A $500,000 contribution from the Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation brings funding of a new education center at Sharlot Hall Museum very close to what is needed to begin construction.
The goal is almost within reach, according to Fred Veil, executive director of the museum.
“Our initial goal of raising $2.25 million is within reach,” he said. “We can now move forward with final plans and the securing of city construction permits.”
The 7,000-sq.-ft. education center will be located on the east end of the existing Lawler Exhibit Center. It includes a 135-seat, multi-use auditorium on the ground floor for presentations, lecture series and special events. A catering kitchen for providing refreshments will be located off McCormick and Beach streets.
The second floor includes office space, conference room and education classrooms.
The structure will free up space in the Lawler Center, and other campus buildings currently used for education programs, for much needed exhibit and display venues.
Veil said the community’s financial generosity demonstrates how committed people are with preserving the vision of Sharlot Hall, who started the museum 90 years ago.
“If she were alive today, she’d be beaming with pride and joy at the community’s support,” Veil said.
Fundraising efforts began in late 2016. The new center will significantly expand educational activities and events, as well as program and exhibit capabilities.
“Programming and temporary displays are now limited to the existing, 50-seat theater or 70-seat West Gallery,” said Jenny Pederson, education manager.
Kylin Cummings, collections curator at the museum, said only about six to seven percent of more than 40,000 objects in the museum’s collections are currently on display in the 11 historic and other
exhibit buildings on the four-acre site.
Contributions, large and small, came from individuals, museum members, service groups, local businesses and philanthropic foundations. Other major donors to the project include the Don Bennett Moon Foundation, the James Family Trust, the Margaret T. Morris Foundation, County of Yavapai, True Value Hardware, Tony and Patricia Shaw, and the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe.
To find out more about supporting this project, contact Veil at firstname.lastname@example.org or 928-277-2002. The museum’s phone number is 928-277-2015, and the website is www.sharlot.org.