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Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc., Announces $15 Million Comprehensive Campaign for American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

WILLIAMSBURG, Va., May 13, 2015 – The Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc., the private fundraising arm of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, has launched the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown Campaign for Support.

At a campaign kickoff event held May 12, Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc., President Clifford B. Fleet announced that the Campaign for Support has secured $10.4 million in support of the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown’s gallery exhibits, outdoor exhibits and educational resources, as well as for the Foundation, Inc., Annual Fund. Led by Co-Chairs Mari Ann and Charles Banks of Gloucester, the campaign has raised 69 percent of the $15 million goal more than a year ahead of the opening of the museum.

The announcement comes as the Yorktown Victory Center reaches a midpoint milestone in its transformation into the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, with the opening of an 80,000-square-foot museum building. The entire project, including outdoor amenities and an expanded Continental Army encampment and Revolution-era farm, is planned for completion by late 2016, when the new name will replace “Yorktown Victory Center.” Major components of the project total approximately $50 million. Planning, site renovations, and building and exhibit construction are funded by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Private gifts and grants, coordinated by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc., are supporting elements of gallery and outdoor exhibits and educational resources.

“We are all Americans and all participants in the ongoing experiment of democracy,” Virginia Governor Terence R. McAuliffe said at the campaign kickoff event. “As citizens of Virginia – the birthplace of founding fathers and witness to the decisive victory at Yorktown that secured our liberties – we can be proud of the prominent role we play in this experiment. The story of this great nation’s journey to independence has been told for decades at the Yorktown Victory Center and soon will be told at the new American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.”

The generosity of leadership donors has played a major role in launching the Campaign for Support.

• With commitments totaling $905,000, Dominion Resources, Inc., is the largest private donor to date in the Campaign for Support. Corporate support for the campaign also includes major commitments from Altria Group, Inc., Ferguson Enterprises, Inc., Newport News Shipbuilding, Plains All American Pipeline, L.P., and TowneBank.
• York County has made a significant impact on the campaign, which runs through June 2017, with a commitment of $1 million over the next 10 years to support programming at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.
• In 2009, the Gladys & Franklin Clark Foundation made an early gift for acquisition of a July 1776 broadside printing of the Declaration of Independence. Since then numerous foundations have awarded grants: the Beazley Foundation, Inc.; Camp family foundations; Garland and Agnes Taylor Gray Foundation, a component fund of The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia; Hampton Roads Community Foundation; Herndon Foundation; Mary Morton Parsons Foundation; Richard S. Reynolds Foundation; and Robins Foundation.
• Significant support has come from individual citizens, including Dr. Wade L. Johnson and the late Mrs. Johnson, through the Oscar F. Smith/Marjorie Smith Charles Fund of The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia.
• Members of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation Board of Trustees and the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc., Board of Directors have collectively made commitments totaling more than $2.3 million dollars. Major commitments include those made by immediate past president of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc., Sue H. Gerdelman, and her husband John, whose commitments total $500,000, and Campaign for Support Co-Chairs Mari Ann and Charles Banks, whose commitments total $300,000.

“We are encouraged by and deeply grateful for the tremendous support we already have received for our vision,” said Mr. Fleet. “We hope that people from across Virginia and across the nation continue to join in the Campaign for Support and ensure that the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown will realize its vision as a leading center of education and tourism.”

With $4.6 million left to raise, the Campaign for Support encourages private sector support to complement the public sector investments in the new museum.

Gifts and grants during the quiet phase of the campaign have supported elements of gallery exhibits, outdoor exhibits and educational resources. Donations have helped secure period artifacts that are an essential component of the gallery experience, as they help connect museum visitors to the people, places and time of the American Revolution. Highlights of the enhanced collection acquired during the past year include a 1730s oil-on-canvas portrait of Ayuba Suleiman Diallo, an African Muslim cleric born in present-day Senegal and sold into slavery in colonial America, and a rare newspaper printing of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, a precursor of the United States Declaration of Independence.

While work continues on construction of permanent galleries, special visitor participatory experiences are offered in the new museum building and on an outdoor event lawn. A section of the new building serves as a venue for learning experiences for student groups as well as the general public. A separate entrance to the education center provides direct access to five classrooms that support curriculum-based structured educational programming and other museum special programs.

“Throughout our construction period the Yorktown Victory Center is providing an engaging experience for visitors and students from across the globe,” said Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation Executive Director Philip G. Emerson. “We are grateful to our many Annual Fund donors for their support of programs during the museum’s transition from the Yorktown Victory Center to American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.”

For more information about supporting the new museum, visit hif.ciniva.net or call (757) 253-4139.