McALLEN — The International Museum of Art & Science has announced the inaugural IMAS Day of Giving, an event including a silent auction to benefit and drive support to the museum here.
The event will take place online on Wednesday, Oct. 7, and in addition to the auction will include premieres of art and science content, as well as some special presentations.
“This is a day for our community to show support for the museum for our programs, our educational programs and exhibits,” Anastasia Perez, development and marketing director for IMAS, said. “The idea behind the date is it’s actually an anniversary that’s very special to the museum.”
The date was chosen because it falls on the 52nd anniversary of the day that the Junior League Museum Board entered into a lease agreement with the city of McAllen for the 5,000-square-foot building, which is home to IMAS, in 1968.
“That date is important to us, so the Day of Giving is a day to celebrate our programs,” Perez said.
The museum will showcase its numerous programs provided to the community. Since the COVID-19 pandemic made its way to the Rio Grande Valley, the museum has transitioned to an online platform. Today, the museum offers both virtual and in-person experiences for the community.
“Essentially, the Day of Giving is an online program of events and an effort to talk about the museum and show people what the impact is of the funds that we raise annually through many different ways,” Perez said.
Two of the museum’s largest revenue generators are the annual Brew-seum, which took place virtually this year, and the yearly College Gala, which had to be postponed until 2021.
“Since we have shifted so many of our programs and content online beginning in the end of March, beginning of April, we’ve intentionally made the content and those programs available free of charge,” IMAS President and Executive Director Ann Fortescue said. “We’ve had a couple of opportunities for an additional enhanced experience through an activity kit for which there’s a very modest fee. But we’ve always had free options available, and we feel that that’s very, very important as a part of fulfilling our mission to reach everyone in our community regardless of age and ability to pay.”
When the museum reopened its doors in the beginning of May, IMAS reduced the admission price to a modest $1.
According to a news release from the museum, IMAS had over 60,000 visitors in 2019 — of which over 53% are children ages 3 to 12— as well as 14,200 through community outreach programs.
Fortescue said that the Day of Giving silent auction will run through Oct. 26. The online auction will feature items curated by the IMAS Guild.
“On Oct. 26, 1969, the museum opened to the public for the first time,” Fortescue said. “We’re bookending October. We’re kicking it off with the Day of Giving, but having this wonderful online auction for the entire month. The guild has outdone themselves in coming up with all kinds of wonderful items for people to bid on. We’ve asked them to focus on things that are kind of home enhancements because we’re all spending a little more time at home now.”
“We thought it would be fitting to have items that will make homes just a little bit more attractive.”
For more information about Day of Giving can be found at support.theimasonline.org. Donations can also be made at that website or by texting IMASGIVING to 44-321.