CAPITAL CAMPAIGN = GOALS
The Longmont Museum has announced on August 23, an $8.1 million capital campaign to fund an expansion of the building and grounds; $1.6 is to be raised privately. Funding for the Museum is not on the ballot this fall === Primary goals of the project include building a dedicated children’s gallery for hands-on, year-round learning and play; expanding the primary gallery to feature more robust touring exhibits as well as local artists and historic collections; renovating the outdoor courtyard including the construction of a new stage; and increasing office and support spaces.
KICKOFF WITH GROUNDBREAKING:
The campaign kicked off with a groundbreaking event on Friday, September 15. The campaign launch follows multiple years of program growth, evaluation and community conversations about needs and priorities for the cultural facility.
“The expansion is about more than bricks and mortar,” said Mason, “It’s about making the Museum more responsive to our community.”
STEWART FAMILY CONTINUES TO LEAD
Fundraising for the expansion is already off to a strong start with a $5 million pledge from the Stewart Family Foundation, $1 million of which has already been donated in 2022, and $1 million in 2023. During her lifetime, local business leader and longtime Museum benefactor Lila Jean Stewart was also instrumental in the construction of the Museum’s 250-seat Stewart Auditorium. Following her death in 2018, the Stewart Family Foundation continues to honor the priorities of Lila, as well as her husband Bill and daughter Linda.
“We are humbled to see Lila’s commitment to the Museum continue through this donation,” said Mason. “Her memory will very much live on through the expanded programs and exhibitions we will be able to present to the community thanks to her gift.”
Permitting for the initial phases of the expansion is currently underway, and the first big changes will begin to be visible in the Museum’s courtyard starting this winter. The full expansion is expected to be complete by early 2026.
The total cost is $8.1 million, of which $5 million is a pledge from the Stewart Family Foundation, $1.5 million from the City of Longmont, and the remaining $1.6 is to be raised privately. Funding for the Museum is not on the ballot this fall.
A master development plan was developed, breaking the project down into phases. The improvements start with the museum courtyard, and remodeling of a storage room into additional offices. That phase is full funded.
The next phase will add more than 6,000 square feet of galleries and support spaces. This includes an artist-in-residence studio, and exhibit construction space.
The final, third phase will be for a new larger entry, and local art gallery amenity cafe. Plus two new classrooms, and some additional support space.
As of July, the museum is now run by long-time Curator of History Erik Mason. Director Mason has been with the Museum for 27 years and is widely recognized as the voice of history for the community. He holds an M.A. in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program of the State University of New York at Oneonta, and in 2020 he wrote a comprehensive book about the history of the region entitled, “Longmont: The First 150 Years.”
Learn more HERE, or donate.