ST. LOUIS, MO.- Board of Directors Chairman John Ferring and Director Paul Ha are pleased to announce that the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis has successfully raised $5 million for its endowment and once again balanced its $2 million operating budget, thereby meeting the final conditions of a major challenge set by Emily Rauh Pulitzer in May 2005. Pulitzer, in turn, has agreed to forgive the Contemporarys remaining indebtedness, subject to confirmation by independent auditors.
"The Contemporary will be debt-free and have a $5 million endowment before its fourth birthday in its new building major accomplishments for a contemporary art institution or any institution our size," said Director Paul Ha. "With this financial safety net in place, we can now turn our attention to building on our successes and firmly establishing St. Louis as one of the top cities for contemporary art in the country."
On May 17, 2005, the Contemporary announced a $5.4 million challenge gift from Pulitzer, which included a series of conditions to be met. She paid out the first $3 million installment of this gift in July 2005 after the Contemporary successfully ended its June 30, 2005 fiscal year with a balanced budget. The remaining three conditions continuing to operate with a balanced budget for the 2006 and 2007 fiscal years and raising a $5 million endowment by June 30, 2007 have now been met, triggering the forgiveness of the final $2.4 million in debt and interest (subject to confirmation by independent audit). The debt was obtained to fund the construction of the Contemporarys facility, which opened to the public in September 2003.
Im pleased that the discipline of this Challenge has brought significant support from a wide group of St. Louisans both long-time donors as well as many new supporters, said Emily Rauh Pulitzer. That, along with the demonstrated fiscal responsibility of balancing its budget, augers well for a bright future for the Contemporary.
Having a $5 million endowment represents a new phase of stability for the Contemporary, offering it the wonderful opportunity to grow and thrive as a real cultural leader, said Board Chairman John Ferring. As I travel throughout the world with Paul, I continue to be impressed by the fact that St. Louis is already considered one of the leading places for contemporary art, due to the hard work of Paul and his team. With the ongoing generosity of the St. Louis community, I have no doubt that the Contemporary will continue to make St. Louis proud internationally while also contributing greatly to the quality of life in our community.
Major Donors to the Contemporary Challenge Campaign
The Contemporary was able to meet this ambitious fundraising goal thanks to the generosity of thousands of individuals, foundations, and corporations in the St. Louis community. Major contributors to the Contemporary Challenge campaign include: Anheuser-Busch, Arts and Education Council, Bunny and Charles Burson, Larry Cohn, Dana Brown Charitable Trust, Emerson, Sue McCollum and Todd Epsten, Alison and John Ferring, Jeffrey Fort, Gateway Foundation, Kelly and Shaun Hayes, Nancy and Kenneth Kranzberg, Ann and Randy Lipton, Joan and Mitchell Markow, Donna Moog and Leonard Landsbaum, Maritz, Lester Miller, Missouri Arts Council, Missouri Cultural Trust, Neva and Marvin Moskowitz, National City, Dorte and Jim Probstein, Regional Arts Commission, Saigh Foundation, Sara Lee Corporation, Susan and David Sherman III, Mary Ann and Andrew Srenco, Carol and Michael Staenberg, Jack and Susan Taylor, Trio Foundation of St. Louis, Anabeth and John Weil, William E. Weiss Foundation, and the Whitaker Foundation.