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Academy Museum to Issue Additional $100 Million Bond Offering

Museum director Bill Kramer previously said that 95% of initial $388 million funding has been raised

The Academy Museum will this week issue a new $100 million bond offering and will launch a post-opening fundraising campaign that will take place after the museum opens this December, an Academy Museum spokesperson told TheWrap.

Museum director Bill Kramer spoke with both The Hollywood Reporter and Variety and explained that the museum will launch phase two of the museum’s funding campaign “post-opening” in order to secure additional programming and endowment costs.

Kramer had previously said that the Academy Museum had raised 95% of its phase one, $388 million budget in order for the museum to open its doors. The new bond issue will bring the total budget to $482 million, a 24% increase from the previous amount.

The spokesperson said that because the museum is still under construction, it was eligible to raise this additional wave of funding, and that interest rates were low enough that it made financial sense to do so. Proceeds of the bonds will cover interior construction, exhibition and operational build-out costs in what is targeted as the next phase of the museum.

The spokesperson adds that the post-opening fundraising campaign will repay the $100 million in bonds but will also fund endowed positions and programming for the long-term health of the institution. Sequential campaigns are standard practice in large non-profit institutions.

On Sunday’s Oscars, Tom Hanks announced a firm opening date for the museum on Dec. 14, 2020. The museum’s opening has been delayed numerous times after first being projected to open in 2017, then in late 2019.

The museum is located on Wilshire Boulevard at the historic Saban Building, and the new dome structure that serves as the museum’s centerpiece was designed by architect Renzo Piano.

Ahead of the Oscars last week, journalists got to tour the space, which is near completed but does not yet have any exhibits. The museum is set to open with a retrospective of the films of Hayao Miyazaki and another exhibit dedicated to black cinema ranging from 1900 to the Civil Rights era. The museum will also feature a history of the Academy Awards and an exhibit dedicated to the making of “The Wizard of Oz.”

Kramer took over for Kerry Brougher last September, who stepped down after news broke that the museum would be delayed again until late 2020.