ASPEN, CO.- The Aspen Art Museum
announced a major new gift of $1,500,000 to the ongoing Capital and Endowment Campaign. The gift, generously made by the Allen and Kelli Questrom Foundation, establishes the Questrom Education Fund. This gift substantially increases the Questrom Foundation campaign donation to the museum, augmenting their 2008 gift of $1,000,000 establishing the Questrom Lecture Series. Their gift further solidifies their leadership and commitment to the museum which includes being active members of the AAM National Council (serving as Chairs from 2008-2010)with Allen Questrom serving on the AAM Foundation Board of Directors, and Kelli Questrom also serving on the AAM Board of Trustees.
AAM Board of Trustees Co-President John Phelan comments: Allen and Kelli continue to raise the bar on support of our museum and our ongoing Campaign. Their overall gift to our endowment of $2,500,000 is a true demonstration of philanthropy and leadership. We thank them for their support and for pushing us even closer to our goals.
Asked why she and Allen have long supported art museum education programs, Kelli Questrom comments: "Art museums are essential environments for learning, equipped to teach not just painting and drawing but, more importantly, how to think creatively and to apply one's latent talent to any vocation or occupation; if Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Steve Jobs had settled for conventional wisdom and never asked, 'what if?' and, 'why not?', mankind would still be in the Dark Ages. For our country to create and fill the jobs of tomorrow in the face of such global challenges as automation and digitalization, we need to teach not only the 3R's, but to also teach creativity, innovative thinking, history, diversity and the value of ethics. Art as a universal language can do all that, and in the museum setting, one is never too young or too old to discover that a picture is truly worth a thousand words."
THE QUESTROM EDUCATION FUND
The Education Department of the Aspen Art Museum continually strives to make contemporary art meaningful to audiences through interpretive projects and community-based programming. AAM education and outreach programs occur within the museum and in various settings throughout the community and provide diverse audiences with chances to view and respond to contemporary art through activities and unique AAM exhibition programming-related contenthands-on workshops, gallery talks and tours, lectures and symposia.
The Questrom Education Fund both creates a foundation for existing programs, as well as vital funds for future expanded education-based outreach programs as the AAM plans its crucial move to a new facility in Aspens downtown core in 2014. The newly built 30,000 square-foot Shigeru Ban AAM facility will replace the current existing 9,000 square-foot facility, and bring the AAM into the center of Aspen.
Aspen Art Museum CEO and Director, Chief Curator Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson comments: The overriding strategic goal for AAM outreach is to build sustainable and vibrant programming. The AAM functions as a laboratory of new ideas that engage numerous and diverse audiences with contemporary art, and we have our sights constantly set on redefining museum industry standards. In reviewing these goals with the Questroms prior to their generous new commitment, we discussed numerous potential programming ideas that would serve and celebrate difference and diversity, provide opportunity to underserved populations, individuals and families and, of course find new ways to interact with school populations and school educatorsparticularly those in middle school grades. School programs are a large priority for the museum as funding for arts in the schools continues to decline. Through free museum tours and outreach programming, the AAM can provide teachers and students with access to art and experiences that would otherwise not be available, as we do in our grade school Exhibition in a Box programming. We are extremely thankful to Allen and Kelli for their continuing generosity, and for their enthusiasm and energy in giving us the tools to achieve our institutional missions now and in the future.