The Museum of Idaho is celebrating a decade of excellence and with that they are looking to the future. Summer Joy attended their conference today to find out what Southeast Idaho communities can expect from the museum.
David Pennock, the Executive Director for the Museum, started the conference announcing their first goal of making the museum sustainable. At this point only 43 percent of ticket sales fulfill the financial responsibilities; the rest of that needed money comes from events and fundraisers. To help keep their doors open they have decided to start a sustainability fund. They have already raised 2 million dollars and hope to raise up to five million over the next 10 years.
“Now is our opportunity to provide for the long term sustainability of this institution and it is a critical thing to do if we don’t do it now generations of Idahoans will regret it later and so now is our opportunity and we want to cease that opportunity and that is what we are doing,” said David Pennock, the Executive Director for the Museum of Idaho.
The second goal is to expand. Nick Gailey, the Director of Development explains that while the museum is in transition from one exhibit to another the museum has to close down anywhere from four to six weeks. The new expansion will help keep thier doors open throughout that time, which will help kep money coming in.
The museum’s last and perhaps biggest announcement was from Gene and Jerry Petty. Their family has decided to invest 1 million dollars into helping the museum continue its legacy.
“Museums are a place to gain insight and knowledge into the past and into our history and it just enhances that thirst for knowledge that hopefully we never lose,” said Gene Petty, one of the generous Petty donators.
“We want to invite the community to come again to join us in investing in the future of the Museum of Idaho,” added Pennock.
On February 18th the museum is hosting a birthday celebration and that means free admission all day from 9 am to 8 pm. Beginning at noon the first 100 people receive a cup cake from love at first bite. The museum encourages you to support their birthday by donating to their sustainability fund.