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A group aiming to open a Museum of Science Fiction in the District today launched a crowdfunding campaign to kickstart the first phase of the project, a storefront preview museum the team hopes to open late next year.
Greg Viggiano, the executive director of the anticipated museum, has assembled a team of volunteers to coordinate the planning effort. The group is currently seeking a space for the 3,000-square-foot preview museum, with the goal of opening the full museum in 2017. The crowdfunding campaign aims to raise $160,000 in 38 days to get to project off the ground, according to a press release.
Viggiano, a screenwriter, says he came up with the idea for the museum when we was working on a science fiction screenplay and seeking research materials. “I found that there was really kind of a void, and maybe someone should start a science fiction museum,” he says.
The crowdfunding campaign is aimed at raising money for the preview location, which Viggiano says will likely be located between Union Station and the White House, near most of the city’s other museums. For the full museum, Viggiano is looking for a space that can accommodate a 50,000-square-foot facility, either downtown or in the Wharf development on the Southwest Waterfront, which he says is an attractive location because it’s near both the Air and Space Museum and a Metro stop.
The preview museum, which will feature items from science fiction movies, television shows, and books, is planned to “allow the general public to help the organization fine tune its ideas,” according to the release. The museum team is working with the commercial real estate firm Newmark Grubb Knight Frank to find a suitable space for the preview museum.
Viggiano hopes that the museum will attract a variety of different funding sources, including movie and lecture series and museum membership dues, so that tickets remain affordable. “What we’d like to do is see that ticket prices are kept low, to cover operating expenses, and so a family of four wouldn’t have to spend more than $60 to go through the museum,” he says.
This post has been updated to include an interview with Viggiano.
Renderings from the Museum of Science Fiction press packet