A Letter from the Board Chairman and the President & CEO
Thank you to all who contributed to our successful capital campaign to purchase and renovate 6,000 sq. feet of space at Imperial Square. We moved into our new Museum in August 2019, with a Grand Opening in November 2019 with nearly 1,000 people in attendance to celebrate this beautiful new space with its professionally-designed exhibits and award-winning architecture.
As the Museum filled with students and visitors during its first 6 months of operation, the opportunity arose to acquire additional space adjacent to the Museum. This additional 3,600 sq. feet was acquired with donor support and will be transformed into an additional classroom, gallery space, and space for meetings and storage.
Building on our unique origin as a middle school classroom project and 20-year track record as a Museum and Education Center serving more than 250,000 students and visitors, we are excited about the Museum’s next phase. We invite you to learn more about our future as we expand again to accommodate large groups and provide more space for lessons about other genocides and temporary exhibits.
When students and visitors come to the Museum they hear personal stories, see photographs and artifacts, and learn about the terrible impact of bigotry and hatred. Our goal is that these visitors come away inspired to share these stories and work to be sure atrocities like the Holocaust and other genocides never happen again. We hope you are inspired as well and will join us in this important work.
Stephen Strome, Chairman, Board of Directors
Susan L. Suarez, President & CEO
Changing Lives Through Education
The unique origin of the Museum & Education Center was a Golden Gate Middle School classroom exhibit created by students and teachers studying the Holocaust. Museum founders, Liberators, and Survivors donated and gathered Holocaust and World War II artifacts to expand the students’ project and created the Southwest Florida Holocaust Museum.
With a focus on education, the Museum’s programs have reached more than 175,000 students and visitors in its 16-year history. Florida law requires that the Holocaust be taught in school. Working with teachers and administrators, the Museum develops curriculum appropriate for students in elementary through high school. Our education model is structured to encourage students and visitors to move from thought to judgement to participation as they confront the moral questions inherent in a study of violence,
racism, antisemitism, and bigotry.