RTPI Rising


Breaking news. RTPI is bucking the trend. Exceeding expectations. RTPI is on the Rise.

This past year, RTPI participated for the first time in the annual, nationwide survey of museums, conducted by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM.) The survey serves as a report card, letting us know how we’re doing compared to other museums.

Among the key survey findings is that Covid-19 “devastated museum visitation” nationwide. This certainly held true for RTPI last year. In 2020, RTPI was closed for five months, attendance cratered and we lost 75% of our earned income.

“As the pandemic has progressed,” a recent update from AAM reveals, “some museum-goers have returned to visiting museums, while others have continued to pull back. Tracking this, and when it returns to normal, is important.”

At RTPI, we are tracking attendance very carefully. Whereas half of all AAM survey respondents reported they have not attended any museums this year, RTPI’s attendance has more than doubled – a feat all the more remarkable, since we’ve only been reopened to the public since May 29, following the six-month recovery from an electrical fire.

What this tells us is that our new strategic plan – RTPI Rising – is working. Our exhibitions of Art that Matters to the Planet really matter to people. Our expanded menu of art + nature programs fill up quickly. Youth and their families love the new mural we commissioned for our Art & Nature Lab as much as they love seeking out the new sculptures we commissioned for our Art & Nature Trail. Museum Store sales are strong, with hats and shirts bearing the new RTPI logo flying off the shelves.

Donations are up, too. Earlier this year, we launched the quiet phase of the Phoenix Fund – a $1.4 million campaign to expand our staff. RTPI’s board kicked off the campaign with $400,000 in leadership gifts. The Lenna Foundation added another $150,000 and the RTPI Foundation pledged $500,000 more. Pending the outcome of two additional foundation grants, we will have achieved our quiet phase campaign goal of $1.2 million.

Over the next three years, our goal is to raise the balance of the campaign goal through new and increased giving from individual donors.

If ever there was a time to invest in RTPI, that time is now. With your support, RTPI – like the mythical phoenix – will rise from the literal ashes of the past year, stronger, more vibrant, more fun and exciting than ever.

RTPI Rising. More than mere metaphor – they’re words we live by.