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W. Jerome Frautschi pledges $10 million for new Wisconsin Veterans Museum in Downtown Madison

Wisconsin State Journal - 3/28/2023

Mar. 28—Madison philanthropist W. Jerome Frautschi said Tuesday he is pledging $10 million to the Wisconsin Veterans Museum Foundation to help the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs and Veterans Museum build a new museum in Downtown Madison.

"I support the Wisconsin Veterans Museum's goal of building a brand-new state-of-the-art facility at 30 West Mifflin Street, as it continues to advance my goal for a cultural arts district in downtown Madison," Frautschi said in a statement. "The proximity to the new Wisconsin History Center, the State Capitol, and the Madison Children's Museum creates the opportunity for great synergies between the organizations."

The existing Wisconsin Veterans Museum opened in 1993 at 30 W. Mifflin Street on the Capitol Square in Madison, but the space leaves no ability to expand, which limits the museum's ability to execute its mission, Frautschi said.

In 2021, the Wisconsin Veterans Museum and the state started a process to determine the museum's requirements and develop a vision for a new facility.

The projected cost for the project is $120 million, and the Wisconsin Veterans Museum Foundation aims to raise $40 million in private contributions.

"Mr. Frautschi's gift represents the cornerstone of the foundation's campaign to fund the new facility capable of housing the legacy of our current and past Wisconsin Veterans' service and sacrifices to our nation and her people," Daniel Checki, chairman of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum Foundation board, said in a statement. "On behalf of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum Foundation board of directors and Wisconsin veterans past and present, we thank him for his continued and generous commitment to support this new endeavor on the Capitol Square."

The Wisconsin Veterans Museum dates to 1901 when it was established as the Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Hall in the state Capitol. It is an educational activity of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs and a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate since 2014, one of only three in Wisconsin, which gives it access to the Smithsonian's unparalleled collections and scholarship.


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