New Perspectives Capital Campaign
In 2018, CAMH embarked upon its first major renovation in more than 20 years—the New Perspectives Capital Campaign. Launched with an initial campaign fundraising goal of $3.1 million, the Campaign enables a series of critical facility improvements to make the Museum more accessible, innovative, and impactful within an already inspiring community of cultural destinations. The immediate response from Houston’s philanthropists and arts lovers speaks to the deep affection for CAMH and its integral role in Houston’s vibrant cultural ecosystem. Having raised $3 million as of February 2020—with 18 months and $150,000 in potential matching funds left on the Campaign—the Museum’s Board of Trustees voted to increase the goal of the New Perspectives Capital Campaign to $3.5 million, expanding the scope to address additional, long-needed interior renovations. Click on the contribute button in the sidebar to make a matched gift to the New Perspectives Capital Campaign.
As of October 1, 2020, CAMH has raised $3,046,000 toward the $3.5 million goal. The capital improvements are being completed in three phases—Phase I addressed the urgent need for professional administrative office space; Phase II addresses external and internal renovations and infrastructure improvements enhancing visibility, expanding exhibition and public gathering space, and improving public and staff safety; and Phase III will lay the foundation for future growth and expansion. Phase I has been completed; the projects included in Phase II are scheduled for completion by the end of 2020; and Phase III is planned for 2021. Please click below for more detail on each of the phases.
Since 1948, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH) has served as an invaluable platform for contemporary art and cultural engagement. The Museum offers free admission to all exhibitions, programs and tours; and as the only museum of its size focused solely on contemporary art in Houston, CAMH is a vital community hub that directly connects artists and audiences through catalytic and unexpected experiences of contemporary art. Without a permanent collection, the Museum presents exhibitions of not only established artists, but also underrepresented and emerging artists, often offering a first look at the art of tomorrow’s history books.
The goal of Phase I was to obtain and build out attractive, functional office space for the Museum’s administrative staff. This phase was completed in February 2019 when CAMH’s administrative staff moved to new offices at 5020 Montrose Boulevard, Suite 210, after 22 years of working within an older house adjacent to the Museum.
The goals of Phase II of the Campaign are to expand public gathering and exhibition space, increase visibility, and to update and stabilize Museum infrastructure. This phase is currently underway, scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020, and encompasses the most visible and direct impacts for CAMH’s visitors, exhibiting and performing artists, and community partners.
Work on these projects commenced while CAMH has been closed to the public due to COVID-19 in spring through autumn of 2020. When completed in November 2020, Eleanor and Frank Freed Garden will be completely redesigned as an expansive, attractive plaza suitable for outdoor events, programs and exhibitions—thus increasing CAMH’s usable exhibition and event space. While temporarily closed, the Museum made long-needed repairs to the interior space, restoring the galleries to their original architectural footprint and replacing the 40-year old pine wood floors in the Brown Foundation Gallery.
The Museum’s visibility will be further enhanced by a dynamic new exterior lighting system that showcases CAMH’s iconic Gunnar Birkerts building, granting the Museum flexibility in hosting outdoor presentations, and increasing the safety of visitors and staff. New exterior signage improves wayfinding for visitors to Houston’s Museum District and draws visitors to explore CAMH.
In addition, Phase II includes projects that improve key infrastructure. The Museum’s driveway and loading dock have been reinforced, stabilized, and repaired to ensure exhibitions can arrive and depart safely and securely. The electrical system in the galleries has been updated to support diverse media, exhibitions, and public programs.
The improvements to CAMH’s exterior and interior enhance the Museum’s flexibility and resilience in response to changing conditions, while also enhancing CAMH’s ability to meet our core mission of making contemporary art accessible to all.
The New Perspectives Capital Campaign establishes a solid foundation for CAMH’s future growth. The final phase of the Campaign creates a new parking lot on Bayard Lane; removes the former administrative house, which is in disrepair; completes long-needed deferred maintenance and seeds an endowment to specifically address ongoing and future maintenance needs.
The parking lot addresses a critical need in the Houston Museum District, and improves accessibility for CAMH visitors. The Museum currently has no dedicated parking for guests; street parking is regulated by the City of Houston and permit-restricted during many hours of the day. Moreover, having the lot cleared and repurposed for parking in the immediate term positions CAMH for future growth.
The endowed maintenance fund ensures the Museum has access to the funds required to maintain our building and grounds, and replace and repair equipment as future needs arise. Over the years, flooding and other emergencies have required immediate intervention and repair, absorbing operating funds that had been allocated for planned maintenance. A dedicated source of maintenance funds will allow CAMH to address emergent needs while providing resources for day-to-day maintenance and repair.
A list of major donors to the New Perspectives Capital Campaign.
The latest updates and information about the project. See videos of completed phases of the campaign and look at photos from the project site.
Press releases and media coverage of the New Perspectives Capital Campaign.