By David Steinberg
The price tag of the new permanent history exhibit “Only in Albuquerque” is $4.4 million.
Where did the revenue come from?
Funding came from General Obligation Bonds, state grants and a big chunk from the Albuquerque Museum Foundation, said museum director Cathy L. Wright.
The foundation stepped in quickly.
“In a short period of time, the foundation board committed to raise $1.25 million,” said foundation executive director Debra Romero.
That was in January 2013. The following year, the foundation’s capital campaign for that purpose reached that goal, Romero said.
“The foundation money was to be used to purchase all the multimedia app, the theater designs, the videos of the exhibit. In addition, we were able to give them money to provide enhancements. For example, the app with the interactive satellite map on the main (gallery) floor,” she said.
“We also purchased the Story Booth, where visitors can tell their own stories about courage, innovation, spiritness and resourcefulness.”
Romero said the foundation wanted the exhibit’s features to be unique to Albuquerque.
Its capital campaign approach, she said, was to visit with families with a long history in the community and who have been successful because of the community.
“We were really trying to connect our donors to the stories in the exhibit. It was a very quiet campaign because of that,” Romero said.
Its effort resulted in gallery sponsorships:
–Elizabeth Wertheim and her family sponsored the central “Our Land” gallery. her late husband, Robert Wertheim, was campaign cochair.
–Ellen and Jim King, owner of Bradbury & Stamm Construction, sponsored the “Innovative” gallery.
–Sheila Garcia and the Garcia Automotive Group sponsored the “Courageous” gallery.
–Barry and Roberta Ramo sponsored the “Spirited” gallery.
–Tracey B. Weisberg sponsored the “Resourceful” gallery.
–The “Who We Are” introductory gallery was sponsored by an anonymous donor.
–And the Keleher Family sponsored the related, exhibit-changing history gallery across from the entrance to the “Only in Albuquerque” exhibit. The sponsorship was in memory of William A. and Loretta Barrett Keleher.
The capital campaign was in addition to the broad support that the
foundation, a private, nonprofit, annually provides the museum.
“We supply one-third of the museum’s programming, advertising, exhibit support. That’s direct support,” Romero said.
“Plus the indirect support. For example, we run the membership program, we raise money, we publish the calendar of events, maintain a website and the museum magazine.”
Romero said there will be a private ribbon-cutting ceremony with Mayor William Berry at the exhibit to acknowledge the foundation’s philanthropy and those individuals who gave.
“I think it’s important to know that this public-pirivate partnership we have with the city is critical to the museum and that taxpayer support is vital,” she said.
“But having an organization that provides private support enables us to do even more for the community.”
There are an estimated 2,300 members of the foundation.