Playing to Learn: Tanya Saine Durand ’93
Twenty years ago, Tanya Saine Durand ’93 and her colleagues at the nonprofit Children’s Museum of Tacoma found themselves wondering if their jobs—their mission—should continue to exist. After an unsuccessful fundraising campaign and a steep rent hike, the museum was facing substantial debt. “We were in this very humble place of asking the community, ‘Should we shut our doors?’ And resoundingly, folks said, ‘No. This is a valuable asset. We just need to strengthen it.’”
Today, Durand leads a thriving organization that is essential to countless families around Pierce County. It has evolved beyond the museum—a hands-on space dominated by five “playscapes,” from a woodland-themed area for physical exploration to a water space in which kids investigate how things flow, sink, and float—to include a childcare center, outreach programs, and, soon, the only children’s museum on an American military base.