Crowley, Nicholson Sign Museum Deal
Deal commits county to $45 million in funding support for public museum replacement.
County officials gathered at the Milwaukee Public Museum Monday morning for the ceremonial signing of legislation that commits the county to borrowing $45 million to help pay for the public museum’s replacement.
Or, as Sup. Jason Haas put it at the signing, “what will be our next museum.”
This is putting the museum collections at risk, and it caused a national museum accrediting organization to pause the museum’s accreditation until a plan was formulated to secure the safety of the collections. Without accreditation, the museum would lose access to major sources of funding and likely go down a path to eventual closure, according to MPM and county officials.
That plan is a $240 million project to build a new 230,000-square-foot facility at the northeast corner of W. McKinley Ave. and N. 6th St. MPM officials recently said this facility will be called the Milwaukee Museum Complex, and it will house the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum and the future Wisconsin Museum of Nature and Culture, or what is currently known as the Milwaukee Public Museum.
The county’s $45 million will go toward the estimated $190 million construction cost for the new facility, which will no longer be publicly owned and will instead be owned by a new private entity incorporated to operate the museum. The county board approved the funding deal a week before the signing ceremony.
Dr. Ellen Censky, president and CEO of MPM Inc., said the deal between her organization and the county, inked Monday by County Executive David Crowley and County Board Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson ensures the preservation of the county-owned collections entrusted to MPM Inc. and exhibited in the museum while also ensuring it remains an accredited institution.
County Executive Crowley said, “I believe that this museum is not only crucial to being an educational resource to everyone in this community and all of our residents, but it is a significant piece of our county’s cultural identity.”
“And I speak to that personally from the impact this museum has had on me as a young person,” Crowley said, adding that he thinks it’s important that his own daughters, and future generations, can continue to experience the museum.
“Milwaukee Public Museum is special to me,” she said, “as a little girl growing up in the 53206 zip code, it was a place where I could open my eyes and expand my horizons and see that there was more than this small community that I grew up in.”
Sup. Haas, chair of the board’s finance committee, said, “This institution is being renewed and reimagined and reenvisioned for future generations of Milwaukee and Wisconsin.”
More about the New Natural History Museum
- Museum Unveils Future Exhibit All About Wisconsin - Graham Kilmer - Mar 23rd, 2023
- MKE County: Museum Unveils Details of First New Exhibit - Graham Kilmer - Mar 7th, 2023
- MPM Announces Permanent Exhibits at New Museum - Graham Kilmer - Mar 1st, 2023
- Museum Won’t Preserve ‘Streets of Old Milwaukee’ - Graham Kilmer - Jan 10th, 2023
- Public Museum Picks Firms to Oversee New Museum’s Construction - Graham Kilmer - Nov 30th, 2022
- Public Museum Will Host Town Hall About Proposed New Home - Jeramey Jannene - Nov 9th, 2022
- Public Museum Wants Your Opinions - Graham Kilmer - Sep 15th, 2022
- Will New Public Museum Recognize Union? - Graham Kilmer - Aug 22nd, 2022
- New Public Museum Design Unveiled - Graham Kilmer - Jul 18th, 2022
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Demolition Starts For New Public Museum - Jeramey Jannene - Jun 7th, 2022
Read more about New Natural History Museum here
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