The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures just got a boost from Oregon animation studio Laika that put it over the top in fulfilling its pre-opening fundraising goal of $388 million and also has assured AMPAS members that it is on track to meet its planned April 30 opening date. Museum director and president Bill Kramer made the fundraising announcement today.
The total includes capital gifts, endowments, funding for education programs and other special gifts for the campaign, launched in 2012 and chaired by Bob Iger and co-chairs Annette Bening and Tom Hanks. More than 13,000 donors contributed to the campaign, with the biggest sum coming from Cheryl and Haim Saban, who donated $50 million and in return will have the (former May Company) building renamed the Saban Building.
“This is a great day for the Academy Museum and the entire world of film,” Iger said. “Thanks to the wonderful generosity of a broad community of donors, and to the commitment of co-chairs Annette Bening and Tom Hanks, we have proudly achieved our goal. The way ahead is clear, as we move at full speed toward an unforgettable grand opening in April 2021.”
Kramer added: “Closing this fundraising campaign is an important and exciting milestone for the Academy Museum. We are deeply grateful to our campaign leadership and to our Trustees, donors, and partners who have made important commitments to the campaign. Their support is helping to make the Academy’s long-held dream of building the world’s premier film museum a reality.”
Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, who recently ascended to Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Academy Museum after the departure of Ron Meyer, said: “Thanks to the strong leadership of Bob Iger, the enlightened support of the Academy’s Board of Governors, and the dedication of the Academy Museum’s Board and staff, this new institution is now poised to deliver on its promise as the world’s premier museum of film. To all the donors who have stepped up to make this happen, on behalf of the Board I offer our heartfelt gratitude.”
Among developments because of the fundraising is the newly named Laika Gallery, dedicated to special collections, while Metro Goldwyn Mayer is providing support for the museum’s core exhibition, Stories of Cinema. Eric and Melina Esrailian led a campaign effort to develop a program to provide access and opportunity to under-represented communities. Drs. Kathy Fields and Garry Rayant have contributed to the museum’s general education fund in honor of Sid Ganis and Nancy Hult Ganis. New donors to the Pillar Campaign, co-chaired by museum trustees Laura Dern and Kimberly Steward, which names the support columns in the Saban Building, include Julia and Ken Gouw in honor of Miyoshi Umeki, the Oneida Indian Nation, New York in honor of Native American musician and advocate Buffy Sainte-Marie as well as Kimberly Steward and K Period Media in honor of Hattie McDaniel.
Late Thursday, in an email from Isis Mussenden, Academy Board of Governors Vice President and Chair of the Board’s Museum Committee, all Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences received invitations to take a “virtual tour” of the museum, and Mussenden announced a new perk for all of them. “This is a museum for the whole world, but it is also our museum — and one that is devoted to showcasing our art and process,” her email reads. “It will be unlike any other film museum in the world because of you. For this reason, all Academy members will be granted complimentary museum admission for themselves (although I still encourage you to become a charter member of the museum to enjoy its many benefits!)”
The new supporters join other generous philanthropists, in addition to the Sabans, who have made leadership gifts to the museum, including the David Geffen Foundation (David Geffen Theater), Rolex (Rolex Gallery), Dalian Wanda Group (the Wanda Gallery), Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation in honor of Sid Ganis, Dolby Laboratories/Family of Ray Dolby (Dolby Family Terrace), the Walt Disney Company (Walt Disney Company Piazza), Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg (Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg Gallery), Steven Spielberg (Spielberg Family Gallery), Patricia Bellinger Balzer, Shirley Temple Black and Family (Shirley Temple Education Studio), East West Bank (East West Bank Gallery), Gale Anne Hurd (Hurd Gallery), Bob Iger and Willow Bay (Bob Iger and Willow Bay Terrace), NBCUniversal, Netflix (Netflix Terrace), Participant, Cecilia DeMille Presley (Cecil B. DeMille Founders Room), PwC, Richard Roth, Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman (Gerald Schwartz and Heather Reisman Terrace), The Simms/Mann Family Foundation (Ted Mann Theater), Jeff Skoll, Wendy Stark of The Fran and Ray Stark Foundation, Barbra Streisand (Barbra Streisand Bridge), Steve Tisch (Steve Tisch Terrace), Warner Bros. Entertainment (Warner Bros. Gallery), Wasserman Foundation (Wasserman Bridge), and Wolfgang Puck Catering and Events LLC/Compass Group USA, Inc. Additionally, the Academy Museum’s Digital Engagement Platform is sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies.
A post-opening campaign to raise new endowment, programming, operating and capital funds is being planned.