Expanding for our Community

A leader in the visual arts for 63 years, the Trout Museum of Art (TMA) is excited to explore a new building project with a vision to create a world-class facility and community space that expands access to art and art education in the Fox Cities. The museum’s Board of Directors began searching for a new site in 2022 and, after exploring potential opportunities around the Fox Cities, has found a strong partnership with Lawrence University – another foundational institution in Appleton.

Trout Museum of Art and Lawrence University are pleased to enlarge their partnership, which will revitalize nearly an entire city block in downtown Appleton and align two great institutions to provide innovative and exciting educational, cultural, and community programming, a win for Appleton and those across the Fox Cities.

New Building Project Q & A

We passionately believe that art opens minds and changes people’s lives each and every day and are excited to redefine the museum for a new generation of Fox Cities and Wisconsin residents.

Where will the new facility be located?

A new four-story mixed-use building is slated for the southeastern section of the 300 block of E College Avenue – between S Drew and S Durkee Streets. This will be the vibrant new home for the museum; as well as, Lawrence faculty offices, meeting and experiential learning spaces, and market-rate housing for the university on the top three floors. TMA’s 30,000 square foot facility will cover the first floor.

The new property adjoins a vacant lot and office buildings owned by the university with an area purchased for the museum by an anonymous donor.

What is the need for a new museum?

The current 100-year-old home of the Trout Museum of Art cannot support the organization without significant investment to the facility.

Built as a furniture store in 1922, the building lacks the proper configuration for art museum operations and cannot adequately store or care for artwork, handle growth of visitors or events, or expand educational offerings to support the youth and families of the Fox Cities and Wisconsin.

In order to advance our mission, we seek a new state-of-the-art facility designed specifically for an art museum. A new premier space for the museum will allow for wide-ranging exhibitions, art classes, public events, and the creation of valuable community partnerships.

In a reimagined facility, the new TMA will:

  • Present more regional, national, international, and traveling exhibitions in the planned 10,000 sq ft galleries, drawing significant attention to TMA and the Fox Cities.
  • Showcase diverse artists and voices with regular changing exhibitions.
  • Increase the capacity for engagement and education in a new Education Center with classrooms, an outdoor classroom, Artist in Residence studios, and lecture space.
  • Respond to the need of a state-of-the-art collections care and artwork storage; as well as, a loading dock for careful handling of artwork to and from the museum.
  • Invite local residents and visitors alike to enjoy community events through an expansive community space.
  • Expand on the recently reimagined Museum Store and a planned new cafe.

What does a TMA and Lawrence partnership look like?

The museum will be housed on the first floor, with Lawrence faculty offices, meeting and experiential learning spaces, and market-rate housing for the university on the top three floors.

The project aligns with Lawrence University’s current strategic objectives for larger enrollment, best-in-class liberal arts and conservatory of music education delivery, and ever-increasing service and connection to communities across the Fox Valley. We’re excited to pursue this partnership.

What will happen to the current Trout Museum of Art building?

The Trout Museum of Art will operate in its current location at 111 W College Ave, Appleton until it relocates to a new building. At that point, the current building will be sold, and the proceeds used to help fund the cost of the new location.

Who is building the new facility?

The Boldt Company architects in partnership with Frederick Fisher and Partners, an architecture firm from Los Angeles, CA.

How much will the museum cost and who will pay for it?

Dr. Monroe and Sandra Trout have contributed five million dollars for this building, held in a restricted fund exclusively for the support of this project at the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region.

The building project also will rely upon our generous philanthropic community to provide charitable donations to make this dream a reality for our community. A capital campaign will be announced.

Finally, what about Art at the Park?

For 63 years TMA has presented Art at the Park for local residents and visitors in Appleton’s City Park.

With 200 artist vendors across 20+ mediums, food and beverage vendors, art projects, and over 30,000 people attending, this summertime art festival will continue to be hosted in City Park on the fourth weekend in July with art, food, music, and entertainment.

How can the community get involved and stay informed?

Stay informed. Sign up for email updates about TMA and be among the first to know about major news and updates.

Support the project. Make a gift and be part of this creative campaign. Contact Christina Turner, Executive Director at cturner@troutmuseum.org.

PR Contact

Ashley Acker
Trout Museum of Art
Marketing Manager