Wisconsin Wonders: Project Funding

To make this bold vision for our children, our communities, and our future a reality, we are seeking to raise $150 million in private philanthropic support, which will complement $90 million in anticipated government funding.

The $240 million cost includes: funds for the purchase of land; MPM collections relocation, construction, and design of the new building; exhibits; and $20 million in endowment to ensure the Future Museum is sustainable well into the future.

We carefully and conservatively created a long term operating plan which has informed every aspect of the Future Museum's design and operations. Endowment funding is built into the project budget to ensure we raise the amount needed to care for the building long-term prior to opening.

Public Funding

Our goal is to secure $90 million in public funding toward the new Museum Center and we’re almost there!

Already, Governor Tony Evers and the Wisconsin State Legislature approved $40 million of bonded funds toward a new, state-of-the-art natural history museum in the 2021-23 state budget. This investment by the state of Wisconsin is truly transformational and fitting for the largest cultural project in Wisconsin history. And because it comes from bonds set aside for capital projects, this allocation will not impact the state’s operating budget.

In March 2022, Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley and the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors voted to provide $45 million to fund the construction of the new Museum. This signified to the American Alliance of Museums that MPM has fulfilled our conditions for re-accreditation.

Private Campaign

The initial public funds and signs of support put us on the path to success—but only private philanthropy will drive this project over the finish line.

As we think of the students and civic leaders who gathered MPM’s first collections in 1851, the scientists and educators and philanthropists like you who made Milwaukee Public Museum world-class, and the countless young people who first discovered the wonders of our world and a passion for science, world cultures, creativity, and art inside our Museum walls, one constant is clear: This Museum has always been there for us because it was made by us.

It’s time for partners and leaders in this generation to rise to the occasion and secure the future of this community treasure so it can inspire our children, advance our communities, and catalyze a stronger future for Wisconsin and our world.

All gifts to Wisconsin Wonders should be made to Historic Haymarket Milwaukee (HHM), a separate nonprofit that exists for the sole purpose of developing the Museum project. Please contact us for more information on how to make a gift:

Julie Quinlan Brame
Senior VP of Development

Kaye W. Leszczynski
Senior Director of Major Gifts

Campaign Cabinet

We wish to recognize our Wisconsin Wonders Campaign Cabinet for their leadership. Thank you!

“You don’t find a lot of places where education and fun are always intertwined, and it’s just so exciting to see the diversity of the audience that we’ve always put together. How can you not get excited being here? Our museums continue to give, and educate, and offer value. I’m always amazed when I hear about researchers in our state and beyond that go to the Milwaukee Public Museum and learn from the collections that we have. There are so many light bulb moments, and it all starts in a museum. It really, truly does.”
- Jay & Madonna Williams, Honorary Co-Chairs

“The Future Museum will play a critical role in the education of our community, and as parents we look forward to our own children exploring the new state-of-the-art exhibits, where they will learn about nature, science, and culture from around the world. There will be no better place for developing young minds!”
- Victoria & Charlie Wright, Jr., Honorary Co-Chairs

"This is a transformational moment for the Milwaukee Public Museum. Beloved by all, our Museum is an important part of the fabric of Milwaukee and all the communities of Wisconsin. These communities along with our public partners are coming together to reimagine a new Future Museum of nature and culture for our state.  We can feel the excitement building as our vision is becoming a reality!"
- Lynn Warner Brengel, Co-Chair

Mike Van Asten, Co-Chair
Lynn Warner Brengel, Co-Chair
Jay & Madonna Williams, Honorary Co-Chairs
Victoria & Charlie Wright, Jr., Honorary Co-Chairs
Jennifer Bartolotta    
Jo Beightol
Andrea Bryant
Curtis Carter, PhD
P.J. DiStefano
Alec Fraser
Peter Feigin
Linda Groth
Margarete Harvey
Patricia B. McKeithan
Sara Meaney
David Meissner
Mary Read
Martin Schreiber
Morgan Treis
Les Weil
Ellen Censky, PhD (Ex-Officio)