The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum has received a donation of $500,000 from TurningPoint Foundation of Dallas, Texas, in support of a new education mezzanine that will open at the museum in September. The museum will recognize the foundation’s generosity by designating the education mezzanine as the “Byrne Education Loft,” a supporting area to the new William H. Gross Stamp Gallery, also opening in September.
Molly Byrne, president and founder of TurningPoint Foundation, is a business owner and designer, philanthropist and an active Dallas community supporter. She was a founding member and co-created Seven Bridges Foundation, a public sculpture garden and museum in Greenwich, Conn. Currently, Byrne serves on the Board of Directors of the Dallas Theater Center, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Visiting Nurses Association and on the Women’s Foundation Advisory Board.
“Molly Byrne is very involved in arts and education and we are ecstatic to have her involvement with the museum and our educational programming,” said Allen Kane, museum director. “The newly named Byrne Education Loft will allow the museum to provide students, educators and families with diverse programming opportunities never before possible.”
Two programming spaces will comprise the new Byrne Education Loft, filled with rich and diverse learning opportunities. The loft will be established with a modular design to provide flexibility for a variety of programming offered by the museum. Signature public programs, workshops, school tours and teacher training will find a new life in a very inspiring space. High-tech and hands-on opportunities will fuel the creativity of visitors to the loft as they explore experiences amidst the treasures on display in the new William H. Gross Stamp Gallery.
“This new space will add such value and accessibility for our offerings, allowing families to explore our themes through walk-in workshops,” said K. Allison Wickens, museum education director. “Stamp clubs will be able to have monthly meetings here and teams of teachers will be able to come and use the Byrne Education Loft to develop and host their self-designed field trips.”
The National Postal Museum is devoted to presenting the colorful and engaging history of the nation’s mail service and showcasing the largest and most comprehensive collection of stamps and philatelic material in the world. It is located at 2 Massachusetts Ave. N.E., in the Old City Post Office Building across from Union Station. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information visit the museum’s Web site at postalmuseum.si.edu.
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