Why Contribute to the Portsmouth Museums Foundation?

Since 1992, the Portsmouth Museums Foundation has raised over $10 million to support the Children’s Museum of Virginia. Our mission is to provide tax-deductible private support to the Children’s Museum of Virginia and other City museums, which are educational and economic assets for all of Hampton Roads.


  • The Children’s Museum of Virginia (CMVA) has annual attendance of 175,000; and all Portsmouth City museums 200,000. ┬áMuseum membership distribution: Virginia Beach 23.4%, Chesapeake 21.7%, Norfolk 14.2%, Portsmouth 12.7%. Visitors from all 50 states

  • 21,000 elementary school children attend CMVA educational programs aligned with SOL learning per year. This number includes 11,000 that take on-site, self-guided tours, 8,000 that attend educator classes on-site, 2,000 that are taught by Museum educators at schools, and over 100 pre-K and elementary school summer camp attendees

  • In addition, the CMVA Planetarium provides science programs to 20,000 visitors per year, including over 2,000 public elementary school children

  • Participating school districts include Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Hampton, Newport News, the Eastern Shore, Northeast North Carolina, and outreach to Suffolk

  • Over 18,000 free or reduced price admissions for military visitors per year

  • Projected 600 sponsored admissions (reduced price) in 2017 Groups served include Title I elementary schools, pre-K students in underserved communities, and shelter residents. The Foundation and City Museums want to grow that number aggressively

  • 1,000 children with disabilities attend Special Needs Days at CMVA annually

  • Over 4,500 books a year are given away to pre-K and elementary students through the CMVA library exhibit REACH program: Reading Enriches All Children.


  • A 2017 study by Old Dominion University valued the economic impact of the CMVA at $5.1 million, including the direct spend of the Museum and an estimate of indirect purchases by visitors at nearby businesses

  • This economic engine benefits one of the most disadvantaged neighborhoods in Hampton Roads. The same study noted that in downtown Portsmouth, 28% of all families, 35% of families with children aged 5-17, and 53% of families headed by women were below the poverty line. The commercial vacancy rate in Olde Towne Portsmouth was 18%, versus 11.7% in Hampton Roads

For questions, please contact Cinda C. Ayers, Executive Director, at 757-393-8983 ext.13 or via email at ayersc@portsmouthva.gov.