Press Room

NMWA reaches $50 million endowment goal during institution’s 25th-anniversary year

Sep 11 2013

Fiscal stability allows NMWA to avidly pursue its mission of recognizing women’s creative contributions to the history of art even during difficult financial times

WASHINGTON—The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA)—the only museum in the world exclusively dedicated to showcasing the work of women artists—has successfully completed its campaign to double its endowment to $50 million.

The endowment, which stood at $25 million just six years ago, reached this new goal with more than 650 donors and a one-to-one challenge grant of $770,000 in the final months of the campaign. This endowment provides the foundational funding to secure the quality and continuity of the museum and its programs for generations. This phase of the endowment campaign was initiated after NMWA’s 20th anniversary in 2007, with the goal of doubling its $25 million endowment by the end of its 25th anniversary.

The endowment allows NMWA to advocate for women’s talents and leadership; helps empower women and girls through the inspirational example of the arts; connects great art by women to people around the world; and raises NMWA’s visibility, letting the world know that the museum is about art by women for everyone. Today, 51% of artists are women, but their work still comprises only 5% of the art on display in U.S. museums. NMWA advocates for equity for women in the arts by shining a light on excellence.

“It is a wonderful and exciting achievement to reach our $50 million endowment goal, thanks to gifts large and small from many loyal members and supporters. They share in this remarkable triumph,” said Founder Wilhelmina Cole Holladay. “Thanks must go to endowment co-chairs Climis and Carol Lascaris, who have worked diligently on behalf of NMWA, and to Gordon West, chair of the endowment board. Mary Mochary most graciously served as the honorary chair of the past years’ efforts. During financially uncertain times in our country, NMWA has not only fulfilled its goal of providing crucial funding for operations, exhibitions, education, our library and public programs, but the museum has also achieved a balanced budget and is debt-free.”

For 30 years, NMWA President Emerita Carol Lascaris and her husband Climis have dedicated themselves to supporting the Women’s Museum, from donating marble for the original 1986 refurbishment of the Lockheed Martin Great Hall to hosting myriad benefit cruises and special events for the endowment. 

“Climis and I are so pleased to have helped establish this robust endowment, which will enable us to conserve our great collections for future generations. It is the financial bedrock that upholds the museum’s purpose and our founder’s vision,” said Carol Lascaris. “Thanks to what we have accomplished together during the 25th anniversary, NMWA’s endowment will help create a stable and glorious future for the only museum solely dedicated to the wonder of women in the arts.”

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National Museum of Women in the Arts