Kansas City Museum launches capital campaign with large donation in tow

By Paul Thompson

Northeast News

March 13, 2017

KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The Kansas City Museum launched its ‘Making a Museum KC’ capital campaign on Monday, March 13 in high style – with $1 million of its $2 million initial fundraising milestone goal already pledged.

Of particular note is the organization behind a $500,000 pledge to help kick-start the capital campaign: none other than the R.A. Long Foundation, whose namesake built and resided in Corinthian Hall until his death in 1934. The home was subsequently donated to the Kansas City Museum Association in 1939. Chair of the Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners Jean-Paul Chaurand announced during the March 9 press conference that the Grand Hall of Corinthian Hall will be renamed the ‘R.A. Long Foundation Grand Hall.’

The importance of the initial pledge from the R.A. Long Foundation is not lost on Kansas City Museum Executive Director Anna Marie Tutera.

“The gift from the R.A. Long Foundation is particularly meaningful, because it means that we have the endorsement and the confidence of the family, which is huge for me personally, for the Museum staff, and for the City,” said Tutera. “For them to step up in this way is a good demonstration to the public that we’re moving in the right direction.”

Stage I of the public-private partnership comes at an estimated cost of $15 million, and is scheduled to be completed by 2019. In addition to the capital campaign, funding will be derived from the museum mill levy and, if Question 3 of the $800 million G.O. Bond measure is approved in April, roughly $7 million in matching funds from the City of Kansas City, Missouri. The full project scope includes a historical restoration of the lower-level billiards room, a new interpretation of the Museum’s former soda fountain, construction of a first floor Kansas City Museum store and café, and the full renovation of the lower, first, second, and third floor of Corinthian Hall, among other upgrades.

KCMO Mayor Sly James, City Manager Troy Schulte, and KC Parks and Recreation Director Mark McHenry were all on hand to commemorate the announcement of the capital campaign.

“This is an opportunity to restore this museum to its original glory,” said James. “It will be something that we will all be able to be very proud of, to bring our kids to, and to use as a learning opportunity for people from not just the city, but from around this entire region.”

The public can learn more about the capital campaign on Wednesday, March 29, when the Kansas City Museum will host a visitor-focused open house from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Project team members from International Architects Atelier, J.E. Dunn Construction Co., The Kansas City Museum Foundation, and the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department will join the Project Artist Consultants at the open house to discuss the project.

Tutera added that the Kansas City Museum Foundation is expecting to launch a capital campaign website this spring.

“It’s being designed by Fire Engine Design, and they are going to roll out the website and the digital platform that we will be using for fundraising purposes sometime in May,” said Tutera. “We’re in the process of creating that.”

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