The Muhammad Ali Center announced this week that it’s undertaking a $10 million fundraising campaign to expand the museum’s outreach beyond Louisville and add exhibit and archive space to its permanent Visitor Experience.
The Legacy Campaign will fund the completion of previously uninstalled elements of the museum that will house the Muhammad Ali Archives and Research Center along with an expanded Visitor Experience that has already drawn wide praise for its quality and emotional impact showcasing the life and ideals of Muhammad Ali. New exhibit space will add to the Center’s focus of “Finding Personal Greatness Within.”
Beyond the physical building, the Muhammad Ali Center plans to create an Endowed Chair for visiting scholars to conduct research on Ali based upon the new archives. Educational outreach will be expanded by translating the archives into multiple languages and developing character-based educational programs emphasizing the life and work of Ali. An endowment will be created to fund the museum’s operations to allow greater emphasis on programmatic efforts.
New construction will also include expanded event space that will help leverage the revenue producing capacity of the museum. Two outdoor spaces will be created as part of the expansion featuring outdoor dining in a patio setting and a rooftop area with views of the Ohio River. The riverfront terrace will be situated above the Ali Center’s parking garage & archives and could feature glass walls to deflect noise from Interstate 64. Energy efficiency upgrades such as LED lights and new LCD screens are expected to lower the annual energy costs of the facility and signage will also be installed on the building’s exterior.
Construction on the addition isn’t expected to begin until 40 to 50 percent of the fundraising goal is met, but the Ali Center has already secured $2.6 million and has begun some upgrades to the building’s interior. Remaining funds are anticipated to be raised over the next five years. The Legacy Campaign effort represents a continued investment in one of Downtown Louisville’s most significant institutions and seeks to expand its reach far beyond the city itself.