July 25, 2022

Dear Trout Museum of Art Members, Donors, and Friends,

The Trout Museum of Art is pleased to announce that we are exploring the idea of building a new, one-story, 30,000 square-foot building in downtown Appleton. The City of Appleton and the museum are considering a new location in the Ellen Kort Peace Park on the Fox River at Water Street. The park location would be an opportunity to place the Trout Museum of Art in the heart of Appleton’s downtown expansion to the waterfront and become a destination spot within the new Ellen Kort Peace Park. The Trout Museum of Art has a wonderful relationship with the City of Appleton and looks forward to discussing the possibilities for a new partnership.

The Trout Museum of Art Board of Directors and Leadership Team made the unanimous decision to build a new facility in March 2022. Dr. Monroe and Sandra Trout contributed five million dollars to the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region to support this project with the new facility to be built by The Boldt Company. The Board of Directors unanimously agreed to explore a partnership with the City of Appleton focusing on the Ellen Kort Peace Park site, located on the Fox River, as its preferred site for the Museum’s new home.

The Trout Museum of Art Board of Directors made this decision because the current 100-year-old home of the Trout Museum of Art will not support the organization without significant investments. A facility review conducted by Hoffman Planning, Design, and Construction determined that over the next few years the current Trout Museum of Art building will require nearly $2,000,000 in repairs to bring the HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems up-to-date and to museum-quality levels. In addition, the building lacks a loading dock, freight elevator, and exhibit preparation space. The Board of Directors compared the finances required for repairs and the insufficiencies of the current building’s configuration versus designing and constructing a new home and decided that to be good stewards of the organization, it was time for a change. We believe that building a new, accredited art museum will ensure safer and more efficient opportunities to display valuable artwork, thereby increasing our cultural and economic impact on our community.

A new museum will allow for more extensive and special exhibitions, art education classes, public events, and create valuable community partnerships. The plans include more galleries, state-of-the-art classrooms and lecture spaces, and our Artist in Residence studio. Other amenities include a Museum Store, bar/cafe, lobby, community space, parking lots, and delivery entrance. The new building will help engage the Trout Museum of Art directly with our community, including artists, students, educators, and all residents who live and work in the Fox Cities.

In addition to Dr. and Mrs. Trout’s contribution, the Trout Museum of Art will soon announce a capital campaign to fund the new building, which will open new doors to the visual arts and build a legacy for the Trout Museum of Art and the Fox Cities for generations to come.

The Trout Museum of Art will operate in its current location at 111 W College Ave, Appleton, until it moves to a new building. After the museum relocates to its new facility, the current building will be sold, and the proceeds used to help fund the costs of the new location.

We are at the early stage of discussions with the City of Appleton and we will need to get permission to pursue this idea from the Common Council. Here is the link to the Park and Recreation Departments Committee Agenda and Memo. We hope to arrive at a collaborative plan that will be a win-win for the City, the museum, and everyone in our community. More information will be available at troutmuseum.org/newbuilding in the following weeks. You can email us your thoughts and ideas at info@troutmuseum.org.

Yours most sincerely,

Christina Turner
Trout Museum of Art
Executive Director