INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Everything about the historic building on Indiana Avenue was beautiful, visitors said.
Only the cost of buying and renovating it hurt.
The Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library fell short of its $1.5 million fundraising goal to secure the downtown location three days before the nonprofit’s capital campaign was scheduled to end.
“We must raise $254,000 by Wednesday,” the museum said Sunday afternoon in a tweet. “If not, we lose $600,000 available to us and, with it, the chance of creating a permanent home for us.”
The 10,314-square-foot building, located at 543 Indiana Ave., is “the exact right building for the Vonnegut Museum and Library,” board member Kip Tew told News 8.
“We have cultural amenities nearby,” he said. “It’s across from Walker Theater. It’s near the Cultural Trail and the Canal Walk. Tourists who come from around the world will be able to find it.”
The nation’s only museum and nonprofit championing the literary, artistic and cultural contributions of Indiana-born writer Kurt Vonnegut began operating out of a gift shop in the Circle Centre Mall after its lease in the Emilie Building on Senate Avenue ended Feb. 1.
“They were in the process of expanding ,” explained Tew. “And so they asked us to finally move out.”
And so it goes.
Portions of their Vonnegut memorabilia collection were temporarily relocated to the Indiana State Museum while the museum without a home sought funding to purchase a permanent location.
A 90-day fundraising campaign was announced in March.
“This announcement comes with urgency,” board members wrote in a post on the museum’s website. “These funds will allow us to purchase the building and begin renovations needed to open to the public. We’ll need additional funds beyond that to install our exhibitions and offer our programs for students, teachers, veterans and general readers.”
Tew said Sunday he was “confident” they would raise the money needed by Wednesday night. The museum board has no “backup location” if they cannot afford 543 Indiana Ave. and will continue operating their mall gift shop, he added.
“People can make pledges over four years so we don’t have to have it in one lump sum,” Tew told News 8.