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BIMA receives a prestigious Murdock Trust grant in support of Cultural Programs

BIMA is proud to announce that it is the recipient of a grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust of Vancouver, Washington, to support the further development of the Museum’s cultural programming. The Murdock Charitable Trust is a highly competitive grant offered to nonprofits in a five-state region of the Pacific Northwest: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. The Trust has been a true game-changer in the region since its establishment in 1975; more than $900 million has been distributed through more than 6,000 grants.

“Wow! We couldn’t be happier,” said Sheila Hughes, the Executive Director for BIMA. “The timing of this grant — right at the end of our fifth anniversary — goes such a long way to validate everything we have worked so hard to accomplish.”

BIMA received the Murdock Trust grant to support its burgeoning cultural program, specifically to provide over $150,000 over three years in seed-funding for a new Cultural Impact Initiative, including the creation of a new position—Cultural Programs Manager. This new position will oversee the thoughtful and continued development and expansion of the organization’s diverse and lively showcase of arts, cultural and humanities programs.

BIMA’s robust year-round calendar of events is designed to complement and enrich the museum’s top-notch exhibitions and education programs. Along with BIMA’s free admission and welcoming ambiance, its combination of offerings has become a key component to the museum’s recent success in establishing itself as the “cultural living room” of the West Sound and a top regional cultural destination.

The Murdock Trust Grant award, in concert with the encouragement and support of other donors and supporters, is the first step in the creation of a larger Cultural Impact Initiative.

“The stars have aligned for BIMA to be a huge resource to the greater Kitsap community and beyond—and we’re completely committed to making that happen,” said Hughes. “Considering that we’re located at the crossroads of King and Kitsap County, our excellent exhibitions have already made BIMA an established destination for cultural tourism by visitors from around the globe—over 100,000 in 2018. And because of the generosity of its early supporters, BIMA has a world-class facility with gallery, classroom, meeting, workshop and Auditorium space. Our goal is to be in further service to the region—by lighting up this space with the most interesting, exciting and culturally adventurous program of arts, humanities and cultural events that we can create.”

Photo of Jesse Ziebart in BIMA's Beacon Gallery
Jesse Ziebart, Cultural Programs Manager

Jesse Ziebart has joined BIMA’s team as the new Cultural Programs Manager. Jesse’s experience includes arts programming, event coordination, hospitality, television production and sponsorship. After fifteen years in various aspects of programming and producing, Jesse is excited to return to her hometown of Bainbridge Island.

I am honored to join the BIMA family and to have the opportunity to give back to the artistic community that has shaped so many of us who grew up here,” Ziebart said. “Everyone wins with a Cultural Impact Initiative like this—residents receive more access to world-class arts and humanities programs, artists are supported and spotlighted, even our local economy gets a boost when visitors come attend things like music, theater and film. I am so thankful the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust has chosen to fund programs like these. It will be exciting to see cultural programs at the museum continue to grow!”

In its short five years of service, BIMA has already developed a reputation for lively community events like the Museum’s annual Dia de los Muertos celebration and Black History Month festivities, which draw large regional crowds, while on-going programs like the Tuesday night smARTfilm series, summer Inspired Chef dinner series and quarterly Pop-Up Art & Craft Fair draws a regular local following of engaged arts-lovers. Newer programs like the Within/Earshot Jazz Festival, Momentum Festival, Frank Buxton Silent Film Festival, and DogEar are drawing sell-out crowds and establishing the museum as a go-to destination for first-class cultural activities.

For more information on BIMA’s programs, visit BIMA’s calendar.

About M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust:

M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust was created by the will of the late Melvin J. (Jack) Murdock, who was a co-founder of Tektronix, Inc. in Beaverton, Oregon, and a resident of Vancouver, Washington. Since its establishment on June 30, 1975, with a bequest of about $90 million, the Trust has focused its grantmaking efforts primarily in five states of the Pacific Northwest: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. The Trust’s current assets are valued at about $1 billion, and over the life of the Trust, more than $900 million has been distributed through more than 6,000 grants.

The Trust’s mission is to enrich the quality of life in the Pacific Northwest by providing grants to organizations that seek to strengthen the region’s educational, social, cultural, and spiritual base in creative and sustainable ways. Grants are awarded to a wide variety of organizations, including those that serve the arts, public affairs, education, scientific research, health and medicine, human services, and people with disabilities.

The Trust’s staff brings a wide range of experiences in the subject areas and activities necessary for thoughtful grantmaking and the investment of Trust assets. In addition to grantmaking activities, it is common Trust practice to convene groups of people to discuss issues of mutual interest. This practice is of great assistance to the Trust in exploring ways of responding to new grantmaking opportunities consistent with its mission, promoting a sharing of ideas and networking among participants, and understanding new developments and best practices in the various sectors in which the Trust works.