C.M. Russell Museum breaking ground March 19 for expansion
The C.M. Russell Museum is breaking ground on its $1 million expansion on March 19.
The expansion will add 2.1 acres to the museum campus and includes additional parking and outdoor space that will be open to the community.
In April 2020, the City Commission approved requests from the Russell Museum for rezoning some parcels, vacating 5th Street North between 12th and 13th Streets and aggregating parcels, actions in preparation of the museum’s larger future expansion plans.
Tom Figarelle, the museum’s executive director, said in April that the expansion was part of the long-term vision for the museum that had started in the 1990s when the museum started acquiring properties across the street. The museum acquired the last remaining properties in 2019 thanks to a donation.
Down the road, the museum will look at expanding its footprint since currently, it’s at capacity when the auction art is in the museum as it is now.
In July, the museum said it had raised more than $17.2 million toward it’s $25 million goal for it’s Art and Soul campaign, including a $2.5 million gift from Ian and Nancy Davidson.
The museum’s goal is to reach a $20 million endowment that will ease the museum’s reliance on operating revenue from its annual art auction, The Russell, which can be affected by fluctuating art markets, economic impacts, and, most recently, a global pandemic.
The Art & Soul Campaign steering committee, made up of museum supporters from the local community and across the country, has been quietly fundraising since late 2017, according to the museum.
The campaign secures annual operating funds and expands the museum’s permanent collection, funds new exhibitions and education programs, and lays the groundwork for building and gallery improvements as well as expansion of the museum complex, according to a release.
To reach its $25 million goal by 2022, the museum is accepting cash gifts, art acquisitions, planned giving, and bequests. Supporters can visit artandsoulmt.org to learn more about Russell’s legacy, the campaign and giving areas.