Less than a week before the Oct. 30 opening of the Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Pavilion at the California Science Center (CSC) a major conglomerate of entertainment venues, AEG Corporation, has issued a challenge to national and local businesses, philanthropic organizations, civic leaders and individual donors to contribute to the fundraising campaign launched in 2011 to bring Endeavour to the CSC.
AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Anschutz Company. Anschutz owns, controls or is affiliated with a collection of companies including more than 100 of the world’s preeminent firms.
The world-renowned science learning institution, located in South Los Angeles, has launched a $200 million campaign to prepare Endeavour for exhibition, transport it to Los Angeles and the CSC and create the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center as well as sustain ongoing educational programs and operations.
The leadership support of the Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Oschin Family Foundation, a $15 million challenge from The Ahmanson and Weingart Foundations, along with commitments at or exceeding $1 million from AEG, Time Warner Cable and Toyota among others that places the campaign at approximately halfway toward its goal.
“The reality is that without the private sector stepping up to contribute both financially and in other ways, there is no way that Endeavour, a true national treasure, could come to Los Angeles and the California Science Center,” said AEG’s Tim Leiweke. “The Science Center prevailed in securing this national treasure for our community. Now it is the responsibility of local organizations to invest in our City, invest in our children, invest in important institutions and be accountable for bringing these opportunities to our community. The true payoff for all of our investment is the educational opportunities Endeavour will create and the economic impact these programs will bring to so many sectors in our City.”
“The Science Center is committed to not charging general admission, making quality learning experiences available to all, said Jeffrey Rudolph, President of the California Science Center. “This is an investment in the educational infrastructure of our community.”
Endeavour will go on display in a temporary fabricated metal structure building (see image below), until the new Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, the main component of an approximately 150,000 square foot expansion is completed. Under current fundraising estimates this could take as long as five years to complete. This major addition to the Science Center’s existing programs, the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center, featuring Endeavour, is viewed as being part of a layered holistic and coordinated effort to bring science to the community.