Founding board chair gives back in the form of major gift

We are pleased to announce that the Museum of Durham History has received a very generous gift of $50,000 made possible by Dr. Thomas H. Krakauer, founding chair of the museum’s board of directors. The museum will use the donation to support 2019-20 operations and to fund an outdoor exhibit about the history of the museum’s 500 West Main Street site.

Krakauer, retired head of the N.C. Museum of Life and Science, became involved in the history museum more than a decade ago. He had this to say of the recent donation: “We keep reading about the special gifts that have proven the salvation of not for profits at this time of the coronavirus. This gift comes at a time that the Museum of Durham History has been forced to close.”

“He is a sparkplug of ideas and enthusiasm,” said Patrick Mucklow, MoDH executive director. “This gift would be extremely welcome at any time, but it’s a godsend right now, when the coronavirus pandemic has closed our doors and we’re pivoting to expand our online services, especially for students and teachers.”

The outdoor exhibit of weatherproof text and image panels will be mounted on the museum’s brick wall facing Great Jones Street. Mucklow said, “We’ll finally have an easily accessible answer to one of our most commonly asked questions: what used to be on this site, and what is the museum’s story?”

The Museum has never had an admission charge and relies on private donations, grants and government support. Since its opening in 2013, the museum’s visitation has grown to average more than 15,000 a year, with a total value to Durham’s economy approaching $2 million a year.

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