BISHOP MUSEUM TO IMPLEMENT NEW STRATEGIC MEASURES IN CONTINUED TRANSFORMATION
Plans Include Focus on Public Programs and Disposition of Assets
News Release from Bishop Museum, January 8, 2016
HONOLULU – After a multi-year extensive planning process, Bishop Museum will implement the next steps in its new strategic direction which will broaden the museum's operating model through a sustainable mix of programs and activities while dramatically shifting the museum focus to center around the visitor experience. This new model prioritizes Bishop Museum's Kapālama campus and includes a stronger emphasis on public engagement and outreach, continued campus improvements, and the disposition of assets that no longer fit the long-term mission and goals of the Museum.
"Since its founding in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop, the Museum has established itself as a beloved institution for Hawai'i and the world, and we want to ensure that the Museum will continue to grow and serve the needs of future generations," said Blair Collis, president and chief executive officer of Bishop Museum. "We have spent the past five years simultaneously stabilizing the organization's finances after substantial reductions in federal earmark funding, meanwhile embarking on a comprehensive strategic planning process fueled by insights and recommendations from hundreds of stakeholders about the role of the Museum and how it can best serve our community. It has become very clear that we need to move towards a model that truly engages and empowers the community and helps people to understand and celebrate Hawai'i's incredible cultural heritage and precious natural environment. We are ready to change that Bishop Museum can thrive as a destination for all people to treasure Hawai'i's past, celebrate the living culture of today, and be inspired about our future."
Several advance measures of the Museum's new strategic direction have already been implemented. This includes the $24.5 million dollar renovation of Hawaiian Hall and Pacific Hall, the conversion of the J. Watumull Planetarium into one of the most advanced digital planetarium systems in the world, and a partnership with Highway Inn to elevate Bishop Museum's on-campus dining experience at the Bishop Museum Café.
In addition, future plans include the renovation and restoration of Bishop Hall, more than $3 million in infrastructure improvements to the campus, native landscaping of the Museum grounds, programs to activate the Museum's campus at night, improvements to digital resources, and new exhibits that leverage Bishop Museum's scholarship and collections to tell Hawai'i's stories.
The strategic plan also includes the examination of all of the Museum's assets to determine which best fit the strategic direction and support the goal of financial sustainability.
"We are very excited about the new direction for Bishop Museum. It will require significant changes to our current operational model. But we are confident that our strategic plan will create a strong foundation that will allow financial sustainability, long-term growth, and relevant programs for our community," said Collis.
Bishop Museum will implement several key transformational changes, including a complete review of the Museum's collections and identification of items for potential future disposition that are unnecessarily redundant or do not fit the Museum's mission, a shift in the Museum's research operation toward serving as a home for fully-funded mission-critical research, and identification of proper stewardship and disposition of key land assets that do not fit the Museum's scope and mission.
"The strategic planning process helped us look at our current structure and mix of programs, and we realized that some legacy assets no longer fit our mission. These are tough but positive that must be made for the sake of repositioning Bishop Museum for the benefit of our grandchildren," said Collis. "We have made substantial progress over the past few years. And with the next phase of our strategic plan, we are confident that we will be creating a Bishop Museum of our next generation, a vibrant educational center, a destination Museum for all to enjoy, a forum for creative learning, and a gathering place for the people of Hawai'i and the Pacific."
Admission into Bishop Museum: Adults $19.95; Youth (4–12) $14.95; and Seniors (65+) $16.95; Hawai‘i residents and Military with ID: Adults $12.95; Youth (4–12) $8.95; and Seniors (65+) $10.95; (non-resident visitors accompanied by Military or a Hawai‘i resident with ID: Adults $16.95; Seniors (65+) $13.95; and Youth (4–12) $11.95); Bishop Museum members and children age three and younger are always free. Children age 16 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Bishop Museum is open from 9 a.m.–5 p.m.; closed on Tuesdays and Dec. 25. For more information, please visit www.bishopmuseum.org, follow @BishopMuseum on Twitter and Instagram, become a fan of Bishop Museum on Facebook, or call (808) 847-3511.
About Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum: Bishop Museum was founded in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop in memory of his wife Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the last direct descendant of King Kamehameha I. Bishop Museum is proud to be recognized as the principal museum of the Pacific, housing the world’s largest collection of Hawaiian and Pacific artifacts and natural history specimens. More than 350,000 people visit the Museum each year, including over 40,000 schoolchildren.