MACON, GA.- The Tubman African American Museum announced recent pledges and gifts of over $2 million to its capital campaign to complete construction of a new 49,000 square-foot museum in downtown Macon – including a $1.5 million grant from the Peyton Anderson Foundation. With these contributions, the Tubman Museum is over one-third of the way to its $8.5 million campaign goal.
During a press conference held in the unfinished interior of the new museum, Tubman Board Chair, Ms. Jo Wilbanks, announced to assembled guests and community leaders that during the last six months the Tubman Museum has successfully raised over $2 million in pledges and gifts to its current capital campaign. Included in this total are over half a million dollars in support from individuals and local, state, and national foundations, such as the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, Safeco Insurance, the James Hyde Porter Trust, AGL Resources, Chijan Charitable Trust, Beechwood Trust, and the Elam Alexander Trust and a $1.5 million challenge grant from the Peyton Anderson Foundation.
The Peyton Anderson Foundation grant is the largest gift received thus far and is expected to help generate additional contributions and support for the campaign. Ms. Wilbanks hailed the grant as an exciting gift that will “energize and propel this campaign towards a successful conclusion.”
The Peyton Anderson grant represents the second significant contribution from the Peyton Anderson Foundation to the Tubman’s efforts to build a new museum. During an earlier campaign, the Foundation contributed $2.7 million– an investment which enabled the Tubman to complete the exterior of its new Museum and begin some of the interior framing. Ms. Juanita Jordan, Executive Director of the Peyton Anderson Foundation, explained the Foundation’s continued commitment to this project by noting that “The Trustees of the Peyton Anderson Foundation believe in the importance of this project and the positive impact – economically, educationally, and culturally – that this new museum will have on Macon and Middle Georgia.” Jordan went on to invite community leaders and residents of Macon/Bibb County to join in the campaign and to help make the new Tubman Museum a reality.”
Virgil Adams, Vice Chair of the Tubman Board of Trustees and Co-Chair (with Mike Dyer and Isaac Blythers) of the Capital Campaign, echoed this community call to action as he described in greater detail the positive economic and educational impact that a completed Tubman Museum would bring to Middle Georgia. “People don’t often think in terms of the economic impact that a museum can have,” Adams stated, “But when the new Tubman is completed, it is projected to generate over $3 million a year in tourism-related expenditures and add $134,000 and $162,000 respectively to local and state tax coffers.” The potential educational impact that the new Tubman Museum will bring, according to Adams, will be even greater. “This new museum will finally give the Tubman the expansive galleries it needs to display more if its incredible collections and to host major traveling exhibits; the collection storage space to house and grow the Tubman’s art and history collections; the classrooms and performance studio space for school groups and after-school classes in dance, mime, art, and photography; and much-needed community meeting and special event space. In its new facility, the Tubman Museum will finally realize its dream of becoming a state, regional, and national resource for the study of African American art, history, and culture.”
Dr. Andy Ambrose, Executive Director of the Tubman, concluded the press conference by stating, “The $1.5 million pledge from the Peyton Anderson Foundation is a challenge grant – designed to both encourage and to supplement other donations to the capital campaign. For every $4 contributed to the campaign, the Peyton Anderson Foundation has committed to add a dollar, so every contribution no matter how small, no matter where it comes from, now has the potential to garner additional support from the Peyton Anderson Foundation.“
Ambrose continues, “So today as we publicly announce the good news of over $2 million in new support for our capital campaign, I want invite our friends, our supporters, our members, students, teachers, families, business leaders, churches, sororities and fraternities, everyone out there who values what the Tubman means to this community and what this incredible new facility represents to join us in this campaign.”
There re a variety of ways that people can get involved in and contribute to this important campaign. Ambrose urged interested individuals, businesses, churches, and schools to tour the current museum on Walnut Street or visit the Museum’s website -– www.tubmanmuseum.com – where they can make a donation online or learn more about the campaign and the Tubman’s wide range of exhibits, collections, programs and events. Ambrose also extended an invitation to sign up for periodic email updates and campaign event invitations. Above all, he encouraged everyone to do and contribute what they can to make this campaign a success. “I invite you to accept the Peyton Anderson Challenge – to get involved, to contribute, and to lend your active support to a campaign and a museum that will, in the end, enrich us all.”