The Bellevue Arts Museum yesterday announced a $450,000 donation that allows officials to meet their fund-raising goal of $3 million in...
The Bellevue Arts Museum yesterday announced a $450,000 donation that allows officials to meet their fund-raising goal of $3 million in time for the museum’s reopening June 18.
The money was an advance of a previous pledge from Kemper Freeman Jr., owner of the Bellevue Square shopping center located near the downtown museum.
Freeman had previously promised to give the museum $1 million over 10 years as an endowment. But to help the museum meet its current needs, he decided to advance a part of that pledge and allow museum officials to use the money for operations.
The donation also allows officials to accept a separate, anonymous challenge grant for $500,000, offered to them recently with the caveat that they match it.
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The $3 million in the bank will allow the museum to pay for a recent renovation and run programs for one year.
“It’s very significant because it fulfills our $3 million goal, but there’s still more to raise,” said Barbara Jirsa, museum spokeswoman. “We need to be sustainable.”
The museum closed in September 2003 amid a financial and artistic crisis: It was running out of money and faced low attendance after moving to a new $23 million building in 2001.
Freeman, who is developing Lincoln Square — a two-tower condo, hotel, retail and office development next to the museum — said downtown Bellevue and the region will be well-served by having the museum open again.
Natalie Singer: 206-464-2704