News Column

Million dollar gift to support Colonial Williamsburg arts museums

August 15, 2014

By Steve Vaughan, The Virginia Gazette, Williamsburg

Aug. 15--WILLIAMSBURG -- Colonial Williamsburg got a big contribution toward an even bigger goal Thursday.

Susan and David Goode of Norfolk contributed $1 million for the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg to support efforts that include tours, teacher workshops and regular classes offered at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum's newly renamed Susan Goode Education Gallery.

According to Colonial Williamsburg spokesman Joe Straw, that's a contribution to the big plans the foundation has for the museums.

"The expansion has a capital cost of $40 million and there is a goal of a $20 million endowment to support museum operations," he said Friday.

The foundation is reportedly in the "quiet phase" of a fundraising campaign in support of the museums, which many consider to be one of Colonial Williamsburg most under-appreciated assets. Plans to change that have been in works for several years, starting with more visible signage to let visitors know the museums, which are entered through the Public Hospital on Francis Street, exists.

The expansion plans, the first major expansion since the museums opened in 1985 would add 8,000 square feet of new exhibition space along the museums' south side, with a new entrance and facade to the east on South Nassau Street. A model of the new design was unveiled two years ago.

"The art museums' programming engages a vast segment of guests each year, leveraging their extensive collections toward our core mission of education," Colonial Williamsburg president Colin Campbell said in announcing the Goodes' gift. "We're extremely grateful to the Goodes -- who are both art lovers and great friends to the institution -- for enriching and sustaining that programming in perpetuity."

The museums' education team of two full-time employees and 40 volunteers and seasonal interns last year conducted 420 programs and workshops in the Goode Gallery -- previously called the education studio -- for approximately 10,500 guests, school group students and teachers.

"The programming overseen by the Art Museums' educators and volunteers is extensive," according to Ron Hurst, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's vice president for collections, conservation and museums and chief curator. "The Goodes' generous commitment will benefit guests and the community as a whole for years to come."

David Goode is the retired CEO of Norfolk Southern Corp. Both he and his wife have supported arts and history programs throughout Virginia and have a particular interest in folk art.

"David and I believe very strongly in the educational power of museums and that the arts are a vital force in our history," Susan Goode said in a press release. "Colonial Williamsburg's museums are uniquely able to make that connection for future generations. We're gratified to know that this endowment will support even more robust educational programs at the museum."


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Source: Virginia Gazette (Williamsburg)

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