FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - August 5, 2023
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JANM Announces $65 Million Comprehensive Fundraising Campaign
$65 Million Dollar Campaign will include a renovation of JANM’s main Pavilion and a redesign of core exhibition; work to begin in January 2025.
LOS ANGELES, CA – The Japanese American National Museum (JANM) today launched the public phase of its historic $65 million comprehensive fundraising campaign and announced an ambitious plan for the future that includes a renovation of the Museum’s galleries and a new core exhibition. Thanks to the overwhelming response from the community, specifically 59 leadership gifts of $100,000 and above, the “Our Promise” campaign has raised $48 million to date, 74% of the goal.
“JANM’s founders promised that the Museum would stand as a beacon of civil rights to ensure that what happened to Japanese Americans in 1942 would never happen to any other group,” said Ann Burroughs, President and CEO of JANM. “Therefore, JANM is embarking on the largest campaign in its history to secure its future and transform its physical and digital presence, exhibitions, and programming.”
The campaign includes $20 million to redesign and repurpose JANM’s main campus to provide cohesive, and dynamic spaces for audiences. Work is scheduled to begin in January 2025.
To complete the renovations, the Museum Pavilion, home to JANM’s main galleries, will close to the public on December 31, 2024. During the renovation, key JANM exhibitions will tour around the country. The Historic Building and National Center for the Preservation of Democracy, both located directly across the plaza, will remain open for programming. The $65-million “Our Promise” campaign will raise funds to revitalize, amplify, deliver, and secure the Museum’s future. The target date for the Pavilion reopening is in late 2026.
At the center of the renovation will be a new core exhibition, In the Future We Call Now: Realities of Racism, Dreams of Democracy, which will span the period from early immigration in the 1800s to today with a nod to the future that includes interpretive strategies to allow visitors in the present to reckon with and understand experiences and issues of the past and the future. The core exhibition is supported in whole by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library. The exhibition will replace the current exhibition Common Ground and will be relocated to newly redesigned galleries totalling 10,150 square feet on the first floor.
Visitors will encounter the new galleries through a relocated entrance into Aratani Central Hall, which will be transformed into a new lobby. JANM’s second-floor galleries will be reconfigured to include 6,300 square feet of continuous galleries that will allow JANM to present larger special exhibitions. Necessary improvements to heating, ventilation, and cooling for visitor comfort and the preservation of JANM’s historic collections are also planned.
In addition to the capital improvements, the Our Promise campaign includes funds to:
- Activate the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy as a platform for civic engagement with events and issues that shape our nation—such as race, the fragility of democracy, shared values, civil rights and social justice, and the arts ($7.5 million).
- Power the Museum’s ability to tell stories in bold new ways, create new experiences using smart technology, share its resources nationally, and provide learning opportunities with general operating support ($17.5 million).
- Secure JANM’s future by endowing core functions ($20 million).
“A successful Comprehensive Campaign will sustain JANM’s future for generations to come, enabling us to honor and amplify the great promise and vision of our founders. That is why my husband Larry (Pittman) and I made an early commitment to the Campaign and encourage everyone who embraces our mission and values to join us,” said Wendy Shiba, Campaign Chair and JANM Board of Trustees.
JANM will also be hosting in-person and virtual comprehensive campaign briefings in August, September, and October 2023:
Wednesday, August 30, 2023
4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Tateuchi Democracy Forum
Friday, September 22, 2023
12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Virtual (Zoom link to be emailed)
Thursday, October 19, 2023
3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Tateuchi Democracy Forum
Since the campaign’s launch in 2018, lead gifts for the comprehensive campaign to date include institutional gifts from MacKenzie Scott ($10 million); The Ford Foundation ($5.6 million); Perenchio Foundation ($2.5 million); Aratani Foundation ($1.9 million); LA Arts Recovery Fund ($1.5 million); The Ahmanson Foundation ($616,000); MUFG Bank, Ltd. ($500,000); Toyota Motor Sales, USA ($639,400); and Sony Group Corporation ($400,000); as well as numerous generous individual donors, including 100% participation from JANM’s Board of Trustees.
Learn more about the Museum’s four campaign promises, read featured stories, register for upcoming events, browse press releases, view press gallery images, download fact sheets, and more at janm.org/OurPromise.
About the Japanese American National Museum (JANM)
Established in 1985, JANM promotes understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience. Located in the historic Little Tokyo district of downtown Los Angeles, JANM is a center for civil rights, ensuring that the hard-fought lessons of the World War II incarceration are not forgotten. A Smithsonian Affiliate and one of America’s Cultural Treasures, JANM is a hybrid institution that straddles traditional museum categories. JANM is a center for the arts as well as history. It provides a voice for Japanese Americans and a forum that enables all people to explore their own heritage and culture. Since opening to the public in 1992, JANM has presented over 100 exhibitions onsite while traveling 40 exhibits to venues such as the Smithsonian Institution and the Ellis Island Museum in the United States, and to several leading cultural museums in Japan and South America. JANM is open on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday–Sunday from 11 a.m.–5 p.m. and on Thursday from 12 p.m.–8 p.m. JANM is free every third Thursday of the month. On all other Thursdays, JANM is free from 5 p.m.–8 p.m. For more information, visit janm.org or follow us on social media @jamuseum.