Thursday, October 18 , 2018, 10:51 pm | Fair 58º

 
 
 
 

Santa Barbara’s MOXI Museum Gives Supporters a Look Inside

Facility under construction aims to be a science museum that’s great for children and adults

When it opens at the end of the year, the rooftop garden at MOXI, the Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation, will feature views of the Santa Barbara coast and foothills, and will have wind- and solar-powered musical instruments and bubble blowers.
When it opens at the end of the year, the rooftop garden at MOXI, the Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation, will feature views of the Santa Barbara coast and foothills, and will have wind- and solar-powered musical instruments and bubble blowers. (Giana Magnoli / Noozhawk photo)

The rooftop “sky garden” of MOXI, the Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation, boasts a view of the Santa Barbara coast and foothills from its place on Lower State Street.

It’s empty now, but the top floor of the museum will have wind- and solar-powered musical instruments and bubble blowers when it opens to visitors at the end of this year.

MOXI’s dozens of exhibits are designed to be interactive and embrace the STEAM focus on science, technology, engineering, arts and math education.

It’s for visitors “pre-K to gray,” MOXI President & CEO Steve Hinkley told Noozhawk during a preview tour Friday.

The effort started in 1990, when the Children’s Museum of Santa Barbara incorporated as a nonprofit organization, and MOXI broke ground in 2014.

Between a children’s museum and a science museum that’s great for children, the latter won, Hinkley said.

The 125 State St. space is leased from the city for $1 a year, and the museum’s board and staff have been working for years on a $25 million capital campaign to pay for construction, the one-of-a-kind exhibits and an operating endowment.

MOXI President & CEO Steve Hinkley notes that the facility will be aimed at all ages — ‘from pre-K to gray.’ Click to view larger
MOXI President & CEO Steve Hinkley notes that the facility will be aimed at all ages — ‘from pre-K to gray.’ (Giana Magnoli / Noozhawk photo)

MOXI is still fundraising and has another $4 million as the goal, museum staff said at a Friday event giving a look inside to donors and community supporters.

The museum is located between the train station and Hotel Indigo. 

The building is full of natural light – especially before construction is finished – since there aren’t collections that need preserving, Hinkley said.

The first floor has an entrance on State Street and will host a smart classroom and museum store. The classroom will be used for hands-on lessons for the 15,000 school children who visit each year.

MOXI will host professional development for teachers, too, Hinkley said.

Money from birthday parties and private events will help keep ticket prices low, he said.

“We need to make sure we’re accessible to everybody.” 

Construction should finish by summer, followed by exhibit installation and MOXI’s grand opening at the end of the year.

The exhibits are being fabricated now, with design and manufacturing work by Oakland-based Gyroscope and Tucson, Ariz.-based Creative Machines. 

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Chairs set up Friday for a preview of MOXI, the Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation, have a view of what will be the facility’s sweeping front door on State Street in Santa Barbara. Click to view larger
Chairs set up Friday for a preview of MOXI, the Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation, have a view of what will be the facility’s sweeping front door on State Street in Santa Barbara. (Giana Magnoli / Noozhawk photo)

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