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Muskegon, Mich.—Earlier today, September 10, the leadership of the Muskegon Museum of Art announced the beginning of the public phase of INSPIRE: The Investment Campaign for the Future of the Muskegon Museum of Art, a $7.5 million fundraising effort and the largest capital campaign in Muskegon County’s history,
to ensure the long term operation of the Museum following its separation from the governance of Muskegon Public Schools, effective in July 1, 2014.
In 2011, local community leaders came together to plan a major fundraising campaign to support the Museum as it transitions to an independent institution. A team of thirty-three volunteers has been seeking foundation, corporate, and individual charitable support of the Museum over the past six months. During this time, the INSPIRE campaign has secured approximately $5,350,000 in gifts and pledges, leaders announced today. In addition to what has been committed thus far, the Frey Foundation of Grand Rapids has issued a challenge grant of $350,000, to be realized once the campaign hits 80%, or $6 million of the goal of $7.5 million.
“This campaign ensures that West Michigan will have access to one of the finest art collections in the Midwest, and more importantly, will preserve this institution as the cultural cornerstone of the lakeshore region, supporting the arts and artists throughout our region.” said Larry Hines, Chairman of the Board, Muskegon Museum of Art Foundation, and Chair of the INSPIRE Campaign, who is chairing the campaign along with Erick Johnson and Marge Byington Potter, both Trustees of the Muskegon Museum of Art Foundation.
Judith A. Hayner, Executive Director of the Museum, was generous in her praise of community donors. “I am absolutely thrilled and humbled that so many members of our community and this region recognize the important and irreplaceable asset that we have with the Muskegon Museum of Art. Our community’s support of this venerable institution, especially now as we are celebrating our Centennial this year, creates another incredible chapter in our history.”
For one hundred years the Muskegon Museum of Art has been operated and funded by the Board of Education of Muskegon Public Schools, which built the museum in 1912. The stewardship of the Board of Education is scheduled to end in 2014 at which time the Museum will be transferred to the Muskegon Museum of Art Foundation and will become an independent nonprofit institution. The Museum attracts nearly 30,000 community patrons each year and houses a collection of over 6,000 works of art, including works by Edward Hopper, John Steuart Curry, Alfred Sisley, Camille Pissaro, Elizabeth Catlet, and many others. It is considered one of the finest art museums in the Midwest and has been continuously accredited by the American Association of Museums since 1989.
The INSPIRE campaign has three important objectives:
· To build the Museum’s endowment funds;
· To provide support for enhanced exhibitions and programming for the next several years;
· To establish funding for important and urgent facility renovations.
"Today's announcement marks the beginning of the community phase of this campaign that will continue to provide West Michigan with an outstanding art museum that is a centerpiece of our community and a jewel for our region.” said Erick Johnson, Chair of the campaign. The leadership expressed their appreciation for early leadership commitments from over 110 lead donors to date. (Donor listing as of September 6 attached.)
“We now hope that the greater community will embrace this campaign to help us raise the additional funds needed to complete this effort,” said Marge Potter, Campaign Chair. “Together, we can ensure the future of our Museum—and in doing so—we ensure that our region and beyond continues to enjoy and benefit from the world-class collections of the Muskegon Museum of Art.”
Donors can support this campaign by contacting Judith A. Hayner, Executive Director of the Muskegon Museum of Art or any member of the Campaign Cabinet. Campaign updates and additional information on the campaign may be found on the MMA ‘s INSPIRE website page.
The Muskegon Museum of Art, founded in 1912 and celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year, is regarded as one of the finest art museums in the Midwest, welcoming nearly 30,000 visitors each year. The Museum has a collection of more than 6,000 works of art, with renowned examples of American and European artworks from as early as the 13th century to contemporary works by living artists. The Museum is also known for its collection of contemporary studio glass and its significant number of works by African-American artists. The Muskegon Museum of Art has been continuously accredited by the American Association of Museums since 1989. www.muskegonartmuseum.org
CONTACT PERSON: Judith Hayner
DATE: September 10, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE