In a major show of support for three cultural building projects currently underway in Minneapolis, The Kresge Foundation has generously awarded challenge grants totaling $4.5 million to the capital campaigns of the Walker Art Center ($2 million), the Guthrie Theater ($1.5 million), and the New Central Library ($1 million). The Foundation grants require recipients to raise the remaining funds necessary to complete their campaigns. The Walker has raised nearly $79 million of its $92 million goal for its Herzog & de Meuron-designed expansion scheduled for completion in April 2005. The Guthrie’s campaign for its new riverfront facility designed by Jean Nouvel has reached $76 million of its $85 million goal; the New Central Library’s $15 million campaign for its new building designed by Cesar Pelli has raised over $10 million.
The Kresge Foundation is an independent, private foundation created by the personal gifts of Sebastian S. Kresge. John E. Marshall, III, Foundation President and CEO, noted: “In this cycle of grantmaking, our Trustees were pleased to support a range of organizations reflecting almost the entire breadth of the nonprofit sector. This diverse group is responding to the new challenges presented by their communities or sustaining activities that have demonstrated their effectiveness.”
Walker Art Center
The Walker’s $92 million capital campaign takes an important leap forward with a generous $2 million challenge grant from The Kresge Foundation, one of the nation’s most respected funders of capital projects. At a critical juncture in the Walker’s history, 143 individuals, corporations, and foundations have contributed $78.6 million to help shape the Center’s future and enable it to remain a valuable cultural resource in Minnesota and one of the leading contemporary art centers in the world. To meet the Kresge challenge, the Walker is actively seeking the support of the Twin Cities community to secure the remaining $11.4 million required to complete the campaign. Once this milestone has been reached, the Foundation will release its gift to the Walker.
“This enormously generous challenge grant from The Kresge Foundation is significant for a number of reasons,” said Walker Director Kathy Halbreich. “While we are very grateful for the money, which will help us finish the campaign for an expanded facility, we are particularly pleased that the continued excellence of the Walker and its plans for the future have been endorsed by a foundation which is known for taking its business extremely seriously. And, I’m delighted that the Foundation has seen the quality of the efforts of our sister institutions. Something unusual is happening in Minneapolis, so I see these gifts as recognition of the civic pride we all feel for our community.”
The design for the new Walker, by Pritzker Prize-winning architects Herzog & de Meuron, doubles the size of the existing facility by adding 130,000 square feet of interior space, and in phase two, four acres of green space. The 17-acre Walker campus invents a new model for cultural institutions—placing audience engagement at its center and visual, performing, and media arts under one roof. Offering contemplative garden views as well as vistas onto the downtown Minneapolis skyline, the expanded facility features new galleries; education areas; a new 385-seat theater; street-level and roof-top terraces; plazas, gardens, and lounges; and increased services and amenities for visitors.
The Kresge Foundation’s award of a $1.5 million challenge grant to the Guthrie Theater acknowledges the critical importance of the Guthrie’s new building both to our community and to the world of theater.
“Our new home will truly be a national center for theater arts and theater education,” said Guthrie Artistic Director Joe Dowling. “From the outset of this campaign, we have received support from individuals and organizations around our state and, indeed, the entire country. We are thrilled and honored to receive this significant grant from the Kresge Foundation, and we are certain that our community will provide the support necessary to meet the terms of the challenge.”
Those terms include raising an additional $8 million to complete the $85 million campaign. In an almost immediate response to the Kresge challenge, donors have pledged over $700,000 to the campaign in the past week. An effort to reach all Theater subscribers, donors, and arts supporters will begin in October and will continue throughout 2005.
The new Guthrie Theater, designed by internationally renowned architect Jean Nouvel in partnership with local architect partner Architectural Alliance, Tom DeAngelo, Principal, will include three stages — a thrust stage for large scale and epic classical plays, a proscenium stage for intimate and contemporary plays, and a flexible studio theater for new work and artist development. It also will include, for the first time in the Theater’s history, dedicated space for the Guthrie’s comprehensive education and community programs. The new Guthrie will be an extraordinary theater center and public space, increasing the Theater’s artistic capabilities, educational capacity and ability to work collaboratively with arts organizations locally and nationally. It is already a catalyst for the redevelopment of the Historic Mills District. When the Theater opens in 2006, it will be a major new addition to Minnesota’s cultural industry and allow the Guthrie to maintain its pre-eminence among theaters nationally and internationally.
New Central Library
The $1 million Kresge Foundation challenge grant to the Minneapolis Public Library to support the New Central Library in downtown Minneapolis provides a major boost, carrying the campaign past the $11 million mark toward its $15 million goal. The intent of the challenge grant is to help motivate additional donors to participate in the New Central Library Capital Campaign.
To receive $1 million from the Kresge Foundation, the library must raise an additional $4 million from private donors before December 31, 2005. Since the challenge was issued, $250,000 has been raised, leaving an additional $3.75 million to go. Other million dollar donors include the Cargill Foundation, Bruce and Ruth Dayton, and the Carl and Eloise Pohlad Family Foundation.
The New Central Library project is made possible by a private public-partnership. The new facility is part of a $166 million, ten-year capital improvement program for upgrading all Minneapolis Public Libraries. Of this $166 million project, $125 million is earmarked for the new Central Library, which includes $110 million from the 2000 Library Referendum and $15 million in private contributions.
“We are grateful to the citizens of Minneapolis who overwhelmingly approved the library referendum and to all of our donors who have generously stepped forward,” says Library Director Kit Hadley. “It is our hope the Kresge Challenge will usher in a new wave of support that lays the foundation for both a great Central Library and a stronger citywide library system.”
Now under construction, the New Central Library will be a dynamic, resource-rich, downtown destination, providing an essential community gathering place that inspires learning, invites interaction, and improves access to information and knowledge for everyone. The construction is progressing on time and on budget, with a scheduled opening in spring 2006.
The Cesar Pelli-designed New Central Library will be home to an outstanding 2.5 million-item collection, the largest of any public library in the state and fourth largest in the nation. The Central Library, 14 branch libraries, a book mobile, two computer training centers, and two literacy centers comprise the Minneapolis Public Library (MPL) system.
Seventy-five percent of Minneapolis households use MPL at least once each year, and nearly 25% of households use the library more than 20 times annually. Of MPL’s 350,000 registered borrowers, roughly 70,000 live outside of the city limits.