Houston: The Elkins Foundation, has provided a capital grant of $100,000 to Eternal Gandhi Museum Houston (EGMH) for the construction of the Museum. It is the second major foundation after Houston Endowment to offer support to EGMH in the early stages of its capital campaign. “We are truly honored and sincerely express our gratitude to The Elkins Foundation for this magnanimous gesture to bring to life a unique civic asset to the cultural landscape of Houston,” EGHM said in a press release.
Margaret Wiess Elkins and James A. Elkins, Jr. established The Elkins Foundation, in 1956 as a way to help strengthen and enrich the community in which they lived. Today, their descendants continue that work. Under the stewardship of Elise Elkins Joseph, Leslie Elkins Sasser, Virginia Arnold Elkins and an Associate Board representing the next generation, The Elkins Foundation contributes each year to numerous organizations serving Houston and the Greater Gulf Coast.
Eternal Gandhi Museum Houston (EGMH) is an initiative to preserve and continue the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi. The museum will be located in Houston, one of the most diverse cities in the United States. It will be the first ever museum dedicated to peace in the Americas. Its mission is to reinforce the universal values of Truth, Peace, Nonviolence, Love & Service.
EGMH (formerly known as Mahatma Gandhi Library), a 501(C)(3) entity, established in 2002, has undertaken the challenge of establishing a place-based arts initiative. The guiding principle for this project is to create—through the life and work of Gandhi—a thriving, vibrant educational organization aimed at changing the world through its visitors while creating a sustainable and successful new resource for the Greater Houston area. The museum will highlight various world leaders and their journeys depicting the power of peaceful resistance to settle conflicts nonviolently. The ultimate goal is to encourage visitors to embrace these values in their own lives and create positive force for social good.
To initiate this project, they have engaged a reputable museum consultant, with a Smithsonian background. The museum will include exhibits and interpretations that highlight the mission and vision. Additional consultants engaged for this project include a design and build museum firm, architect and an education consultant.
EGMH has acquired 3 acres of land in southwest Houston to house the museum and is launching a capital campaign. The proposed budget for construction is 6.5 million dollars as follows. The capital campaign has reached $ 2.9 million of the required $ 6.5 million. The EGMH Board of Trustees has committed $1.1 million and secured another $0.8 million in private donor commitments. The Houston Endowment Foundation recently awarded a capital grant of $500,000. A concerted fundraising campaign is underway through foundations, corporations and private donors to raise the remaining $3.6 million.
The exhibitions, experiences, and resources are designed to be relevant, timely, and globally focused. Informed by quantitative data and qualitative feedback, the museum programming will engage students and teachers to support the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), the state standards for public schools from kindergarten through 12th grade.