During the American Saddlebred Horse Association Annual Meeting, the American Saddlebred Museum unveiled plans to expand its building at the Kentucky Horse Park. The opportunities presented by the coming of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) were the impetus that launched the project to add much needed additional space. The Showplace for Saddlebreds, a 7,000+ sq ft addition, will house a long-wished-for Art Gallery, a Changing Exhibit Gallery, an Educational Forum, a re-located Gift Shop, storage and amenities as well as a Saddlebred Pathway and a larger, environmentally controlled archives. The Pathway will connect the Showplace for Saddlebreds to the main campus of the Horse Park, making the facility much more accessible to visitors.
In the works for several years, the project was set into motion by Kentucky?s announcement of the awarding of the 2010 WEG. With the world coming to its doorstep, the Museum?s board and staff have seized the moment to create plans for a world class facility in which to showcase the ?Horse America Made.?
?To say that these plans have been enthusiastically received is an understatement,? said Tolley Graves, the Museum?s Executive Director. ?For many years, our members have been asking that our George Ford Morris collection be on display, but we had no wall space. This gallery addition will solve that problem and allow our fabulous collection to be displayed on a rotating basis. Of particular concern to our board and staff has been our collection?s over-crowded archive space, which will be remedied as part of this project. The building?s contemporary design will lend a great deal of significance to our presence here at the Horse Park. We are sure to see increased visitation in the years to come with the addition of the Pathway and the exposure WEG will bring.?
The project cost will be approximately $3M. A Capital Campaign to raise the funds has been underway in its ?quiet? phase since August 2007 and the Museum is over ? of the way to its goal. ?As this campaign goes public, we are seeking the final $500,000 to assure completion of the project and to prevent the Museum from having to go into debt,? said Graves.
?The Museum?s location at the Horse Park has positioned us to have access to every single visitor to WEG. Every person attending the games will walk past our building. This is an unparalleled opportunity that we cannot afford to pass up,? continued Graves. ?The Museum needs the support of the entire industry to insure that the Saddlebred will be properly represented when the hundreds of thousands of visitors from over 60 countries visit our facility. Please take some time to contemplate a serious gift to this worthy cause and make a pledge today. We are asking our industry members to consider a 3-year commitment in order to maximize the impact of their donation. Each dollar will directly benefit the American Saddlebred horse.?
For more information, contact Tolley Graves at 859-259-2746 .
Description of Improvements
** Changing Exhibit Gallery **
The Exhibit Gallery will be a multi-function space. It will house the Museum?s special changing exhibits as well as some of the historic artwork from our extensive collection. As an added benefit, the space can be reconfigured to allow for educational presentations, auctions or social events. A retractable projector and screen, a microphone and speaker system and portable lectern will be included for such events.
** George Ford Morris Gallery **
The Museum?s collection boasts many of the most famous original Saddlebred works by famed equine artist George Ford Morris. This gallery will be dedicated to the display of his magnificent paintings, drawings, prints and artwork. The present Museum does not have the display space for these many works.
** State-of-the-Art Archives **
Since the Museum?s founding in 1962, many of the breed?s important artifacts and artwork have been gifted to its collection. By nature, many of these artifacts suffered much wear and tear before the Museum received them. Modern technology now offers many ways to protect and preserve such treasures of the past, which the new archives will incorporate. The facility will feature the most up-to-date storage techniques for all types of artifacts plus complete climate control and clean fire suppression.
** Saddlebred Pathway **
Although the American Saddlebred Museum is now part of the admission ticket to the Kentucky Horse Park, there is no entrance into our Museum from inside the Park. This accounts for tens of thousands of lost visitations each year. The new building addition will incorporate such an entrance. A designated and marked Saddlebred pathway will become the link between the Horse Park?s main courtyard and our building. The walkway will ensure that we capture visitors who entered the Park through the KHP?s Visitor Center in addition to those who already enter our facility directly from the parking lot.