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“This campaign honors where we came from, celebrates who we are today, and commits to building a strong foundation for the future.”

– David Hillenbrand, president of Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh































“It takes a community to educate a city’s youth, and we’re so lucky to have vibrant cultural organizations that truly care about our kids. From the arts and history to science and technology, we have it all in Pittsburgh.”

- Lynn Spampinato, deputy superintendent for Pittsburgh Public Schools


















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Buildingthe Future

On November 8, Carnegie Museums made public its goal to raise $150 million as part of its Building the Future campaign. And true to form, Pittsburgh’s most far-reaching cultural player is reaching far again.

Andrew Carnegie was a pragmatic guy who didn’t waste words—or money for that matter. Yet in 1898, a fantastic newspaper account detailing the discovery of the fossilized remains of a mysterious, “colossal” creature captured his imagination enough for him to take a big risk. With his typical determination to excel, the Scotsman ripped the article from the New York paper and wrote on it an understated command to the director of his new museum: “Buy this for Pittsburgh.”

Simply put, Carnegie wanted the best for the Oakland institution that bore his name. So he sent a team of diggers to Wyoming, hoping they would find a suitable skeleton or two to bring home to Pittsburgh. They did, and within a decade, Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s collection of pre-historic beasts grew to be one of the world’s largest.

More than a century later, through its $150 million Building the Future campaign, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is remaining faithful to the spirit of its namesake to obtain the best for Pittsburgh and all of Western Pennsylvania. Announced on November 8, the campaign has already raised $118 million towards its ultimate goal. And the projects it will fund address the here and now, and years into the future.

“ This campaign honors where we came from, celebrates who we are today, and commits to building a strong foundation for the future,” says David Hillenbrand, president of Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.

Living the Legacy
What Carnegie Museums is today, Hillenbrand notes, is exactly what Andrew Carnegie would have wanted his museums to become: “amazingly diverse,” and more than just a little aware of the responsibility of such a great legacy.

Carnegie Museums has stepped up to that legacy in a big way over the years, and will continue to do so, Hillenbrand adds. “Just look at all we’ve accomplished in the past 15 years alone. We opened two new museums—Carnegie Science Center and The Andy Warhol Museum—giving the region two incredibly important cultural and educational assets. We renovated and rejuvenated our Scaife Galleries, home to Carnegie Museum of Art’s outstanding
permanent collections. And we’re now creating a new home for our world-renowned dinosaurs, which will be a first-day attraction for Pittsburgh.

“ Just as important, our museums play a vital role in the daily education of the region’s children and are responsible for bringing some of the most thought-provoking science and art exhibitions to the region.”

It’s no surprise, then, that the Building the Future campaign’s goals reflect Carnegie Museums’ diversity. Projects funded through the campaign include the construction of Dinosaurs in Their World, scheduled to open in November 2007; the expansion of Powdermill Nature Reserve, the Museum of Natural History’s 2,200-acre biological field station in the Laurel Highlands; the renovation of the Sarah Scaife Galleries, home to Carnegie Museum of Art’s permanent collections; the construction of a Center for Museum Education at Carnegie Museums’ Oakland facility; program endowment to fund educational and exhibition programming at all four Carnegie Museums; and unrestricted endowment.

A Community Thing
Whether talking about a new home for Carnegie’s dinosaurs, the museums’ critically acclaimed exhibitions, or their groundbreaking educational programs, it takes more than desire to stay on top. It takes a big community of supporters, which Carnegie Museums has always enjoyed.

Building the Future’s largest individual gift—$12.8 million—came from the Hillman Foundation, directed to Carnegie Museums unrestricted endowment, the Dinosaurs in Their World project, program endowment for The Andy Warhol Museum and Carnegie Museum of Art, and the renovation of Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems at Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

“ This level of giving is a fantastic show of support for our museums,” says Suzy Broadhurst, chair of the Carnegie Museums Board of Trustees. “It’s humbling, really.”

Pittsburgh businessman Dick Simmons, chairman emeritus of Allegheny Technologies Incorporated and member of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History board, gave his own gift of $5 million to endow the Museum of Natural History’s special exhibits gallery, which will help pay the cost of bringing world-class, traveling natural history exhibits to Pittsburgh. The museum’s third-floor gallery is now called the R.P. Simmons Family Gallery. “We all have to understand that such a community treasure is a shared responsibility,” Simmons says. “We’re part of a continuum of community responsibility and pride.”

Lee Foster, chairman of L.B. Foster Company and chair of the Carnegie Museums campaign, notes that an important part of building Carnegie Museums’ future is about making its big community of supporters that much bigger.

“ The foundations in this community have always been extraordinarily generous,” Foster says. “But for our museums to prosper and continue to supply the same level of cultural and scientific resources to this region, we need more individuals to step up to the plate as well. It truly is an obligation.”

Strength in Numbers
A critical component of any campaign—particularly one that supports four distinctive museums—is endowment, Broadhurst explains. “Endowment is about securing our future and securing our children’s future, too,” she says. “We must be able to continue to serve our mission—providing outstanding educational and cultural experiences. Endowment helps us do that.”

So, in addition to funding the bricks-and-mortar projects of this campaign, Building the Future will raise about $40 million for endowment. These funds fall into the categories Carnegie Museums calls “advancing our strengths” and “preserving the tradition.”

The tradition, says Hillenbrand, is one of “using the transformational power of art in all its diversity and science in all its wonder to inspire and educate.” The strengths are obvious: world-class art and science exhibitions, renowned scientific prowess, and a dedication to education that now makes Carnegie Museums the region’s largest provider of K-12 educational programming other than the public school system.

Building the Future allows donors to support endowment for educational programming at any or all of the four Carnegie Museums, and it also creates exhibition endowment for each of the four museums.

“ We expect so much out of our museums,” says Hillenbrand. “We expect them to be dynamic, ever-changing, and risk takers. But we have to give them the tools they need to be all of those things, and those tools are expensive. Educational programming takes time and money. And world-class traveling exhibits cost money. This campaign commits to building endowment to meet—and hopefully exceed—the expectations.”

Preserving historic buildings is costly, too. Early in the campaign, Carnegie Museum of Art took on the task of renovating its Scaife Galleries, home to the museum’s expansive permanent collections. Not able to wait for funding to be completed—because, as Hillenbrand puts it, “sometimes you can’t wait to preserve such precious treasures!”—the repair of leaking skylights and the renovation of the galleries was completed in spectacular form in 2003. It included the
re-installation of 70 percent more art.

The Scaife Gallery renovation falls under the heading “preserving the future” in Carnegie Museums’ campaign, alongside unrestricted endowment, which is the kind of endowment that every cultural organization wants to raise, says Foster. “It gives an organization the flexibility to respond quickly to need and opportunity.”

Need can’t always be planned long-term. And as Carnegie Museums knows quite well, opportunity can sometimes come out of left field—or the pages of a newspaper, in an article about “colossal” prehistoric creatures.

Building the future, today.

You don’t need a crystal ball to catch a peek of the future at Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. Take a stroll through the old Dinosaur Hall, where an old space has already been transformed into a new hall connected to a giant new space with a three-story atrium—the home of the future Dinosaurs in Their World, the breathtaking new permanent home for the Museum of Natural History’s dinosaurs. Set to open in late 2007, it could increase attendance at the Oakland facility by 40 percent during its inaugural year, and greatly increase tourism to the region.

“ If people want to know, understand, and walk with the dinosaurs,” says Carnegie Museums Board Chair Suzy Broadhurst, “they’re going to need to come to Pittsburgh to do it.”
On the atrium’s ground floor, the new Center for Museum Education will house six classrooms that will give educators and youngsters more room to explore the natural history of the Earth, with the help of the Museum of Natural History’s education staff. The center will also give the museum’s distance-learning program a good high-tech home. Carnegie Museums hopes the distance-learning lab may also be used by Carnegie Science Center, The Andy Warhol Museum, and Carnegie Museum of Art.

A bit farther away, the Powdermill Sustainable Facilities Development Project will expand this Laurel Highlands living science lab—with new classrooms, exhibits, a research lab, an expanded library, and a conference room—all using environmentally friendly “green” geothermal heating and cooling systems and a biological wastewater cleaning system. The expansion and renovation celebrates Powdermill’s 50th anniversary this year.

On the city’s North Shore, Carnegie Science Center has already unveiled its Buhl Digital Dome, where visitors can view crystal clear images of the solar system captured by unmanned space missions. Funding for the project, which is also part of the Building the Future campaign, came from long-time Science Center supporter The Buhl Foundation.

And for an example of the kinds of creative, out-of-the-box educational programs that might come from future endowment support, look no further than The Andy Warhol Museum homepage at The Warhol’s new Resources & Lessons online curriculum is an example of what Carnegie Museums’ educators can do when their creativity is backed by financial support.

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