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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 23, 2007

UI Museum of Art 'Museum pARTy' raises record funds

The University of Iowa Museum of Art's (UIMA) annual celebration for contributors capped a record 2007 fundraising season, quadrupling the amount of gifts and pledges raised at the this time last year. According to museum and UI Foundation officials, the Oct. 20 "Museum pARTy" and associated fundraising appeals in advance of the event generated a record $173,000 in gift commitments, compared to just $44,550 pledged in 2006.

"Once again, the museum's supporters have come through for us in a big way," said UIMA Director Howard Collinson. "We are so grateful to everyone who helped us organize this wonderful event."

Pat Hanick, the UI Foundation's director of development for UIMA, explained that the success of this year's fundraising season was due in part to a new approach that encourages UIMA contributors to direct their annual support to specific events or exhibits, rather than to a general-purpose annual fund to be used as needed throughout the year.

"These sponsorship opportunities give our donors a greater sense of ownership of museum events and activities," Hanick said. "This approach also allows contributors to direct their support where it's most meaningful to them, as well as to the museum."

At the party, donors had the opportunity to become a sponsor of museum programs, exhibitions, and works of art, including Jackson Pollock's famed "Mural," given to the museum in 1953 by Peggy Guggenheim.

Hanick also attributed the high attendance at the Oct. 20 event -- nearly 250 guests, more than in prior years -- to a change in venue, from the museum itself to the University Athletic Club. "We can't accommodate more than 150 guests with food and drink in the museum, particularly during the current renovation of the south entrance," she said. "Although people love the museum facility, moving the party elsewhere allowed us to expand our capacity, and the extra numbers made a difference.

"Support from our patrons is fundamental to the museum's continued success," she added. "Every donation is a step toward realizing our goal of providing relevant and innovative programming to the public."

More than 600 art patrons contribute to the UIMA throughout the year. These gifts provide meaningful cultural programs and stimulating exhibitions, and they secure the museum's vitality for future generations. The UIMA relies on non-university financial support, including private donations and the endowment, for nearly 40 percent of its annual budget. The funds raised from the party put the museum well on its way to the $250,000 needed in private annual support for the 2007-08 fiscal year.

UIMA programs kept viable by private gifts include: Widen Our World (WOW) and Discover Africa school programs, UIMA Writers-in-Residence, View & DO: A Family Art Activity and Music at the Museum with Shari Rhoads, opera coach of the UI Martha-Ellen Tye Opera Theater, among others. These donations also provide funding for temporary exhibitions, conservation of important works of art, and technological updates to the museum.

The UI acknowledges the UI Foundation as the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the university. For more information, visit the foundation's web site at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Maggie Anderson, Museum of Art, 319-335-1731,; Patricia L. Hanick, University of Iowa Foundation, 319-335-3305,; Peter Alexander, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0072 (office), 319-541-2846 (cell),