Private donations to new state museum at $25M (with $40M goal)

News release from Tennessee State Museum

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee State Museum today announced that fundraising efforts for the new museum have progressed well, with more than $25 million committed by corporations, foundations and individuals statewide during the campaign’s initial “silent phase.

“It is exciting to have more than half of our goal committed, and we look forward to broadening our fundraising efforts now that the first phase is complete,” Tennessee State Museum Executive Director Ashley Howell said.

“A great state deserves a great museum, and we are building a 100-year museum that will provide a memorable experience to visitors of all ages,” Gov. Bill Haslam said.  “I am grateful to everyone who has supported the project to date, and appreciate their commitment to this educational asset for Tennessee.”

Early supporters making commitments to the new Tennessee State Museum during this initial phase of the campaign include:

Clare Corson Armistead

Ambassador Victor H. Ashe, II



Janet and Jim Ayers

Congressman Diane Black and Dr. David L. Black

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation

Bridgestone Americas Trust Fund


C.T.C. Jr. Trust

Dollar General Literacy Foundation


First Tennessee Foundation

William H. Freeman

Senator Bill and Tracy Frist

The Frist Foundation

Norma M. Gant

Howard C. Gentry

Many-Bears and Ernest L. Grinder

HCA Healthcare

Speaker Beth Harwell and Mr. Sam Harwell

Crissy and Bill Haslam

Haslam Family Foundations

Ellen B. Hudson

Sam Huffman, Jr.


Martha Rivers Ingram

Jackson National Life Insurance Company

Walter and Sarah Knestrick

Rodney and Dell Lawler

Pam Lewis

Mr. and Mrs. Charles N. Martin, Jr.

Dr. Paul and Carla McCombs

Representative Gerald D. McCormick

Representative Stephen K. McDaniel

Stuart and Leigh Anne McWhorter

Nissan North America, Inc.

Deanie Parker

Justin and Valere B. Potter Foundation

Aubrey and Michele Preston

David Preston

Representative Charles M. Sargent, Jr.

Tom and Jane Smith

Bob and Cathy Thomas

John Z.C. Thomas

Representative Ron and Mrs. Laura Travis

Christine Karbowiak Vanek

Verizon Foundation

Charles B. Welch, Jr.

Anne Potter Wilson Foundation

“It is also important to note that the construction and exhibit design is on time and on budget,” Haslam continued. “I am confident we are building a state museum that we will be proud of for years to come.”

About the new Tennessee State Museum

Gov. Haslam proposed and the Tennessee General Assembly approved $120 million in the FY 2015-2016 budget for the new museum with an additional $40 million to be raised in private monies.

The Tennessee State Museum currently hosts about 115,000 visitors each year.  The new museum is expected to host more than 220,000 visitors annually, adding to the growing menu of memorable and educational opportunities Tennessee has to offer.

The new museum, located on the northwest corner of the Bicentennial Mall in Nashville, is slated to open in late 2018.  More information about the new Tennessee State Museum can found at

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