Toledo Museum of Art raises $43 million in first phase of endowment campaign

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Toledo Museum of Art raises $43 million in first phase of endowment campaign
Brian Kennedy, the Museum’s ninth director, who has held that position since 2010, will be the first to be named the Edward Drummond and Florence Scott Libbey Director, in honor of the Museum’s founders. Photo: Courtesy Toledo Museum of Art.

TOLEDO.- The Toledo Museum of Art has completed the first phase of a campaign to build its endowment and remain a vital leader in art experiences and education. The first phase of the Polishing the Gem endowment campaign raised $43 million between 2014 and 2017 from generous individuals, foundations and organizations. The fundraising campaign is a key component of TMA’s 2020 Vision strategic plan.

On November 11, 2017, at a celebration marking the end of the first phase of the endowment campaign, it was announced that Brian Kennedy, the Museum’s ninth director, who has held that position since 2010, will be the first to be named the Edward Drummond and Florence Scott Libbey Director, in honor of the Museum’s founders. The endowed directorship was generously established with funds received from recent unrestricted bequests to TMA and a gift from Libbey Inc.

Founded in 1901, the Toledo Museum of Art is a private, non-profit independent art institution, committed to providing free general admission. The Museum relies on endowment (earned income) and donor contributions for its operating budget and is not supported with city or tax-levy dollars.

After TMA opened its doors on its current site at Monroe Street in Toledo in 1912, its visionary founders and benefactors, Edward Drummond Libbey and Florence Scott Libbey, established an endowment that has allowed the Museum to offer free admission for all to its internationally renowned collections and programs.

Based on metropolitan statistical area data from the 2010 U.S. census, the Toledo Museum of Art is the second most visited museum in the country per capita of metropolitan population, after the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., one of the other free-admission museums in the country.

“We honor and deeply thank all of the generous supporters who have advanced the museum to complete phase one of the Polishing the Gem campaign,” said Kennedy. “Endowment replenishment and growth, since the downturn in 2008-09, is critically important to the future stability, diversity and excellence of the museum. It allows TMA to maintain and enhance its art and educational offerings for current and future generations.”

Toledo, Ohio, is known as the Glass City because of its rich and sustained legacy of decorative and industrial glass manufacturing and innovation since 1888, when Edward Drummond Libbey moved his family’s glass works company to Ohio from Massachusetts. In 1962, the Studio Glass Movement, dedicated to creating glass art, began in Toledo, and TMA was the first museum to build a studio specifically designed for teaching glass-working techniques.

In 2006 TMA opened the 74,000-square-foot Glass Pavilion, which showcases the museum’s extensive and significant glass art collection and offers numerous educational opportunities around glassmaking for visitors of all ages and abilities. Designed by SANAA and critically acclaimed worldwide, the Glass Pavilion is a destination work of architecture and a vibrant and accessible center for the study and development of glass art.

The next phase of the Polishing the Gem campaign will engage donors interested in propelling TMA’s 2020 Vision goals with gifts, including endowed funds. Among the strategic goals of the museum’s 2020 Vision plan are to continue to develop the art collections; enhance the visitor experience across all platforms and interaction points, both onsite and online; renovate galleries to display the museum’s distinguished collections and acquisitions; expand educational programs and complementary events to encourage the participation of new and diverse visitors; bring national awareness to the Center for Visual Literacy; be recognized nationally and internationally as an innovator in the museum education field; provide educational experiences for area students and teachers; integrate visual and sensory design principles into museum exhibitions and events; transform the 37-acre museum campus into a parkland providing participatory experience for visitors; and partner with businesses and organizations to provide consultancy expertise and produce new revenue streams for the museum.

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