The 3M Foundation has issued a $100,000 matching challenge—they will match every new donation, dollar for dollar, until the challenge is met, Director Jose Santamaria said in a news release. With nearly $400,000 already raised, the challenge will position Tellus at the halfway point of its Vision for the Future capital drive, announced during a Saturday luncheon hosted by Burns, an area resident.
The goal is to enhance the museum experience by bringing in special traveling exhibits, upgrading the planetarium projector and adding more hands-on exhibits to the permanent exhibit galleries. But, Tellus has only through Nov. 30 to raise the matching funds.
"Our plan is to convert three spaces in the museum for special exhibits and bring traveling exhibitions to the Weinman Mineral Gallery, the Collins Family My Big Backyard and Science in Motion Gallery. Imagine what we can bring from the Smithsonian and other great museums," Santamaria added.
Those new offerings and experiences would be in part for repeat visitors, The Daily Tribune News reported.
"The main [purpose] of the campaign is just to bring new things to Tellus," Santamaria told the newspaper. "We’ve been open for three and a half years. People love the museum but they’re returning visitors [and] members [so] they want to start seeing new things."
The planetarium, one of the museum’s most popular areas, is another focus of the campaign, according to the release. With an aging projector, plans call for upgrading it to keep on the cutting edge of today’s technology. The proposed new projector would produce crisper, brighter images and enhance the planetarium experience.
Vision for the Future also seeks to add more hands-on activities to the museum, part of the museum’s vision to find more ways to engage visitors of all ages.
"These projects come from suggestions that members and visitors have made over the years," Santamaria said. "Tellus is approaching 1 million visitors since opening, and we have enjoyed tremendous support from the community. I’m confident that everyone who believes in Tellus will consider supporting this campaign to help secure a bright future for the museum."
The museum will honor key supporters of the campaign with recognition on the Vision for the Future donor wall. Naming opportunities are available.