The Japanese American National Museum announces $65 million comprehensive fundraising campaign
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Tuesday, July 23, 2024


The Japanese American National Museum announces $65 million comprehensive fundraising campaign
Visitors will encounter the new galleries through a relocated entrance into Aratani Central Hall, which will be transformed into a new lobby.



LOS ANGELES, CA.- The Japanese American National Museum launched the public phase of its historic $65 million comprehensive fundraising campaign and announces an ambitious plan for the future that includes a renovation of the Museum’s galleries and a new core exhibition. Thanks to the overwhelming response from the community, specifically 59 leadership gifts of $100,000 and above, the “Our Promise” campaign has raised $48 million to date, 74% of the goal.

“JANM’s founders promised that the Museum would stand as a beacon of civil rights to ensure that what happened to Japanese Americans in 1942 would never happen to any other group,” said Ann Burroughs, President and CEO of JANM. “Therefore, JANM is embarking on the largest campaign in its history to secure its future and transform its physical and digital presence, exhibitions, and programming.”

The campaign includes $20 million to redesign and repurpose JANM’s main campus to provide cohesive, and dynamic spaces for audiences. Work is scheduled to begin in January 2025.

To complete the renovations, the Museum Pavilion, home to JANM’s main galleries, will close to the public on December 31, 2024. During the renovation, key JANM exhibitions will tour around the country. The Historic Building and National Center for the Preservation of Democracy, both located directly across the plaza, will remain open for programming. The $65-million “Our Promise” campaign will raise funds to revitalize, amplify, deliver, and secure the Museum’s future. The target date for the Pavilion reopening is in late 2026.

At the center of the renovation will be a new core exhibition, In the Future We Call Now: Realities of Racism, Dreams of Democracy, which will span the period from early immigration in the 1800s to today with a nod to the future that includes interpretive strategies to allow visitors in the present to reckon with and understand experiences and issues of the past and the future. The core exhibition is supported in whole by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library. The exhibition will replace the current exhibition Common Ground and will be relocated to newly redesigned galleries totalling 10,150 square feet on the first floor.

Visitors will encounter the new galleries through a relocated entrance into Aratani Central Hall, which will be transformed into a new lobby. JANM’s second-floor galleries will be reconfigured to include 6,300 square feet of continuous galleries that will allow JANM to present larger special exhibitions. Necessary improvements to heating, ventilation, and cooling for visitor comfort and the preservation of JANM’s historic collections are also planned.

In addition to the capital improvements, the Our Promise campaign includes funds to:

• Activate the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy as a platform for civic engagement with events and issues that shape our nation—such as race, the fragility of democracy, shared values, civil rights and social justice, and the arts ($7.5 million).

• Power the Museum’s ability to tell stories in bold new ways, create new experiences using smart technology, share its resources nationally, and provide learning opportunities with general operating support ($17.5 million).

• Secure JANM’s future by endowing core functions ($20 million).

“A successful Comprehensive Campaign will sustain JANM’s future for generations to come, enabling us to honor and amplify the great promise and vision of our founders. That is why my husband Larry (Pittman) and I made an early commitment to the Campaign and encourage everyone who embraces our mission and values to join us,” said Wendy Shiba, Campaign Chair and JANM Board of Trustees.










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