The Forward! Campaign Reaches $70 Million
Thanks to an outpouring of support from around the state, we are well on our way to reaching our campaign goal of $77 million, having just surpassed the $70 million mark.
But more important than that number is what it represents — a growing movement of people who take pride in our rich heritage and want to ensure that we pass it on to succeeding generations. Because of their generosity and support, we are now able to take the first significant steps towards reaching our bold new vision for the future — one that is transforming how the Wisconsin Historical Society collects, preserves and shares our stories. We are pleased to share the notable milestones highlighted below, as the campaign's four initiatives begin to take shape.
Transforming Wisconsin's Historic Sites
The new Interpreter Training Facility at Old World Wisconsin is nearing completion. It will be a key asset for our ongoing efforts to create an engaging and authentic experience for visitors today and tomorrow. Meanwhile, at Wade House, preparations are underway to break ground this summer for the new Learning and Visitor Center and Wesley W. Jung Carriage Museum. This multi-million dollar project will help set new standards for engaging and educational visitor experiences that are authentic, varied and unique.
Embracing New Technology
Saving historic places requires dedicated people backed by the right resources. That's why the Society has begun working on an ambitious effort to provide free, convenient and easily accessible information, tools and training online. The Historic Preservation Web Initiative will support homeowners, commercial building owners, local preservation commissioners and community groups in Wisconsin and in states across the nation. In an instant, anyone will be able to learn how to properly preserve their home or property, qualify for federal and state tax credits, organize an advocacy group, understand local preservation ordinances, or communicate and collaborate with others — on any device, anywhere, anytime. This project will serve as a model for other historical institutions while also contributing to the Society's online future.
Safeguarding Our World-Class Collections
Society staff is busy inventorying our vast collections in preparation for the big move to a new, state-of-the-art collections preservation and storage facility (set to open in 2013). The multi-year project involves cataloging 100,000 cubic feet of archival materials and 500,000 historic and archeological objects — an enormous undertaking that is necessary to keep track of all the items being transported to the new space.
Securing Our Future
Forward! The Campaign for the Wisconsin Historical Society isn't simply a fundraising effort. Reaching our ambitious goals requires a movement. We hope to inspire the broadest community possible to take a more active role in discovering and appreciating their history — and to champion these efforts as the largest group of members, donors, advocates, volunteers and leaders in the Society's history.
Much Yet to Accomplish
While there is still much to accomplish, these important milestones are moving us closer to realizing our ambitious aspirations for the 21st century. If you havent already joined this exciting movement, we encourage you to become a member of the Wisconsin Historical Society today. If you are already a member, please consider making a contribution to the Forward! Campaign.
Your support will ensure that this moment in time is remembered not merely as a bright period in the Wisconsin Historical Society's long history, but also as the foundation for a Society of permanently greater stability, strength and scope. With your help, we will move boldly Forward!
:: Posted February 24, 2011