This issue celebrates two proud, distinctive, and interlinked American traditions: a strong, cultural sector and an active culture of philanthropy to support it. Philanthropists, after all, are simply private citizens who join forces with others to advance cultural, social, and educational missions, generously giving time, talent, and treasure to enrich their communities. In other words, philanthropy is the way people pool their “common wealth” to nurture the commonwealth.
Giving, therefore, sends a powerful message about what a community values. This last year, for example, more than 2,500 donors made it clear that our mission is dear to their hearts by supporting the Annual Fund. The community also spoke out loud and clear on the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning: More than 340 individuals, corporations, and foundations made gifts large and small to SPARK! A Campaign for Carnegie Science Center.
Last year, a number of remarkably generous supporters made some inspiring leadership gifts. Dan and Carole Kamin, for example, declared their commitment to understanding the natural world with a $5 million gift to Carnegie Museum of Natural History. The DSF Foundation and FedEx each made $5 million gifts to The SPARK! Campaign to underline the value they place on STEM programming and career development. Donors like these are shaping the cultural and intellectual landscape of our community for years to come.
“This issue of the magazine is dedicated to every donor who has put their money where their heart is—making sure that Carnegie Museums shares in the energy, innovation, and excitement of our dynamic city, for the benefit of all”
Here at Carnegie Museums, we are honored by every gift. Each contribution, no matter the size, is a statement that the giver believes the world needs more of what we do—more art, more science, more wonder, more reflection. The joy of working with donors is the joy of helping them create impact, make change, and realize visions through their generosity.
This issue of the magazine is therefore dedicated to every donor who has put their money where their heart is—making sure that Carnegie Museums shares in the energy, innovation, and excitement of our dynamic city, for the benefit of all.
Few have made as deep and lasting an impact as Henry Hillman. Much has been said about this incredible philanthropist recently, who passed away on April 14, but there is so much more to be celebrated! Among his many contributions to Carnegie Museums over his decades of support, I’ve learned, for example, that approximately 300 works of art were added to Carnegie Museum of Art’s collection as the result of a Hillman acquisition fund. I’ve also learned that the Museum of Natural History’s Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems was not only funded but also inspired by Henry Hillman, who was a geology major at Princeton. The story goes that Mr. Hillman was fascinated by a commercial exhibition of minerals at a Pittsburgh department store, and noticed that it drew significant crowds. This led him to suggest to former Carnegie Museums President Jim Walton that a museum display in which gems and minerals were displayed “in the manner of sculpture and shown for their beauty” would be popular. Nearly 50 years later, with Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems still one of our most popular offerings, the wisdom of his idea and his investment is clear.
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