Wisconsin Historical Society launches first major capital campaign

The Wisconsin Historical Society has launched its first major capital campaign, titled Forward! The launch of the $77 million campaign kicked off recently with keynote speaker Tom Brokaw.
“We really have four goals for this capital campaign,” said Ellsworth Brown, executive director of the Wisconsin Historical Society. “It’s about more than just buildings, we are looking to transform the image of our historic sites and appeal more to what people are seeking in a tourism vacation spot.”
According to Brown, the money from the capital campaign will be used to update Old World Wisconsin and other sites run by the Historical Society, but it will also be used to embrace new technology and bring the organization into the forefront of digital and web technology.
“While we already have a very nice informative website, the Wisconsin Historical Society understands the need to transform how we share our history and make it applicable and useful for generations to come,” Brown said. “This campaign is dedicated to building a future in which all people actively use history to understand their own story and the world around them.”
The organization has already raised $68 million of the $77 million goal, Brown said. Just over $43 million of that is public money from the state of Wisconsin and $24.7 million was raised from private donations and federal grant money, he said.
By introducing the Forward! Campaign to the public the Wisconsin Historical Society is seeking to supplement the $68 million already raised with $9 million in new funding that will allow the Society to lay the groundwork for these initiatives, as well as provide an ongoing commitment to ensure the future of these efforts, Brown said.  For more information on the Forward! Campaign, the public is urged to visit www.forwardcampaign.org.

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