Santa Barbara Museum of Art Announces Lead Gift to Imagine More Capital Campaign

Posted on Mar 12 by SEASONS Magazine

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art‘s Imagine More Capital Campaign achieves a monetary milestone, as The Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Foundation gives an additional $3 million towards the project, bringing its total gift to $5 million. The Museum had already received a $2 million gift over the course of a few years from the Eichholz Foundation. The new gift is in the form of a 1:2 challenge―for every $2 the Museum raises, the Eichholz Foundation commits another $1. The Museum must raise $6 million to receive the entire Eichholz gift of $3 million. This generous gift has been named the “Eichholz Inspiration” to reflect the spirit in which it was made.

Many of the Museum Board of Trustees have already stepped up to meet this challenge, with pledges to date totaling $2,530,000 from Museum leadership, including Jane and Ken Anderson, Patricia Aoyama and Chris Kleveland, Jill and John C. Bishop, Jr., Susan Bowey, Joan Davidson and John Schnittker, Betsy and Jule Hannaford, Clay Tedeschi, Gretchen and Marshall Milligan, and Starr Siegele and Larry Feinberg.

Santa Barbara Museum of Art, courtesy photo.

Santa Barbara Museum of Art, courtesy photo.

When the “Eichholz Inspiration” has been met, SBMA will have officially raised nearly $32 million in pledges, well over half of the $50 million goal set for the Imagine More Campaign. The renovation project addresses critical needs of the building and improvements to benefit staff, visitors, and the entire Santa Barbara community. The Museum has already begun construction in earnest, with current efforts focused on seismic retrofitting and structural work, and making significant improvements to art movement and storage.

Alexa Davidson Suskin, Executive Director of The Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Foundation, notes, “The Santa Barbara Museum of Art was dear to my grandmother’s heart and the Eichholz Foundation is committed to helping make the complete renovation of the Museum a success. By stepping in with a lead gift as a challenge, we believe we can encourage others to contribute to this critical project as well.”

Larry J. Feinberg, SBMA’s Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Director and CEO, states, “All of us on the SBMA staff and board are extremely grateful for the generous―indeed, inspirational―new gift from the Eichholz Foundation, which will not only serve to fund the absolutely critical needs of this renovation project, but which also has had and will continue to have a galvanizing effect on the Museum’s capital campaign.  The Eichholz Foundation has been a crucial driving force behind this campaign from its inception. Our trustees have responded with their usual, exemplary generosity and enthusiasm for what is not only a necessary but also transformative project for one of our community’s great treasures.”

Keep an eye out as the Imagine More Capital Campaign continues to unfold!

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with Free Thursday evenings from 5 to 8 p.m. Call 805/963-4364 or visit to learn more about the museum and the Imagine More Capital Campaign.

—Victoria Tai Murphy


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