaboration. These values were developed through staffand community listening.




Wonder Fun




Listening Equity












Joyful Greetings from CEO Andy Bell

2023 was a landmark year for Thinkery! We celebrated 40 years of serving the Central Texas community, launched the STEAM Learning Institute, convened the Joyful Learning Collaborative, announced our first-ofits-kind neighborhood museum, Thinkery - Del Valle, and updated our mission, vision, values, and strategic priorities to align to the incredible places we are going. It truly was a milestone year for us, and a joyful one at that.

Over the course of our 40 years, Thinkery (formerly the Austin Children’s Museum), has played a pivotal role in providing joyful STEAM learning experiences to children that bolster their innate creativity and sense of wonder. And of the many lessons we’ve learned over the years, the one that sticks with me most is this: For us to go far, we must go together.

So, with this in mind, thank you for your support as we work in community to put the joy in learning so children can thrive. Together, we can ensure ALL Central Texas children – have the opportunity to access the kind of joyful learning experiences that help them develop a lifelong love of learning. This is our vision, and we are excited to have you on this journey with us.

Cheers to 40 years of Thinkery and here’s to many more milestones ahead!

Joyful surprises happen in Innovators’ Workshop.

A Message from Thinkery Board Leadership

Thinkery friends, hello!

As both Thinkery enthusiasts and board members, we spend much of our time playing and planning for EVEN MORE impact and joyful learning for children and their caregivers in Central Texas. The tremendous commitment, energy, and collaborative spirit of Thinkery’s staff is what makes these joyful experiences possible! Missions may be set by boards of organizations, but they are carried out by people. And the people at Thinkery are exceptional!

So what are we most proud of when we look back on 2023, and what are we most excited for in 2024? We are so glad you asked!

KC’s and Jonelle’s

Thinkery Top 5:

1. Thinkery – Del Valle is almost here: The doors opened to Del Valle ISD’s new Central Child Development Center in August 2023! Thinkery – Del Valle, which will reside in this space, is set to open in 2024. This innovative space will serve as a STEAM Learning Institute site and professional development hub, a neighborhood museum, and a community learning center.

2. Proclamation of December 7 being Thinkery Day in Austin: Mayor Kirk Watson agrees with us –Thinkery is a gem to our great city and deserves its very own day. Visit Thinkery’s YouTube page to watch a very special proclamation, made by children.

3. Tinkering time at Meredith Learning Lab: It’s time to modernize and update Thinkery’s exhibits and galleries, and we want YOU to innovate with us. Stay tuned for community listening opportunities where we can collaborate on new exhibit design concepts.

4. A record number of children and families explored Thinkery during our Community Hours – almost 45,000 in 2023!

5. Learn. Play. Grow. These three actions represent north stars for Thinkery’s bold vision for the next 40 years. We hope you’re curious about the role you’ll play to power a lifelong love of learning for you, your family, and your fellow neighbors in our community.

We can’t thank you enough for your trust and continued partnership.

In service,




We have a lot to celebrate as we turn 40! Take a look at the evolution of Thinkery to see how our work and space has evolved since 1983.


Forty Years of Joyful Learning

Over the course of the last four decades, Thinkery has become a leading nonprofit and staple in the Central Texas community for children, families, and educators throughout the region.

Since opening in 1983, we have provided joyful learning experiences to MILLIONS of Central Texas children and families.


Chris & Deborah Humans of Thinkery

Austin Children’s Museum, now Thinkery, started 40 years ago when three incredible women, Deborah Edward, Chris Crosby, and Nancy Inman, came together to ensure that children have access to the learning experiences that feed their confidence, creativity, and unlimited potential.

“I’m so glad that [Thinkery] is here and it’s continuing to be a great resource for people here and people that come visit. There’s just a sense of good energy and respect and curiosity that permeates the whole place. You can just feel it in every little corner.”

“You get into a place like [Thinkery] and you see your children purely experiencing something with so much joy.”

Two of the founders of Austin Children’s Museum, Deborah Edward and Chris Crosby.

How We Celebrated Turning the Big 4-0

Thinkery Day

December 7, 2023, has been proclaimed Thinkery Day by Mayor Kirk Watson in recognition of the impact that we have made in the community since we opened the doors to our iconic big red box in Mueller 10 years ago.

Scan the QR to listen to the official proclamation.

From left to right: Past Board President John Antonelli, Board President-Elect Jonelle Bradshaw de Hernandez, CEO Andy Bell, U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett, Toy Joy CEO Teghan Meyer and COO Robby Pettinato at Thinkery’s 40th Birthday Bash.

A joyful (and noisy) time was had as we marched through the museum with instruments, noise makers, and Toy Joy @ Thinkery flags.

Thinkery’s 40th Birthday Bash

Hundreds of Thinkery friends joined us for our blowout 40th Birthday Bash on December 10, 2023.

With the added excitement of Toy Joy @ Thinkery’s grand opening, it was a double celebration of imagination, creativity, and joy.

We played classic party games, made our own party hats, and filled our Thinkery time capsule. U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett helped make this event even more special by leading our Playful Parade and a story time!

U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett read, “Duck for President” during story time.

Spark After Dark: Cheers to 40 years

We started our 40th birthday celebrations at Spark After Dark on October 16, 2023! It was a celebration like no other. Members of the community came out to learn, play, give, and celebrate Thinkery’s 40 years of impact. Together, we raised over $250,000 to ensure joyful learning is available for ALL children and families in Central Texas. Thank you to everyone who attended for helping make this possible!

Humans of Thinkery


“I love Thinkery. It’s learning and fun. I’ve been coming here for as long as I can remember. Before the doors opened, I came to visit the pigs outside. To me, what makes Thinkery so special is that we kids get to explore, have fun, and learn. I have dyslexia which makes some learning hard for me. But at Thinkery, every kid, no matter what, gets to be creative and explore and experience in our own way. You can ask my parents. I like to be in charge. It’s great to try new things, make mistakes, and try again.”


Texas Children’s Hospital | Austin Subaru | HEB | Netspend Mint Builders | Jackson Walker LLP | MFI Foundation NI, now part of Emerson | Pogo Pass

Beacon Nonprofit Consulting | Natasha & Peter Bowen

Jessica & Gabe Bruehl | Devan Collection

Lauren Shinn | Jim Susman & Ellen Dorsey Maynard Nexsen | Team Ramirez



Thinkery - Del Valle: Coming Soon

On August 11, 2023, Del Valle ISD (DVISD) PreK-4 students cut the ribbon to officially open the new DVISD Central Child Development Center. Meeting a need for affordable, high-quality childcare in the area, the Center offers care for the children of DVISD high school students, district staff, and students in the Head Start program.

This new Child Development Center is especially unique because it will fuse formal and informal learning experiences in a truly novel and innovative way. Thinkery’s STEAM Learning Institute will offer professional development and instructional coaching to early learner and elementary educators, and the Center will serve as the home for our new Thinkery neighborhood museum: Thinkery - Del Valle.


Communities in Austin’s Eastern Crescent, like Del Valle, who are rich in history, pride, and are home to generations of families, have long expressed the desire for better access to family learning spaces and educational resources.

The partnership between Del Valle ISD and Thinkery first started with Thinkery offering our 15-year nationally recognized professional development program to district Pre-K educators. From there, through our discounted field trip programs for Title I schools, every Del Valle PreK and kindergarten student was able to visit Thinkery.

However, for many children and their caregivers there are barriers to accessing Thinkery’s museum in Austin’s Mueller development outside of a field trip, such as cost and transportation.

By bringing joyful, play-based learning experiences directly to Del Valle, Thinkery is helping to reduce those barriers, while creating more accessible opportunities for children to cultivate their love of learning.

This expansion to a multi-site model will significantly broaden our reach, putting us on track to provide STEAM learning experiences to an estimated 20,000 children, families, and educators over the next five years!

DVISD educators and learners help Dr. Annette Tielle and Andy Bell officially cut the ribbon to open the new DVISD Central Child Development Center.


Since its inception, we have been listening to the Del Valle community to learn what is important to them. Their feedback has influenced the design of the exhibits that will be installed. While this new neighborhood museum will be true to Thinkery’s hands-on, play-based STEAM-learning approach, we want the space to feel uniquely Del Valle.


Thinkery – Del Valle will open to the public in 2024 and will feature over 13,000 square-feet of joyful learning space, including an outdoor pavillion, indoor learning lab, and 30 hands-on, play-based exhibits. We aim to have the museum freely available to the Del Valle ISD community outside of the school day, which will only be possible through philanthropic support.

Image of DVISD Overview

To learn more about how you can help bring joyful learning experiences to Del Valle, contact Thinkery’s Advancement Team at

Our decision to do an outdoor community gathering area complete with everything needed for a barbeque for the imaginative play area is based on community listening.

Wells Fargo Humans of Thinkery

Wells Fargo is one of the first leading sponsors of the new Thinkery – Del Valle. A testament to their commitment to community, environmental sustainability, and high-quality learning experiences for all, Wells Fargo’s $100,000 philanthropic investment will fund hands-on, play-based exhibits.

“Wells Fargo has a long tradition of helping the communities in which we do business. We couldn’t think of supporting a better collaboration than between Thinkery and Del Valle ISD as they create a unique learning environment that will serve as an incubator for transformative learning for our youth and inspire children through the arts and science.”

Hanging from the tree canopies is papel picado (punched paper) that was designed and created with Del Valle ISD students and the local community.

Austin City Council member Vanessa Fuentes, Andy Bell, Dr. Annette Tielle, Chris Rios, Mike Friesch, and Natia Rage.

To Go Far, You Cannot Go Alone

The last 40 years have continued to prove to us that in order to go far, you cannot go alone. That is why “with community” is at the center of Thinkery’s strategic priorities and everything that we do. Our work goes deeper than community engagement and is centered on building deep, long-lasting relationships that are mutually impactful. How? We always start off with listening to learn more about the needs, wants, and desires of the communities that we hope to be in relationship with, and then together we build what that strategic partnership and programming looks like.

In developing programming with others, our goal is to acknowledge their staff and caregivers as leaders and facilitators, so that these learning experiences can continue to thrive and be impactful without Thinkery staff.


A core part of our work is the multi-generational learning that happens through Thinkery spaces and programs. In relationship with Equidad ATX, we are thrilled to offer these experiences at the Turner-Roberts Recreation Center in Colony Park – a community in Austin’s Eastern Crescent.

When we first piloted this program in May 2023, we expected only 25 participants to come to the first event, and 70 attended! This highlights a community need and desire for accessible opportunities for play, joy, and family connection.

The program includes opportunities for children along with their caregivers to engage in hands-on, play-based STEAM-learning experiences and have a whole lot of fun while doing it! During one session, Thinkery facilitators set up an instrument maker activity that ended with children and their caregivers having a dance party with their creations!

Humans of Thinkery

“We love the spark, we love the innovation, and we really love partnering up with Thinkery because we want to raise more awareness about STEAM education in the Black and brown community. The ability to bring community together, create spaces where you feel safe, and seeing people that look like me and can relate to me – that piece of equity is huge.

Collaborating with Thinkery allows us to have a space where we feel safe and can bring families and kids together to make relationships, connect, make friends, and make resources available to families around Central Texas.”

Black Mamas

Village - ATX




Convened by Thinkery, the Joyful Learning Collaborative (JLC) is a transformative initiative that redefines learning and collaboration through joy, curiosity, and community relationships. JLC members serve as ambassadors who view joy as a primary indicator of equity and success. They are committed to centering communities that have been historically marginalized and are actively resisting continued harm.

Each year, the JLC will focus on a unifying project as part of its work to create a brighter future for ALL through joyful learning experiences. This year’s focus was the 2024 Solar Eclipse which happened on April 8, 2024!

Throughout 2023 and into 2024, JLC members convened across Central Texas to explore joyful learning through different lenses of lived experiences. This culminated in JLC members hosting pre-eclipse and viewing parties across the region for the community to experience this special moment.

The Joyful Learning Collaborative is part of Thinkery’s priority to center community in our mission to inspire and equip ALL children to be confident, creative thinkers.


Andy Roddick Foundation | Austin Area Urban League

Austin Astronomical Society | Austin Nature and Science Center

Austin PBS | Austin Urban Community Coalition Autism Society of Texas | AVANCE-Austin Black Mama’s Village | Education Service Center Region 13

El Buen Samaritano | Girlstart | Hill Country Alliance

Joshua’s Stage | Pecan Springs Elementary Stars and Science Austin | STEAM Kids

Texas Girls Collaborative Project

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired Todos Juntos Learning Center | Tomorrow’s Promise Foundation Variety | Women in STEM at UT Austin

This work was supported by the Simons Foundation and is part of its ‘In the Path of Totality’ initiative.

In September, we

Our first pathway panel was at Austin PBS and explored place and space. The Joyful Learning Guide contains all the activations developed for learners of all ages to explore the total solar eclipse through hands-on play. hosted a kickoff event introducing this exciting new initiative at a breakfast hosted at Huston-Tillotson University.
A JLC member showcases their cyanotype artworkan activation featured in our Joyful Learning Guide.

Partnering to C.R.E.A.T.E. a Pipeline of Local STEM Talent

C.R.E.A.T.E. (Collaboration to Realize Equity and Teach Engineering) is an ongoing collaborative program between Thinkery and the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Austin Area (BGCAA), generously funded by NI, now part of Emerson.


Thinkery’s STEAM Learning Institute develops curriculum and learning guides for BGCAA staff to implement during their afterschool programs. These experiences include opportunities for BGCAA students to apply design build concepts to challenges not unlike the ones that may be a part of their community’s daily lives. One design challenge was centered on helping build a safe home for animals. This created opportunities for BGCAA staff to support social emotional learning development and empathy building – both of which are critical, durable skills.

The program culminates in a field trip to Thinkery, and participants and their caregivers receive Thinkery Memberships, so that they come back and learn together.


C.R.E.A.T.E. is helping young learners see themselves as solution-makers to society’s greatest challenges. The STEAM-learning approach allows students to leverage their lived experience and expertise while developing the durable skills that are necessary for any workforce they enter and especially STEM-based careers like engineering.

IN THE 2022 – 2023 SCHOOL YEAR:

1,247 BGCAA students received 2,805 hours of curriculum instruction and spent 792 hours exploring Thinkery’s museum.

The culminating field trip is a special and impactful part of the program. When weather delayed one C.R.E.A.T.E. field trip, the cheers and excitement that reverberated when they finally made it to the museum was a highlight for us all. At Thinkery, joyful learning is audible!

“C.R.E.A.T.E. provides a unique opportunity for NIers to collaborate with Thinkery and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area to provide equitable access to STEM. I love seeing the kids from the BGCAA after-school program whooping with joy and excitement during their field trip to Thinkery. Watching the kids play and learn brings the program’s impact to life.”

NI, NOW PART OF EMERSON Humans of Thinkery

BGCAA students build to new heights during a field trip at Thinkery!

Joyful Learning for ALL

We believe that all children are born with limitless talent and potential, but we realize not all have unlimited opportunities.

Children possess innate curiosity, creativity, and boundless potential. When they have the opportunity to cultivate a love of learning, they thrive, benefiting from all that childhood has to offer, while building the durable skills needed to enter a rapidly evolving world and workforce. That’s why we’re working so hard to provide children — and especially those from underestimated and underserved communities — with access to learning experiences that only Thinkery can provide.

One way that we do that is through the Open Door Initiative – a collection of programs that provide free or discounted access to Thinkery experiences.

Open Door Initiative Programs include:

Free and discounted General Admission and memberships

Scholarships to Thinkery Camp and Little Thinkers Preschool $

Twice weekly Community Hours, which are times when the museum is free for all guests


3M Foundation | Bank of America

Charles Schwab Foundation | Kodosky Foundation | NI Netspend | Pogo Pass, LLC | Silicon Laboratories, Inc. Topfer Family Foundation

Community Spotlights - an event series in which guests and community partners are invited to celebrate the diversity of the community we live, play, and learn in

Discounted field trips for Title 1 schools


Even the Hulk finds time to explore the laws of motion!



$56,500 given in camp scholarships to 149 learners $

7,364 students from 62 Title 1 schools explored Thinkery through a field trip

44,208 visited during Community Hours

26,961 visited through Museums for All

Thats $485,298 in free admission

104 households have Access Memberships

24,632 students visited on a field trip

280,720 visited during General Admission

10,960 came to Baby Bloomers

6,172 families are part of our Thinkery member community

2,245 volunteer hours were donated


2023 Financial Summary


$1,738,925 Grants & Contributions


$1,694,512 Fundraising $569,598 Investment & Other Revenue $416,238

10% Administrative

$5,397,508 Program Fees




$2,937,089 Museum Operations & Programs



43% 81% 26% 25% 9% 6% Museum Admissions

Oh, the Places

You’ll Go Little Thinkers

Thinkery opened the doors to our Little Thinkers Preschool in 2020 and has since continued to grow. We have had the joy of teaching little ones in a playful hands-on, child-led environment. With the ability to explore museum exhibits daily, our preschool is truly a unique one. Educators are able to shape their lessons in a way that fits the learning style and needs of each child. This encourages our little thinkers to fall in love with learning while getting ready to succeed in kindergarten and beyond.

Little Thinkers have a great time exploring Thinkery’s STEAM exhibits and their specialized outdoor classroom.

Humans of Thinkery

“They [my students] always look at things so happily and are always wanting to help. They want to see other people happy and that is just amazing to be a part of. These kids teach me more than they know. They’re just the sweetest things in the world.”


Congratulations, Little Thinkers!

In May 2023, we celebrated our graduates by having a ceremony. Dressed in caps and gowns, they walked across the stage to receive their diplomas. There were laughs, cheers, and tears. Speeches were made and memories shared by our wonderful teachers and staff, some even in a Seussical style.

“Congratulations, graduates, with hearts full of glee, you’ve bloomed and you’ve flourished, just like a tree! Little Thinkers Preschool, our love will endure, as you venture forth, with hearts so sure.”

It’s always a bittersweet moment to see our little thinkers leave for their big adventure, but we know that the education that they received here has prepared them.

“I just found this like love of watching [children’s] curiosity explode. I love exploring things with them. I feel like [being a teacher at Thinkery’s Little Thinkers Preschool] encourages us to learn, to continue growing our knowledge and continue learning ourselves. It’s really fun and special.”

Abby MJ

“I learned how to do experiments. I like doing experiments, kinda like life hacks. I [also] liked playing with my friends and teachers. I felt loved. And I liked the dance breaks and Ozobots.”


Thinkery’s Next Evolution: The STEAM Learning Institute

In 2023, Thinkery unveiled the STEAM Learning Institute! The Institute houses Thinkery’s body of work dedicated to inclusive research, professional development, and training on what play-based, child-centered STEAM learning is, how it happens, and how we evaluate its impact.

We’re excited to share an update on what has happened within the Institute’s first year.

Humans of Thinkery

“I decided to join EdExchange because I wanted to strengthen my abilities in teaching STEAM and using STEAM materials, specifically for younger ages.

I have learned that it starts at a young age and that younger kids are capable of taking those little steps, as they get older. When they attempt the harder projects, they feel confident in taking those risks because they have been taught that it is okay to experiment and to fail. They become more successful once they have that mindset when they’re older.

I really want to bring that back to not only my teaching, but to my school.”


Leaning on our commitment to innovative and inclusive research, we are developing a shared approach to playbased learning that can be uniquely applied. In 2023, research was conducted through community listening and Thinkery Connect – a partnership between Thinkery and the Center for Applied Cognitive Science at the University of Texas at Austin Department of Psychology.


A first-of-its-kind event for Thinkery – Dream in STEAM convened innovative educators, philanthropic corporations, and STEM professionals to explore how we can work together to prepare young learners for a future powered by STEAM. The theme for 2023 was women in STEAM, and we were thrilled to feature an


Thinkery’s educator professional development programs fill an unmet need in our current educational ecosystem. Our Texas Education Agency (TEA) accredited, interactive workshops and classroom visits by Thinkery instructional coaches increase early learner and elementary educators’ capacity to deliver and support culturally relevant, playbased STEAM learning experiences. An additional part of this work is that our educator cohorts build a network of peers to learn and grow with.

The STEAM Learning Institute currently holds two districtlevel partnerships (Del Valle and Leander Independent School Districts) and works with hundreds of educators from area districts including: Manor and Austin Independent School Districts, Austin Achieve Public Schools, and Headwaters School.



At this event, we asked children to share what papel picado means to them. While storytelling, they had the chance to create their own which will inspire the papel picado hanging in ThinkeryDel Valle.

We use prompting questions to encourage children and their caregivers to share what matters most to them.

Sometimes community listening is just that - getting down on a child’s level and listening to what they have to say!


1,252 professional development hours were provided to local educators.

During class visits, Thinkery instructional coaches work side-by-side with educators, providing support as they introduce STEAM tools into the classroom.

192 educators and 2,820 students were impacted through our professional development programs.

500 classroom support hours were conducted by Thinkery instructional coaches.

All-star panel of local thought leaders in the fields of education, STEM, and research. Panelist included: Iskra Lawrence, Dr. Jonelle Bradshaw de Hernandez, Dr. Annette Tielle, and Karuna Annavajjala (pictured left to right). Applied Materials Foundation | Google Fiber | MilliporeSigma | Moody Foundation | PNC Foundation The Powell Foundation | Silicon Laboratories, Inc.

A student shares her favorite thing about Thinkery coming to her classroom.
Educators from Manor ISD participate in an early learner professional development workshop at Thinkery.

The Time to Invest in Thriving Futures is Now Join Innovators!

Our vision is that ALL children cultivate a lifelong love of learning through engaging in joyful, play-based STEAM-learning opportunities. And as a nonprofit, the support of generous community members, like YOU, powers our work to achieve this vision.

Thinkery Innovators are recurring donors who create a sustainable philanthropic foundation that powers our mission. Starting at $10 a month, you can join this special group, receive fun perks, and help us serve more children and families.

Go Big for Thinkery

Big Thinkers are donors who commit multi-year support to Thinkery starting at the $5,000 giving level. Their investment will advance important initiatives that help Thinkery build for the future.

Give Creatively

Did you know that you could turn your old car into cash for free access to Thinkery for families? Yes, it’s true! We also gratefully accept stock transfers, IRA distributions and grants through donor advised funds. Our Advancement team is eager to talk with you and can make supporting your favorite non-profit easy and playful.

Humans of Thinkery

“Thinkery is the ripple effect that travels beyond what we can see. More than just a play space or STEAM experience, Thinkery has the potential to help children see themselves in a new positive light, to have big dreams for themselves, to set children on a brighter path than they or their families had previously hoped for prior to their Thinkery experience. Involvement in Thinkery means to me the ability to make an impact in both the collective lifting up and raising of our children to live meaningful, fulfilled lives.”


Legacy Support

Thinkery will continue to impact the lives of children and families for decades to come thanks to the trust and forward philanthropic investment from individuals. Planned giving offers you the opportunity to leave a lasting impact while providing essential support for Thinkery. Consider naming Thinkery as a beneficiary in your estate plans today.

Corporate Giving

Corporate and business sponsorships can support the areas of greatest need at Thinkery and align with their philanthropic priorities. We work with our partners to co-create recognition packages and marketing campaigns that tell compelling stories rooted in generosity.


Volunteers enhance our ability to deliver quality programs and visitor experiences! We currently have opportunities for both individuals and groups to share their time, talent, and enthusiasm.

Explore all the ways you can make a difference right here in Central Texas.

Ready to give or learn more about philanthropic opportunities that align with your priorities and equip and inspire confident, creative thinkers?

Give online at Email at

“The people working here may be different, but the commitment to the children hasn’t changed at all.”

Marv has been a Thinkery volunteer for more than 10 years! In 2024, he will hit 1,000 volunteer hours at Thinkery and has set a personal goal to beat his record of 1,600 hours at his last organization. You can find Marv at Thinkery’s Spark Shop helping kids create something from their imaginations. He’ll be the first to remind you that there is no one right way to make something and always encourages kids to prioritize making something that brings them joy.


Our Supporters


Adam R. Scripps Foundation

Kozmetsky Foundation

LEGO Community Fund U.S.

NI, now part of Emerson

The Powell Foundation

Simons Foundation



$25,000- $49,999

Austin Community Foundation

Google Fiber

Moody Foundation

PNC Foundation

Pogo Pass, LLC

Lisa Henken Ramirez & Randy Ramirez

Texas Children’s Hospital

Jessica & Greg Weaver

Webber Family Foundation

Wells Fargo


Applied Materials Foundation

Austin Subaru

Bank of America

City of Austin - Cultural Arts Division

Daniel & Stephanie Cooley

Dell Children’s Medical Center

Jennifer Garcia

Jason & Kristin Green

Julia & Owen Harrod

Victoria Leake & Allan Solomon


Mint Builders, LLC

Silicon Laboratories, Inc.

Rick Whitworth & Lisa Lee


3M Foundation

American Campus Communities


John & Kendall Antonelli

KC & Dionne Barner

Andy & Amy Bell

Cindy & Tom Bell

Andy & Beth Deck

Denise Eisman

Jackson Walker, LLP

Kodosky Foundation

Gregory & Cynthia Kozmetsky

Ryan & Dustin Lanier

Megan Lyons

Georgia & Dino Mavrookas

MFI Foundation

Linsey & Ryan Nixon

Karen & Jay Plotkin

Anita & Scot Salmon

Anish Sheth & Meredith Waters

Simmons Canyon Foundation

Michelle Moore Smith & Justin Smith

Dana & Chris Such

Topfer Family Foundation

William Russ Foundation

YiShaun & Jonathan Yang


Christy & Tony Barnett

Beacon Nonprofit Consulting

Natasha & Peter Bowen

Jonelle Bradshaw de Hernandez & Amin de Hernandez

Jessica & Gabe Bruehl

Ernest & Sarah Butler

Anne & J.R. Carter

Charles Schwab Foundation


Swarat Chaudhuri & Tina Peterson

Will Denman

John & Susan Drapp

Debbie Esterak

Devan Collection

Patrick Fanning & Therese Cooney

Sara Feulner & Stephen Hill

Ann Funai

Juan & Denise Garcia

Deborah Grabein

Arby & Vera Hinojosa

Jonathan & Danielle Kasling

Michael Keaton

John & Elizabeth Leahy

Kira & Chris Lombardi

Chris Long & David Smith

Brenda Lopez

Jill & Mark Malool

Susheel Mannepalli

Monica & Kyle May

Maynard Nexsen


Paula & Chris McCaul

Richard & Trisha McDonell

Andrea McLaughlin

Audrey & Chris Munson

Mollie O’Hara Leach

Ryan Parks & Celeste Tavera

Jessica Reynolds

Sara Rice

Nancy & Larry Rich

Evan Rosen

Lauren Shinn

Diana & Sean Skellenger

Mark Steiger & Tristan Cliff

Jessica & William Stewart

Kim Storin & Bernd Lienhard

Michelle & Robert Strauss

Texas Gas Service Company

Dominique & Kevin Thuot

Brooke Turner & Brian Johnson

Amy & Rob Wilkinson


Julie Alexander

Sharon Anderson

Rachel & Jeff Arnold

Christina & Mason Ayer

Patricia Young Brown & Greg Brown

Aubry Buzek & Travis Root

Joe Castor

Priscilla & John-Michael Cortez

Ylianna Dadashi

Sarah Dean & Vance Hazen

Mike & Dorothy Don

Shaleiah Fox & Reid Drapp

Cristina Garza

Sandra Gordon

Amy & Aaron Grabein

Kelli Hodges

Allison Hunter

Amy Jones

Ali Khataw

Ama Koram

Brandi Lauve

Virginia & Patrick Lentz

Astrid Lew

Matthew & Oriana Love

Jessica Macintosh

Christina & Benjamin McArthur

Bert McNelly & Lara Durbin

Christina & Justin Michaud

Sebastian Munoz Toro & Andrea Bogado

Marla Oates

Karina & Joseph Pagano

Ashley Prevost & Chad Jones

Rochelle & Phillip Storin

Patrick Tighe

Amanda & Ivan Trevino

Mark & Rebecca Troutfetter

Suzanne & Shane Valentine

Deseré Cross Ward & Michael Ward

Meredith & Adam Wooderson

Holly & Walter Wukasch


Devan Collection

Marsha & Mike Dyson

Embassy Suites Austin Downtown

Sara Feulner & Stephen Hill

Franklin Barbeque

Lesli Gietz

Haute Spot

Ali Khan

Melissa & Garheng Kong

L’Oca d’Oro

The Loren Hotel

Lost Creek Country Club

Megan Lyons

Mike Frost Art

Milk + Honey

Omnia Lifestyles


Anish Sheth & Meredith Waters

Amanda & Ivan Trevino

Robin Jackson Photography


Wendy Wells Jewelry


Our Cultural Fluency Journey

You cannot truly experience joy when you don’t feel seen, heard, or included. That’s why at Thinkery, we strive to be a place where ALL can feel a sense of belonging. We understand that in order for us to realize the “ALL” in this goal, the work begins internally as an organization of people. Cultural fluency is an ongoing practice of listening, learning, and unlearning, and it’s one that we are deeply committed to at Thinkery.


Andy Bell | Dena De La Paz | Shaleiah Fox

Rebecca Gandara | Rachel Hamilton

LeKeisha Harding | Denise MacLeod | Sara Novo

Nuria Peña | Jené Shepherd

In 2017, we launched our Inclusion Workgroup (known as IWG) which focuses on looking both internally and externally at ways to increase that sense of belonging at Thinkery for all of our stakeholders. This group is made up of Thinkery staff members who are passionate about this work and over the last six years, they have led the organization in becoming a more inclusive and welcoming space.

We are so grateful for their leadership and dedication! Here is just some of what they have accomplished:

• Making sensory-friendly backpacks and social stories available for museum visitors

• Adding the optional use of pronouns to email signatures and nametags

• Expanding internal and external opportunities for community listening

• Creating Thinkery’s Cultural Fluency Guide

• Updating language on museum signage and documents to be more inclusive

• Advocating for the centering of community into the organization’s strategic plan

“Seeing the kids coming off the bus, they’re so excited! So that makes every single day pretty fulfilling. The kids are super excited and have such a good time here, and the teachers really feel the impact of the work that we do.”


“That’s what Thinkery is for me, a place where I can just be myself and know that I have people who will support my growth. You feel so naturally part of the community here. It’s just such a welcoming environment.”

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The Best Team in Town

We may be a bit biased, but we have the best team in town! None of the work featured in this impact report would be possible without the hard work, dedication, and passion of our staff. Please join us in celebrating these wonderful humans!


Andy Bell | Shaleiah Fox | Michele Freeman | Rachel Hamilton | Ryan Parks | Jené Shepherd | Matt Stalberger

Devin Thomas | Brooke Turner


Molly Barnby | Madeleine Edwards | Ana Garza | Michael Malloy | Nuria Peña | Sam Rogers | Jaquy Soliz


Victor Arredondo | Alex Greenwald | Dominic Ibarra | Red Kleefisch | Anthony Pinder | Peter Vanbenthuysen | Sarah Waddle


Lara Allen | Christian Alvarado | Maya Andow | Georgina Avalos | Erin Badger | Candace Beck | Charlie Birdwell

Jasna Boudard | Karina Callegari | Katy Cardenas | Luis Chavez | Elisabeth Cisneros | Alexa Clavijo | Audrey Colegrove

Nathaniel Cruz | Camila Gallegos | America Gonzalez | America Hernandez | Kayla Jaenike | Alexander Johnson

Olivia Jones | Seth Kaye Denise MacLeod | Irena Martinez | Yvette Medellin | Jocelyn Mendoza | Azure Montoya

Joe Moreno | Sara Novo | Becca Drew Ramsey | Siara Rios | Serenity Ruiz | Daisy Sanchez | Evan Schumann

Amber Solano | Stephanie Soukup | Latieya Thompson


Antonio Delgado | Gustavo Maldonado-Ramirez | Joy Rudyanto


Maureen Birdsell | Kassie Castillo | Jackie Guerra | Abby Huston | McKenna Jolet | Nico Leuba Jones | Michelle Miller

Alexandra Ridulfo | Jada Stewart | Adriana Valadez


Dena De La Paz | Rebecca Gandara | LeKeisha Harding | Molli Harrison | Elizabeth Jameson | Brittany Labinger

Patricia Rodríguez


Victoria Luna | Sarah Ruiz | Masyn Upchurch

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President - KC Barner

Past President - John Antonelli

President-Elect - Jonelle Bradshaw de Hernandez

Treasurer - Julia Harrod

Secretary - Karuna Annavajjala


Jessica Bruehl | Yvonne Camarena | Marianne DeLeon | Sara Feulner

Juan Garcia | Jason Green | Jessica Guerra Reynolds | Julia Harrod

Georgia Kaidas Mavrookas | Bernd Lienhard | Megan Lyons | Monica May

Michelle Moore Smith | Linsey Nixon | Ashley Prevost | Ryan Parks

Karen Plotkin | Chris Rios | Bryan St. George | Mark Steiger | YiShaun Yang


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