Press Releases

Date of Release: 
Friday, December 15, 2006
Contact Info: 

Stephen Fleischman, Director 
608.257.0158 x 225 or

Katie Kazan, Director of Public Information
608.257.0158 x 237 or

High-resolution photographs available

MMoCA Reaches Kresge Challenge Fundraising Goal

Madison Museum of Contemporary Art Reaches 
Kresge Challenge Fundraising Goal

MADISON, WI – The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA) has completed a major fundraising campaign and secured a $750,000 challenge grant from The Kresge Foundation. The campaign raised $9 million for the museum's endowment and over $3 million for design and construction of its rooftop garden and restaurant.

The Kresge Foundation announced the grant in December 2005, with the award of funds pending successful completion of MMoCA's campaign. At that time, approximately $2.1 million was needed for the museum to reach its goal. The Madison Community Foundation and several other foundations and friends of the museum added additional challenges as MMoCA neared its goal.

The goal of increasing the museum's endowment fund by $9 million was established in 1998, as W. Jerome Frautschi's extraordinary gift to Madison—Overture Center for the Arts—began to take shape. The proposed increase was key to the museum's plans for successful exhibitions, education programs, and operations in a space twice the size of its former home.

As with other Overture Center resident organizations, the museum's endowment was greatly assisted by the Great Performance Fund established by the Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation and administered through the Madison Community Foundation. Five million dollars of the $46 million raised through the Great Performance Fund was earmarked for MMoCA's endowment.

Museum director Stephen Fleischman notes that MMoCA's Kresge challenge grant was instrumental in leveraging gifts of all sizes. “The Kresge grant is a significant endorsement of the museum and its programming. Once the community was aware of the challenge, the support was forthcoming. Museum members, corporations, and foundations have all been extremely generous. The museum has many good friends. MMoCA is extremely grateful.”

The Madison Community Foundation offered critical support to the museum in the final weeks of the campaign, with a $100,000 grant that further leveraged community support and helped ensure that MMoCA reached its goal and qualified for the Kresge funds. “Building support for art in our community is critical for our future vitality,” said Kathleen Woit, Madison Community Foundation president. “We are thrilled to have encouraged greater support for the museum and facilitated long-term philanthropy that will benefit artists and art enthusiasts for generations. The building is wonderful, the collection is growing, the exhibits are provocative, and this amazing institution continues to be free to the public.”

Support from the community has included a broad range of individuals, foundations, and companies, including a recent gift from three of the companies responsible for building the museum's new facility. Overture construction manager J.H. Findorff & Son, together with Staff Electric Company, Inc. and General Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., provided one of the final contributions to the campaign.

Having reached its endowment goal, Fleischman says, the museum will continue to expand its ambitious program of exhibitions, lectures, and events. Since reopening in the Overture Center in April 2006, attendance at the museum has more than doubled, with approximately 140,000 visitors in the first seven months of operation.

Kresge funds will be specifically earmarked to help pay expenses of MMoCA's rooftop sculpture garden. The Kresge Foundation's mission is to strengthen nonprofit organizations that advance the well-being of humanity by building stronger nonprofit organizations: catalyzing their growth, helping them connect with their stakeholders, and challenging them with grants that leverage greater support. The Foundation concentrates its programming on capital campaigns as a key opportunity for nonprofit growth.

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