Capital Campaign Q & A
Q: Why did the Board of Trustees decide to expand the Museum?
A: The Board of Trustees realized that the legacy left to the community by Cape Cod folk artists Ralph and Martha Cahoon needed to be protected and preserved. This includes the current building that was their home and studio, their art and their furniture. Also, the artwork of other American artists is a focus of the Museum’s mission. In order to protect this legacy and provide an expanded exhibition schedule and more education programs, additional space is needed. Proper storage of the permanent collection is also needed as the Museum acquires more art.
Q: How does the community benefit from the addition?
A: With additional space the Museum can increase the variety and number of exhibitions we present. The Museum will serve the community as a central location for education programs for adults and students. Presently, many lectures and study groups sponsored by the CMAA must meet elsewhere in the community because of limited space on site. The addition will also include an elevator. The current building does not provide handicapped access to the upper level where many exhibitions are displayed. There is only a narrow staircase that is a challenge to navigate. The new space will also be well-lighted with a modern interior that is inviting to visit.
Q: How will the community be better off with the new addition?
A: By preserving the integrity of the current historic building and making a commitment to expand the physical layout of gallery and education space, the Museum is playing its part in adding to the historical and cultural life of Cotuit, MA and the surrounding towns. The economic benefits to our community resulting from Museum attendance and activities are also important.
Q: What will the new addition look like?
A: Great care was given to designing an addition that will enhance the existing structure and blend the old with the new. The addition will be constructed at the rear of the current building and be connected at all levels to both buildings by an elevator and new stairway. A new main entrance will be accessible directly from the driveway and parking area. A new and expanded parking area will, for the first time, by suitable for tour buses.
Q: How big will the new addition be?
A: When completed, the addition will double the size of our museum as it exists today. The addition will add 3,600 square feet of new space on two levels.
Q: What will the building look like on the inside?
A: The addition will have a main level that includes a foyer entrance, large lobby with reception area and coat check, an expanded museum shop, stairway, elevator and a large gallery. The lower level includes a large multi-purpose room that will be used for educational activities, a state-of-the-art storage room that will house our permanent collection under optimal temperature and humidity controlled conditions, handicapped accessible lavatories, and a kitchen.
Q: Who will build the addition?
A: The builder has not been selected at this time. A bidding process will be required by the Board of Trustees. When we are confident that the money is available to begin construction, an official notice will be publicized and the selection process for a builder will begin.
Q: Who is the architect?
A: The architect selected by the Board of Trustees was Cotuit Bay Design LLC. The plans were approved and drawings are available on the website cahoonmuseum.org.
Q: In the current museum building, the only access is a steep and narrow staircase to the upper level – how will that change?
A: Navigating the current stairway to the second floor is a major difficulty for older visitors and it is impossible for handicapped individuals. The new addition will provide both elevator and stairway access to all levels that ensures local, state and Federal compliance.
Q: Will the museum shop disappear?
A: The museum shop will move to a location off the lobby in the new addition. The shop is important to the overall success of the museum experience. Patrons and visitors appreciate the opportunity to purchase items related to Ralph and Martha Cahoon’s work. Local artists are also featured in the museum shop.
Q: What will you do with the space in the current building?
A: First floor galleries will be devoted exclusively to the art of Ralph and Martha Cahoon. By moving the museum shop to the new addition, its present location in the main building will be converted to a re-creation of the Cahoons’ former studio. This space will complement art on display and the extensive Cahoon archival material which the museum owns. Visitors who come to the museum specifically to see works by the Cahoons will never be disappointed. We will always provide space for an ample display of Cahoon art – paintings and painted furniture. Galleries on the second floor will become the setting for display of the museum’s permanent collection – quadrupling the space now allocated for this purpose.
Q: How will you protect the historical nature of the current building?
A: The Board of Directors is taking steps to preserve the current building while moving ahead with plans to construct the addition. This includes the structural integrity of the building as well as preventive and cosmetic maintenance projects. We are working with our structural engineers to identify necessary improvements in order to comply with current building codes and regulations and specific requirements regarding preservation of historic sites.
Q: How will the addition blend with the historical building?
A: The Cahoon Museum of American Art is a historical landmark in the Santuit Historic District. Built in 1775, preservation of the current museum building is important to the history of Cape Cod. The architect has created a plan that integrates the “new with the old.” While the materials used for the addition may be more weather sturdy and modern, the historical colors and applications related to the current building will be maintained overall. There are specific requirements published by the National Park Service for buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places that must be followed for restoration and improvement projects.
Q: How will the grounds outside the building change?
A: The building construction plan includes improvements to exterior landscaping and access to Route 28 which is the busy major road at the front of the Museum. Reconfigured driveways will make turns in and out of the museum parking area onto Route 28 much easier and much less dangerous. New landscaping will be needed to keep the grounds at the Museum consistent with the historical aspects of the current location.
Q: When will the addition be complete?
A: The timetable for completion of the addition is scheduled for Spring/Summer 2014. This, of course, is dependent on achieving the Capital Campaign fundraising goal of $2.5 Million.
Q: What will happen to the Museum’s exhibition schedule and education programs while the addition is being built?
A: The Museum schedule will be maintained as much as possible during the construction. There may be times when it is inconvenient for our patrons and visitors to access the Museum. We will make every effort to make necessary accommodations to keep the Museum open for business.
Q: How much money will be needed to build the addition?
A: The Capital Campaign goal is $2.5 Million. This includes the cost to build and furnish the addition while taking into consideration requirements of the current building, paying for some campaign expenses and beginning to fund an endowment with an initial investment of $600,000.
Q: When did the campaign start?
A: The Campaign for the addition began several years ago when the Museum first identified the need for expansion. An application for funding was submitted to the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC), a state agency, and a $400,000 grant award was received. An individual donor made a matching gift of $400,000 required by the MCC, and the campaign was officially underway.
Q: When will the Campaign end?
A: The Board of Trustees has agreed that the new addition will not be started until the goal of $2.5 Million has been realized. It is important to secure the dollars necessary to pay for the addition and also to seure the future of the Museum by building an endowment fund for operations expenses.
Q: What happens if you don’t raise the money?
A: We fully expect to meet our goal in the next two years. We have, however, made provision for the distribution of the donations acquired in the event that the building of the addition is delayed.
Q: When do you plan to break ground for the addition?
A: Our plan includes breaking ground for the addition in the fall of 2013. This depends on the generosity of individual donors, foundations and businesses who will make this possible.
Q: What new programs will you have when the addition is completed?
A: With additional gallery and classroom space, the Museum will expand the number and variety of exhibitions, increase opportunities for young students to participate in the get smart! education programs and hold more art history lectures and studio art classes. Also, more art from the permanent collection can be displayed as the exhibitions change.
Q: How will the museum financially support the addition once it is built?
A: The Board of Trustees is currently working on a strategic plan that will bring increased revenue to the Museum. We have always taken a conservative approach to operational expenses and this philosophy will continue with the expansion of our programs. Income from museum memberships, sponsorships, special events, grants and individual donations currently support our operations budget.
Q: How will the addition support Cape Cod artists?
A: The artists of our region have always been an important part of our exhibitions and educational offerings. The Museum designates space specifically for the work of local artists and they are featured in the gallery talks and educational activities. We will enhance and expand this relationship.
Q: With so many museums on Cape Cod, how will you attract more visitors?
A: The Cahoon Museum is a unique combination of a physical building whose history and art is connected to local residents Ralph and Martha Cahoon, and a mission that seeks to feature other American artists of Cape Cod and the Northeast. This rich history of the building combined with outstanding displays and programs makes it possible for the Museum itself to be a landmark, as well as an art museum. With more amenities provided by the expansion program, we expect the number of visitors and participants to increase steadily.
Q: Why is this expansion/addition important to potential donors?
A: All members of our community and this region have an interest in the art around us, whether it is part of nature or a piece of artwork that captures a creative moment. There are many choices. It is personal. The Cahoon Museum is not only an important historical building that adds to the rich history of Cape Cod but an institution that can exhibit and promote important works of art. We all are interested in promoting this legacy for our community.
Q: What types of gifts are accepted for the Campaign?
A: The Museum accepts donations on a regular basis as part of the fundraising program. For the capital campaign, we encourage gifts of cash by check or credit card, certificates of deposit, securities, mutual fund shares, and art work. A pledge to the Campaign will be paid on a schedule agreed to by the donor and the Museum.
Q: Can a donation be designated for a specific purpose?
A: While we hope that gifts are undesignated and can be used by the Board of Trustees as appropriate for the expansion, we accept donor designated gifts that advance the activities and programs connected to the Museum’s plans for the future.
Q: Will a donation be used for the addition or for endowment?
A: We plan to fund the endowment once enough money has been raised to build the addition. The project will begin when the overall goal has been achieved.
Q: What will happen to campaign donations if the goal of $2.5 million is not achieved?
A: In order to use the grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Board is required to meet the challenge of raising all the necessary funds to build the addition. We have every expectation that we will meet this challenge.
Q: Are there opportunities for special recognition for a donation to the Capital Campaign?
A: All donors to the Campaign will be recognized for their gift. Additionally, there are naming opportunities at a variety of giving levels that will identify a donor or their family specifically with the new addition. These opportunities might include the naming of a gallery or educational space in honor of the donor.
How You Can Help
Please join us in seeking to enhance this wonderful legacy and realize our vision for the Museum’s future. Make your gift to support this campaign. To support to the Capital Campaign, please