Museum of New Mexico Foundation Celebrates 50 Years of Community Support and Plans “Big Thank You” Event to Honor Community Supporters on Sept. 23

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The Museum of New Mexico Foundation, the organization that provides financial support and services to one the nation's largest state-run museum systems, announces its 50th anniversary. Since its founding in 1962, the Museum of New Mexico Foundation has contributed more than $84 million in charitable contributions to Museums of New Mexico.

An historic photo of the New Mexico Museum of Art. One of the five museums and six state monuments the Museum of New Mexico Foundation supports.

"Our cultural resources, art collections and history are defining characteristics of our state and a big part of that are the collections held by our state museum system." –John Easley, executive director, Museum of New Mexico Foundation.

The Museum of New Mexico Foundation, the private, nonprofit organization that provides financial support and services to one of the nation’s largest state-run museum systems announces its 50th anniversary. An anniversary celebration, The Big Thank You, will take place on Museum of New Mexico Day, Sunday, September 23, 2012 from 10 am to 5 pm on Museum Hill and downtown in Santa Fe, NM at the New Mexico History Museum and the New Mexico Museum of Art. All activities are free and open to the public.

Since its founding in 1962 by Santa Fe civic leader and attorney Thomas B. Catron III, the Museum of New Mexico Foundation has received private support for the state’s Museum of New Mexico system from more than 23,000 generous donors. Through the power of its philanthropy, the Foundation has contributed more than $84 million in charitable contributions to support museum exhibitions, collections and education programs for the Museum of New Mexico system, becoming a national model for public –private sector partnerships.

“New Mexico is blessed with a unique and extraordinary cultural patrimony,” said John Easley, executive director of the Foundation. “Our cultural resources, art collections and history are defining characteristics of our state and a big part of that are the collections held by our state museum system. The museums are charged with preserving, protecting and exhibiting millions of works of art and historical artifacts.”

Beginning with 200 members in 1962, the Foundation has grown to more than 13,000 active members today. Through member support, more than 148,000 individual contributions have been made to support the Museum of New Mexico system and programs.

In celebration of fifty years of philanthropy, the Foundation has established the “Founders Society” to recognize the Foundation’s most generous and long-standing donors who have each given contributions totaling $100,000 or more. Collectively, this generous group has given more than $67 million in contributions and promised gifts to support and enhance the Museum of New Mexico system. They will be recognized at a gala Founders Dinner the evening of September 22 in Santa Fe .

“We can all take pride in the many generous members and patrons who have made it a priority to support our museums through their dedication, giving and volunteerism. They have truly made a difference for New Mexico and I’m confident this support will carry forward long into the future,” reflected Tom Catron, foundation founder.

For times and locations for these activities, visit http://www.museumfoundation.org/50Years/.

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Jennifer Padilla
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