Milwaukee Art Museum Announces Significant Progress Toward Retiring Debt

Posted on February 4th, 2004

Milwaukee, WI, February 4, 2004— The Milwaukee Art Museum today announced that it has secured pledges and gifts totaling more than $15 million toward the $25 million required to complete the funding for the building expansion. Museum Trustee and Chairman of the Board’s Financial Development Committee, Sheldon B. Lubar, set a goal of December 31, 2004 to reach the target of $25 million. Under his leadership, the Museum has made dramatic progress toward meeting that deadline.

Commitments totaling more than $15 million have been made, all of which are contingent upon the full $25 million being raised. Lubar and his committee are working with board members, staff and stakeholders to raise the remaining funds.

At the meeting of trustees on February 2, 2004, the Board elected Lubar as president, effective from the annual meeting in May 2004. Lubar, chairman of Lubar & Co., is well known as a pillar of the business world and has had leadership roles in the community. “The Calatrava-designed addition has transformed the Art Museum into an international attraction and has become an architectural wonder that has succeeded beyond everyone’s wildest dreams,” said Lubar. “Everyone is eager to complete the funding of this project and help move our city’s artistic treasures to new levels of achievement,” said Lubar. “The future is bright for the Milwaukee Art Museum as we take important steps forward to ensure the continued strength of this Museum for years to come.”

David Gordon, MAM director and CEO, said, “Sheldon Lubar has been an effective catalyst for completing the financing of the Museum. We are very fortunate to have his support and active involvement.”

Lubar will be taking over from Donald Baumgartner, who completes a three-year term marked by the opening of the Calatrava-designed addition. Baumgartner was a member of the group whose vision resulted in the Calatrava expansion, and as president of the board of trustees, provided skillful leadership throughout his tenure.

The board has been strengthened by the addition of new trustee Andrew A. Ziegler, founder and managing partner of Artisan Partners Limited Partnership. Jeffrey A. Joerres, chairman and CEO, Manpower Inc., has also accepted a board position.

The Museum is continuing to move forward not only on the financing of the addition, but also on its operations. The fiscal year audit has been completed and shows an operating surplus of $32,433. MAM Senior Director of Development Karen Spahn announced that the $3.3 million goal for the fiscal 2003 annual campaign has been exceeded by more than $100,000. “Our board and staff have worked tirelessly to encourage existing and new donors to support the Museum’s operations. We have seen incredible support from the community and are very grateful.”

The Museum’s popular and successful exhibitions, including such shows as Brooks Stevens and The Quilts of Gee’s Bend , are helping to expand the Museum’s support from current and new donors.

Note to editors:

Milwaukee Art Museum

The Museum is located in downtown Milwaukee, along the shore of Lake Michigan. The Museum is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except for Thursdays when the Museum stays open until 8 p.m. (supported by Greater Milwaukee Foundation). The Museum is closed on New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. For more information, visit www.mam.org.

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