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Forward! Campaign Launched in Grand Style

Ellsworth Brown, The Ruth and Hartley Barker Director Society, at the public launch event for the Forward! Campaign for the Wisconsin Historical Society

The Wisconsin Historical Society celebrated the dawn of a new era in its history with the public launch of its first major capital campaign — titled Forward! — on Friday evening, October 1. The launch of the $77 million campaign took place at a once-in-a-lifetime event at Madison's Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center featuring keynote speaker Tom Brokaw. The Society recognizes the need to transform how we share our history and make it applicable and useful for generations to come. The Society's Forward! Campaign is dedicated to building a future in which all people actively use history to understand their own story and the world around them.

'A Critical Juncture in a Time of Rapid Change'

"Today, we stand at a critical juncture in a time of rapid change, driven by new technologies, social trends and heightened expectations," said Ellsworth Brown (pictured above), The Ruth and Hartley Barker Director of the Society. "To respond to these dramatic shifts, the Wisconsin Historical Society has charted a bold new vision for the 21st century — one that will transform how we discover and appreciate our history and bring greater meaning to all of our lives."

Public Urged to 'Join the Movement'

Forward! Campaign Chairman Craig Culver urged everyone with a stake in the state's heritage to "join the movement."

"This isn't simply a fundraising effort. This is much more than that. This is a movement — a movement that will inspire people to take the Wisconsin Historical Society to another level," said Culver.

Four Campaign Initiatives

The Forward! Campaign will include four initiatives: transforming Wisconsin's historic sites, embracing new technology to engage audiences, safeguarding world-class collections, and securing the Society's future by inspiring the broadest community possible to champion history. Each initiative is rooted in the idea of ensuring that we preserve, embrace and appreciate our history for generations to come.

Private fundraising for the Forward! Campaign has successfully been underway for several years. By introducing the Forward! Campaign to the public, the Society is seeking to supplement the $68 million already raised with $9 million in new funding that will allow the Society to lay the groundwork for these initiatives as well as to provide an ongoing commitment to ensure the future of these efforts.

:: Posted October 4, 2010

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