Part of the mission of Friends of H.H. Bennett Studio is to provide financial resources to support the Studio. Our goal is to help enhance displays and the programming capability of the H.H. Bennett Studio in collaboration with the Wisconsin Historical Society. Museums cannot operate on the income from admissions or state support alone; H.H. Bennett Studio is no exception.
As a non profit tax exempt organization, Friends is able to solicit memberships and donations to help support the H.H. Bennett Studio.
To tell the story well and to stay relevant, Museums must be upgraded regularly. Technological advances, new information and ever changing methods to tell a story can be incorporated into displays to enhance the Museum visitor experience. Funds donated to the Friends can help provide upgrades and make innovative programming possible as we partner with the Wisconsin Historical Society to focus on advances at H.H. Bennett Studio.
Display improvements are expensive but regular upgrades foster interest among visitors and encourage repeat visits. During 2015, through the generosity of the Gregory C. Van Wie Charitable Foundation, Friends was able to allocate almost $25,000 to upgrade and install interactive three-dimensional displays in the Museum. One new interactive display lets the user actually feel like s/he is flowing down the Wisconsin River while piloting the wheel of the river boat. We hope this is only the beginning.
In our brief two year history, the Gregory C. Van Wie Charitable Foundation was the first very large donor to underwrite our Friends goals to support the Museum financially in order to enhance the visitor experience. We appreciate their confidence in Friends to help continuously improve our historically significant community treasure. We see them as a leader and partner supporting our efforts. We hope their support serves as an inspiration to others as well.
Basic membership of $20, $35 or $50 helps to pay for Friends expenses and to offer some free events during the year. In addition larger donations can provide:
$100 can help provide treats for a program
$250 for banners to promote events
$500 can support the cost of a special program
$1,000 can help develop a new gallery display.