It was a busy first year for the new Winslow Way institution. The free museum logged roughly 80,000 visits (about 6,600 a month) since opening, according to staff. Here are some more factoids from BIMA’s first year in existence:
- Visitors came from Bainbridge Island, greater Kitsap county, Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue, and from all corners of the world — Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe and more.
- The museum hosted more than 46 groups for formal tours, including Horizon House, the National League of Cities, Leadership Kitsap, and Docents from Bellevue Arts Museum, Museum of Northwest Art, and Seattle Art Museum Supporters.
- More than 477 school-aged children visited the museum from Bainbridge Island, Bremerton, Port Ludlow, Port Townsend, Sequim, and Silverdale.
- More than 100 BIMA volunteers contributed time.
- The museum store sold more than 740 puppets.
BIMA’s attendance numbers illustrate the potential of museums as economic generators. A poll of 56 Puget Sound museums this spring found they attracted about 7 million visitors annually and contributed about $200 million to the regional economy.
BIMA is celebrating its anniversary this week with an art auction and demonstrations. Events begin Thursday and continue through Saturday.