Public Ribbon Cutting Scheduled for February 7
To celebrate the completion of the Evansville Museum’s five phase renovation and expansion project, a public ribbon cutting with the Honorable Mayor Lloyd Winnecke is planned for Friday, February 7 at 2 p.m. The Museum is open free to the public that day until 8 p.m.
According to Museum officials, the $14.1 million capital project Reaching for the Stars “addressed key infrastructure needs, introduces a dynamic Immersive Theater, and allows the Museum to enlighten and inspire our visitors in the areas of art, history, and science in a way never before possible.”
Museum visitors will enter the new facility through a spectacular two-and-a-half story Eykamp Pavilion, constructed on the Museum’s south side. A gift from the Eykamp Family with funds from the George and Dorothy Eykamp Bequest, the Pavilion’s open floor plan houses the new Koch Immersive Theater and the Begley Museum Shop. The new addition’s expansive and pedestrian friendly gathering space, the Virginia & John H. Schroeder Plaza,more closely links the Museum with EMTRAC (Evansville Museum Transportation Center), by bringing the campus into a cohesive alignment adjacent to the riverfront Greenway.
Beginning in 2009, early phases of Reaching for the Stars project focused on the interior renovation of art, history, and science galleries, collection storage and exhibition preparation areas, as well as the addition of a classroom. Architects for the project are Evansville’s VPS Architecture and RATIO Architects, INC. in Indianapolis with Danco Construction as General Contractor.
The Koch Immersive Theater
The cornerstone of the 9,000 square foot addition, the Koch Immersive Theater, uses the newest in planetarium technology. The theater houses a 40-foot diameter domed screen with 360-degree digital projection and a 10,000-watt surround sound system. Programming for the Koch Immersive Theater will not be limited to astronomy programs but will cover a broad range of science topics. The digital dome technology is a breakthrough experience known in the planetarium industry as a “full-dome” or “immersive” experience. The Theater will utilize two marvelously-bright, digital video projectors; a huge 40-foot wide hemispherical projection screen, and stadium-style seating to allow for great views from any seat.
The Theater will offer five new shows for children and adults during the first year, each spanning the spectrum of science and astronomy. The shows are Fragile Planet, narrated by Sigourney Weaver, a film about the importance of biodiversity and sustainability on Earth; Forces of Nature, narrated by Kevin Bacon, an up close and personal look at nature’s most powerful and extreme volcanoes, earthquakes, and storms; One World, One Sky, in which Big Bird, Elmo, and their friend from China, Hu Hu Zhu take a journey of discovery to learn about the Big Dipper, the North Star, the Sun, and the Moon; Perfect Little Planet, a discovery of the solar system through the eyes of a family from another star system who are seeking the perfect vacation spot; and Skies Over Evansville, views of the visible stars, constellations, and planets.
This theater will provide a greater range of programming opportunities for schools and businesses in our region, as it will also accommodate film screenings, lectures, group meetings, teleconferencing, and remote astronomical observations.
Museum Hours and Admission Change
Beginning on February 8, the Museum hours and admission will change. The Museum will begin its new hours of Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday Noon to 5 p.m. The admission will be $7 for adults and $5 for children ages 4 to 17. Evansville Museum Members and children under 3 receive free admission. Admission to the Museum includes entry to EMTRAC, the Evansville Museum Transportation Center. Tickets for the Koch Immersive Theater are $5 a person for daytime shows and $7 for shows after 5 p.m. Tickets for Evansville Museum Members are $3 for all shows. Evansville Museum Membership levels begin at $50 per household.
In order to keep the Evansville Museum accessible to all audiences, the Museum will host Free Fridays every month. On the third Friday of each month, Museum admission will be free to the public, and the facility will remain open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Museum Unveils New Logo
As the Evansville Museum opens its expanded facilities, a new logo has been has been developed by Evansville designers Rachel Wambach and Matt Wagner. The logo represents the integration of the Museum three disciplines of art, history, and science with its mission of service to the community.