The Statue of Liberty has always been a symbol of hope and the gateway for countless immigrants in the past seeking a new life in America, which is exactly why a crowdfunding campaign will start on July 4th to commemorate that in a new museum.
Back in the 1880s, the famous publisher, Joseph Pulitzer, encouraged many people to help fund the construction of the statue’s pedestal in exchange for their names going in his newspaper. In a sense, this was the very first mass public fundraising campaign in American history.
He had managed to gather 120,000 donors, with some only giving just a few pennies, but made the required funding target in mere months.
This new initiative is called, ‘For Lady Liberty’, which seeks to recognize this symbol of New York and the American dream for its legacy by establishing this museum by May 2019.
The initiative is being run by Diane von Furstenberg, the Foundation and campaign chairperson, who is overseeing the project which will document how lady liberty has come to define America since its arrival as a gift from France.
“From building Lady Liberty’s pedestal in the 1880s to contributing to the 1986 centennial restoration - the American people have given whatever they could afford to support the statue,” said Richard Flood, Vice President and Chief Advancement Officer for The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation.
“This crowdfunding campaign honors that history, ensuring that our fundraising efforts are inclusive, while also expanding the opportunity to a worldwide audience,” Flood added.
During the restoration in the 1980’s, the foundation used crowdfunding once again, but this time they managed to collect donations, with funds coming from school children alone coming to around $6 million.
Now, this current campaign is making full use of 21st-century technology via social media and networking to help spread the Indiegogo-based fundraiser. Those who choose to contribute can select a variety of perks based on how much they donate, with one being a limited edition medallion made especially for the campaign effort.
“I stumbled upon Joseph Pulitzer’s campaign when researching the concept of crowdfunding, and the idea of democratizing capital and what it achieved inspired me,” stated Indiegogo co-founder, Slava Rubin.
“For me, the Statue will forever be an empowering monument to the many incredible entrepreneurs who have come to America and achieved so much, including my parents, and the challenges they overcame to make a better life for our family.”
The museum, which will make use of a new 26,000-square-foot museum, was designed by architecture firm FXCollaborative with exhibitions made by the design firm ESI Design. The admission will be free with the purchase of a ferry ticket to visit Liberty and Ellis Island.