This $12.5 million campaign will create a unified campus that promotes innovative programming and learning while building a strong sense of community.
The estimated costs for the two major components of the Strong Roots | Bold Future Campaign to Grow Vesterheim are:
Vesterheim’s bold future grows from roots put down by courageous Norwegian immigrants coming to America, told through the unequalled collection of Norwegian-American artistic and historical objects that Vesterheim holds in trust.
From these strong roots Vesterheim is building a bold future that will:
This future includes innovative access to the collection, unique exhibits, creative learning programs, excursions to and from Norway, and expanding folk-art classes. Vesterheim invites audiences of every age and heritage to connect the past to the future by immersing themselves in the stories and culture of these Norwegian settlers who help us appreciate today’s immigrant experience and how it will shape America’s future.
Built into these plans is the recognition that the Commons, Heritage Park, and the entire museum campus must be sustainable. Maintenance and care are priorities in the museum’s financial strategy. More details can be found in the business plan.
With the generous support of early donors and the careful management of the museum’s capital reserves, Vesterheim trustees made the prudent decision to proceed with the construction of the Commons, counting on the generosity of friends like you to help complete the funding needed for this important project.
Cash gifts can be made:
Online through the secure “Donate Now” button above.
Download and complete the campaign Pledge Form (PDF) and return via mail with your
• check or money order made payable to Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum/Campaign, or
• credit/debit card information, or
• direct withdrawal bank account information.
Many corporations offer matching gift programs. Such programs may allow donors to double or even triple the amount of their contribution. Matching gift forms are available from company personnel or human resource offices.
An alternative to cash is a gift of appreciated securities. Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds owned for more than one year and that have increased in value are popular assets used for charitable giving. Please consult your financial professional for advice on maximizing your campaign gift plans. A brokerage account transfer form is available from the Development Office or you can download a copy.
The first major project of the Strong Roots | Bold Future campaign is the re-imagining of Heritage Park, the outdoor exhibit and program space for Vesterheim’s 12 historic buildings. Heritage Park opened in summer 2021. Guided by the Snøhetta master plan, Heritage Park has been designed by Damon Farber Landscape Architects to be an accessible and open public space reminiscent of Norway’s forests and glades. Here, people can connect with one another amidst tangible historic buildings set in nature.
Beginning at the plaza that depicts the 1825 voyage of immigrants on the ship Restauration, meandering pathways will guide visitors around gentle glades, past a community amphitheater, and through the expanded parkwhere history comes alive by experiencing how Norwegian pioneers lived.
Special care has been given to create an environmentally sensitive community park with native plantings and woodlands appropriate to this Driftless Area of America’s Midwest, permeable pavers, and sustainable stormwater management.
The unifying piece for Vesterheim is this new Snøhetta-designed Commons. The Commons, with three-levels and 7,600 sq. ft., will tie the campus together, providing the museum with a spectacular front entry and opening into Heritage Park. It will physically link the past and the future, connect the collection to the Folk Art School, and enrich the Vesterheim visitor experience for those coming to Decorah or participating digitally.