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Our Story

Our journey began in 2018 when we hosted our first-ever event, "Bug Out Chicago", at the Ars Memoria Arts Gallery. The event was a huge success, attracting over 1500 guests who were able to tour our exhibit for free. Since then, we have been on a mission to promote the ethical treatment of insects by touring schools, park districts, and youth organizations. We firmly believe that insects play a crucial role in our ecosystem, and it's our responsibility to educate the younger generation about their significance.

The Insect Asylum today is a museum and community center in Avondale, Chicago, that displays a collection of over 4,500 insects and a variety of taxidermy. The founder of the museum, Nina Salem, grew up in a small Massachusetts town where she collected rocks, bones, and feathers and rescued animals and wildlife, eventually taking up taxidermy. For many years, our founder, Nina, had to hide her passion for fear of being cast as an "oddball," but now she continues to inspire others to embrace their passions through the museum. The museum has educational classes and arts events for both kids and adults, and regular events that incorporate nature and art.

Since opening its doors on earth day (April 22nd, 2022) for its first permanent location, The Insect Asylum has served over 20,000 customers. It's been almost 2 years since the inception of our museum, and we are proud to have accomplished so much in such a short period. We have been overwhelmed by the support and encouragement we have received so far, and we are grateful for the opportunity to share our passion for insects with others. We look forward to continuing our journey with you and making a positive impact in our community.

Meet our Team

Our close-knit team of naturalists, educators and artists are dedicated to unveiling the wonders within in our museum walls. With a shared passion for biodiversity, we've curated a vibrant exhibit that showcase some of the rich tapestry of flora and fauna from around the world. From interactive events for kids, to fun and educational classes, our team is committed to fostering a profound connection with the natural world.

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