Recent KidsPlay News

Advocate Spotlight: Elaine Murphy

“Advocate Spotlight: Elaine Murphy” from “The Scoop: News from KidsPlay Children’s Museum,” Winter 2024.

KidsPlay, as the name suggests, is a place for kids. Just as importantly, though, it’s also a place for their parents.

This is something that Elaine Murphy, Museum Advocate, knows well. An early supporter of the Museum whose fundraising skills helped bring it from a dream to a reality, Elaine recalls raising her own children and the importance of playgroups to her. The playgroups were not only a place for her children to meet other children, but also a place where she met other parents, made new friends, exchanged information, and gained valuable peace of mind.

For Elaine, KidsPlay is a hub of activity, where parents can interact with other parents and with other community members. It is also a place where children can have their first encounter with arts and culture organizations, building a lifelong appreciation for museums’ role in the community.

“KidsPlay is a great opportunity for young families to now have another group of new friends,” she says. “It gets the ball rolling.”

Now, with the planned opening of the Hub@KidsPlay resource center, the Museum is expanding its role as a community resource and cultural gateway. The longtime loyal support and insights of people like Elaine have helped make this possible. Thank you, Elaine!


Elaine has been instrumental in the fundraising for the Literacy Tree House ever since this world-class exhibit was just an idea. From 2014 to 2016, Elaine organized the “Magic of Childhood,” an annual event to raise funds to build the tree house. In early 2022, when the exhibit was ready for an update, she and her friend Val Vitalo launched a second campaign to expand the exhibit’s artistic and learning potential with botany, biology, and environmental science.

After Val passed away, Elaine worked with the staff, board, and fellow advocate, Marilyn Plaskiewcz, to dedicate the Story Nest in her Memory.

(Below: Elaine and Marilyn in the Literacy Tree House, the Clubhouse, the Story Nest, the rope bridge, tree cookies, and the Literacy Tree House’s new mural, painted by Amanda Surveski.)

March 21, 2024 Blog, Highlights