A Need for Transformation
In the Museum’s pre-construction space, only 3% of the Permanent Collection could be on exhibition at any given time. The Museum’s collections were stored in overcrowded conditions. Galleries were small with low ceilings limiting the Museum’s ability to create special exhibitions or bring in traveling exhibitions that require higher ceilings, larger uninterrupted areas of wall space, specific lighting and climate control. The Museum’s library was bursting at the seams housing more than 10,000 books, publications and other research materials. The continuing growth and success of the Museum’s critical educational programs required that educational facilities expand due to dramatically increased and diversified needs. Innovative educational programs for young people involve students from across all 24 counties of WNC in art-based educational experiences linked to classroom curriculum and the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. Our partners in education request more tours, teacher workshops and hands-on studio experiences for students; current gallery and classroom space restricts the numbers we can serve. To meet increased demand for programs for all ages, the Museum needs additional classrooms, studios, lecture/performance halls, galleries, collections storage, visitor service amenities and multimedia technology. The renovation project for the New Museum will also address the critical issue of aging, failing and inadequate climate control systems and will include necessary new lighting and technology systems.