$250,000 Grant for Science City Received From Arvin Gottlieb Charitable Foundation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 23, 2014
Union Station Media Contact:
$250,000 Grant for Science City Received
From Arvin Gottlieb Charitable Foundation
Union Station’s Star Continues Rising as Planned Western Expansion Nears Full Funding
KANSAS CITY, MO. – Union Station Kansas City is pleased to announce a $250,000 grant from the Arvin Gottlieb Charitable Foundation. The generous donation will help construct an educational portal that is part of the planned western expansion of the Science Center. Including the lead gift from the Hall Family Foundation, the ambitious project now stands at nearly 85% funded and moves Union Station into the final phase of fundraising.
The new Space Portal will provide an engaging new “edutainment” experience while effectively linking the Science Center and two of its most popular attractions, the 3D Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre and the recently renovated Gottlieb Planetarium. The portal connection will allow guests a free flow between attractions without leaving Science City. It will also support increased attendance at all venues, enhance customer service and improve utilization of staff resources.
The $250,000 grant is one of several significant gifts over the years received by the Station from the Arvin Gottlieb Charitable Foundation. A substantial initial gift helped construct the iconic Planetarium. More recent gifts upgraded technology inside the unique venue and supported new educational outreach and expanded public programming. In total, Gottlieb Foundation investments to support the educational priorities of Union Station stand at more than $3,000,000.
“Investments in the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium and Science City continue to return large educational and civic dividends. Union Station Board and Management have shown what it takes to deliver world-class STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math) programming and the vision they have cast for the future of Science City is impressive,” Jan Leonard, SVP and Managing Director of Arvin Gottlieb Charitable Foundation said. “This grant is not only another strong vote of confidence, it is – more importantly – an additional investment in high-quality educational programs that provide meaningful and engaging science experiences to the entire Kansas City community.”
Since 2010, the Planetarium has seen enviable growth with an overall 66% increase in attendance. Kansas City’s science center – Science City – also celebrated a record year in 2014 with double digit annual attendance growth fueled by several years of significant investments and upgrades. For example, 2014 saw the additions of Smithsonian’s Spark!Lab, Every Last Drop and Genetics: Unlock the Code, as well as a new interactive entrance to the science center.
Recent gifts and investments from the Arvin Gottlieb Charitable Foundation, Burns and McDonnell, Time Warner Cable and the Ford Motor Company – among others -- have allowed for additional programming that keep Science City ranked nationally in the top-tier of science centers.
“Union Station and Science City are on an impressive trajectory. Gifts like this $250,000 from the Arvin Gottlieb Charitable Foundation not only fuel our enthusiasm, they validate our mission to deliver exceptional learning experiences in unique, meaningful and memorable ways,” George Guastello, president and CEO of Union Station said. “The funds from the Foundation put us within shouting distance of the total dollars needed to launch into the construction phases. The Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium is in the heart of this expansion and will continue to represent what has made Union Station – once again – the heartbeat of Kansas City and the entire region.”
Union Station’s expansion and upgrade kicked off with gifts from the Regnier Family Foundation, the Victor E. and Caroline E. Schutte Foundation and the Goppert Foundation – all of which were used to create a state-of-the-art movie and meeting experience in what is now known as the Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre. That 2013 improvement set the stage for what is now to follow.
“The philanthropic and business communities have rallied around Union Station in a significant way. Our Centennial celebrations and fundraising efforts exceeded expectations and helped put the Station in a position to expand and enhance both our facilities and programming,” Bob Regnier, Board Chairman of Union Station said. “This is indeed an exciting time for Kansas City’s Union Station and all those we serve.”
For more information about Union Station, Science City and unique, educational programming, visit: unionstation.org and sciencecity.com. For more details on the western expansion and to view the proposed architectural enhancements visit http://bit.ly/1zAusVh.
About Union Station Kansas City, Inc.
Union Station Kansas City is a historical landmark and civic asset renovated and reopened to the public in 1999. The organization, driven by its mission of science, history education and entertainment, is home to Kansas City’s Science Center; the popular Model Railroad Experience; the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium; the Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre, H&R Block City Stage featuring live theater, and a selection of unique shops and restaurants. Union Station is also home to prominent area civic organizations and businesses and regularly hosts world-class traveling exhibitions. Visit www.unionstation.org for details.