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Museum of Science Fiction: Preview Location

Help us build a preview location for the new nonprofit Museum of Science Fiction in Washington, DC

In partnership with
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The Museum of Science Fiction

MA-1 "Staff-Only" flight jacket



A new nonprofit is coming to Washington, DC

                                                

www.MuseumofScienceFiction.org


We're opening a preview location for the Museum of Science Fiction (MSF) as the first step to building a dedicated, comprehensive facility in Washington, DC! 

Through the preview museum, we can share our exciting vision with you, while at the same time building our collection and designing the full-scale museum. With your support, we can open the preview location as early as 2014.

Update 7 - New holiday gift perks announced! Signed copies of David Brin's new book Existence for $150, and full 3-day passes to Awesome Con for $130.  

Update 6 - David Brin wants to kill you or a loved one (in his next book) if you help the new Museum of Science Fiction!  That’s right, with a donation of $2,000, you can be immortalized as one of David’s characters in an upcoming science fiction novel by the award winning author!

Update 5 - The holiday season is just about upon us! Make a donation in honor of your loved one and we'll send you a certificate to commemorate your gift! Perks will arrive a few weeks after the campaign wraps in December.

Update 4 - Original Battlestar Galactica model used for filming is pledged for loan at the preview museum! The museum also announces a new partnership to save hundreds of historic sci-fi interviews - from Bradbury to Vonnegut to Clarke and more! 

Update 3 - Live panorama inspired by Blade Runner for the preview museum LED exhibit is released.

Update 2 - Executive Director of the Museum of Science Fiction hosts a Reddit AMA to answer your questions!  

Update 1 - Thanks to your incredible support the Museum sails past the $20k mark and recruits hundreds of volunteers!

To read all of the campaign updates in full, visit the updates section here.


See behind the scenes footage from our commercial video shoot with Star Wars characters at the U.S. Capitol!

The preview museum will become a center for science fiction fans and enthusiasts, in the heart of one of the world's greatest cities. In the space, we will hold our first public lectures, education programs, film screenings, book signings, and special events. And you're invited to join our project.

The preview location will also house the museum's first collection of artifacts from film, television, literature, and art, along with prototypes from the museum's model shop.  

Preview museum architectural rendering by Imarchination.

It's here that we'll test new concepts, create exhibits, and experiment with technologies like augmented reality to give you the ultimate future-oriented visitor experience. We want this museum to be at the leading edge of imagination and technology. 

Already, a number of artifacts have been pledged for loan to the preview museum by renowned science fiction artifact collector Adam Schneider and the eminent art collectors Howard and Jane Frank. These artifacts will fill the preview space along with the elements shown in the layout concepts below.


Note: We are a certified non-profit organization incorporated in the District of Columbia.  We will be transmitting information to all of our donors on tax deductibility for their charitable contributions according to IRS guidelines.


The preview museum will have a 3,000 square-foot open floor plan with two major exhibit pieces made exclusively for the museum by Color-Ad, a premier museum design and construction firm. When you enter the space, an 11-foot starship Enterprise-E filming prop will be the first artifact you see next to an iconic Doctor Who TARDIS police box.



Opposite the art exhibit space, gaze upon incredible panoramic vistas of far away worlds that we'll create with a huge floor-to-ceiling LED screen. We want you to feel immersed in the visions of science fiction, so we're installing a high-resolution media system by Traxon Techologies that features unprecedented clarity.

For example, imagine watching this panorama of Los Angeles inspired by Blade Runner on the preview location’s wall-size LED!  Made exclusively by David Glicksman of Applied Esoterics in Los Angeles for use in the Museum of Science Fiction preview location, this panorama gives you an exciting idea of the landscapes that could be brought to life if we reach our goal.  


The open floor plan also will also include a coffee and espresso bar, so you can sip a favorite drink while looking upon the captivating views of Cloud City, Pandora, Jurassic Park, and other well-known science fiction vistas. This could become you're favorite meeting place, or just a spot for a weekday inspiration break. 

By evening, the preview museum will convert to a venue. We will be able to host all manner of events. You can join us for a film, a lecture, or an award ceremony.

The architectural firm Imarchination has been helping us design a space that is both innovative and multipurpose. The firm is leading the design of the preview museum and they are full of exciting ideas. Here's a look at their notional plans:

Commercial real estate advisory firm Newmark Grubb Knight Frank is working with us to find the ideal site for the preview museum, with a focus on securing a highly visible location accessible to the 50,000 visitors who come to Washington, DC each day.

 

With your help the action begins now, and we can open the preview museum in 2014. By reaching our fundraising goal, we can start to build exhibits, secure real estate, renovate a facility, transport artifacts, and build display fixtures.

  • Building, Transporting, and Setting Up Exhibits: Although we've got several key artifacts already lined up, we still have to build the Doctor Who TARDIS, along with support structures for the 11-foot Enterprise-E filming prop. We're constructing exhibit structures for the remaining pledged artifacts named above, including display fixtures for the Frank Art Collection. We're also building interactive kiosks throughout the space to enhance the level of visitor experience.

    Unique museum objects call for special transportation and care. Almost half the money we hope to raise will fund the safe delivery to and careful installation of artifacts, art, and other display objects. We will work with only the best partner companies to complete these particular tasks, and we are lining up special agreements needed to do so. In the preview facility, these objects will be installed for maximum visual impact, whether in display cases or mounted on the ceiling or walls.
  • Selecting the Space: With the help of local firms and volunteers, we’ve already begun the site selection process, project planning, and architectural design work. Now is the time to integrate these efforts and take the next steps by picking a space in downtown Washington, DC. With your help, we'll be able to make firm commitments and start building the preview museum.
  • Renovating the Space: While we hope to find a space that meets as many of our requirements as possible, chances are we’ll need to renovate a bit: knock out walls; install proper lighting; and widen doorways so we can easily move big objects in and out of the space. These are some of the basic and essential renovations we expect to make.

This museum is beginning with a strong grassroots commitment by a group of science fiction fans. That's why a lot of our perks give you exclusive access and input to the decision making behind the museum. From webcasts with staff, to surveys, to official fan advisory panels — pledge now and voice your opinions.

We also have a number of first-edition museum collectibles, along with many items that will grow your science fiction collections. Here are some of our featured perks:

With a $25 pledge, you'll receive a beautiful digital certificate designed by the Chief Curator Phil Smith. This certificate certifies your status as a museum Founding Colonist. You'll also receive the Founding Colonist Kit, which includes the digital version of the original Museum of Science Fiction 2013 Planning Document — describing our plans and milestones in detail, how the galleries and exhibits will be designed, and who is involved. Also includes a one-year subscription to the MSF Quarterly Newsletter to keep you informed on our progress. Your name will also appear in rotation in the preview museum on our LED screen, along with our "Founding Colonists" webpage (only with your permission).

Get the first-edition Museum of Science Fiction collectibles! Includes the museum magnet — perfect for a filing cabinet, fridge, car, or airlock door. You also get the first-edition museum mug, which we're told may work in zero-g, but no promises. Your name will also be added to the LED screen and you'll get the Founding Colonist Certificate and the Founding Colonist Kit.

Get electronic access to every book saved by Singularity & Co., preservers of science fiction, fantasy, and vintage pulp for one full year. Plus, access to other exciting SaveTheScifi.com member benefits. You'll also receive the exhibits input survey, your name will be added to the LED screen, and you'll get the Founding Colonist Certificate and the Founding Colonist Kit.

A limited-edition signed and numbered fine-art print by artist and museum Chief Curator Phil Smith. Choose from two options, both 8”x10” prints. Also includes access to the exclusive webcast by a senior museum staff member, where you can provide input and ask questions. You'll receive the exhibits input survey, your name will be added to the LED screen, the Founding Colonist Certificate, and the Founding Colonist Kit.


Get all three sci-fi classics on DVD: 2001: A Space Odyssey, Jurassic Park, and Blade Runner: The Final Cut. Also includes the first edition museum t-shirt, and access to an exclusive webcast by a senior museum staff member, where you can provide input and ask questions. You'll receive the exhibits input survey, your name will be added to the LED screen, the Founding Colonist Certificate, and the Founding Colonist Kit.

Meet award winning science fiction author Greg Bear at a private lecture in the preview museum and get a signed hardcover copy of “Hull Zero Three.” Also includes a private tour of the preview museum and access to an exclusive webcast by a senior museum staff member, where you can provide input and ask questions. You'll receive the exhibits input survey, the Founding Colonist Certificate, the Founding Colonist Kit and your name will be added to the LED screen.


*Please note: International shipping requires additional charges.  Please consider adding $10 to your pledge if you choose a perk that will be shipped to a destination outside of the United States.


The Museum of Science Fiction will be the world’s first comprehensive science fiction museum, covering the history of the genre across the arts and providing a narrative on its relationship to the real world. Our mission is to be a center of gravity where art and science are powered by imagination.

  • ART: MSF will be a repository of science fiction art throughout the ages, covering centuries of literature, paintings, sculpture, scale models, film, and music. Art is what we create for aesthetic and contemplative consideration. 
  • SCIENCE: MSF will show the connections between science fiction and science fact, demonstrating how art can play a role in inspiring scientific investigations and how scientific discovery can inspire art. Science is the systematic and organized body of knowledge shared across cultures and time in a manner that can be tested and verified. 
  • IMAGINATION: MSF will be a cathedral of imagination, a place to celebrate the unique human characteristic of conceiving new solutions to problems, new stories, and new ideas. This is the aspect of expanding beyond all that we know. 

We are taking an incremental approach to building the Museum of Science Fiction by starting with a preview location. This proven approach  has worked well for many other successful museums. The preview location is step one in our comprehensive and measured plan to make the full-scale museum a reality.  

First, science fiction needs a permanent home. The museum will fill a need to house historically important artifacts that is currently unmet by existing institutions. The museum will also provide a permanent center for the science fiction community and culture.

Second, science fiction motivates learning. At the museum, we will engage children and young adults with a variety of exhibits and programs designed to interest them in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Our education staff will collaborate with educators and school boards early in the planning phase of programs to make sure our programming supports their plans.


Third, science fiction inspires imagination. STEM skills are important, but they are just part of what's needed to drive innovation. The Museum of Science Fiction has the potential to motivate students to pursue not only STEM fields, but also the arts, and develop the curiosity and imagination needed for innovative thinking and creative problem solving.

The Museum of Science Fiction will feature artifacts covering a wide range of subjects, arrayed in an immersive manner so that visitors are absorbed by the wonder of human imagination. 

We will draw artifacts from art (literature, fine art, illustration, industrial design, film, television, music, and dance), science, and engineering disciplines. At the museum, you will learn how art has inspired and informed science and engineering, as well as how science and engineering have informed art.

We are designing a walk path and features for each gallery that will encourage curiosity and learning. Our permanent collection will include galleries, divided into exhibits, and arranged according to seven themes, presented below. 


Upon entering the museum, the visitor will learn about the definition of science fiction. It will become immediately apparent that there are many definitions, even among science fiction authors, literary experts, and filmmakers; however, the common thread is exploring of the impact of science and technology on society through fictional stories. +MORE



This gallery will capture the settings of science fiction stories. Naturally, the settings vary greatly, but often include alien planets, alternate versions of Earth, or Earth itself in the past, present, or future. Sometimes the setting is galactic or extragalactic, but it may also be limited to a city—or even be microscopic in scale. +MORE



More often than not, science fiction stories depend on some sort of transportation, whereby characters move between locations in a story. These vehicles sometimes become characters in themselves, not unlike how a seagoing vessel is conceived as a contributing personality by members of the crew. +MORE



Most people conceive of time as a linear construct. In reality, it is an integral part of the universe, a fourth dimension along with the three spatial dimensions. Some cultures perceive time as circular, so that it does not have a beginning or an end. This gallery will explore how time is manipulated as part of the story, beginning with a display that describes what time is, special relativity, and other considerations. +MORE



There's more to life in science fiction than aliens — although this gallery will cover alien life in detail. Science fiction also explores genetic engineering, body modification, diseases, and — in an obvious merging with Computers & Robots — biomechanical organisms. In some instances, science fiction dealing with human modification results in a sub-genre called "body horror." +MORE



By the 20th century, and especially following the invention of the computer during World War II, the idea of smart computers and sophisticated human-like robots emerged. Typically, science fiction stories that include these artificial organisms explore themes relating to technologies run amok, the ethics of creating an artificial intelligence, robotic warriors, computers that interpret commands in unpredictable ways (with negative consequences for humans), and robots or androids as everyday companions. +MORE



This gallery will be home to all the tools conceived as supporting elements in science fiction stories that are not represented in the other galleries. These exhibits will feature speculative technologies that deserve recognition in part because they influence today’s technology or may influence technological development in the future. +MORE


Share this Indiegogo campaign on Facebook, Twitter, in email, blogs, phone calls, or holograms with family, friends, colleagues, Trekkies, Whovians, Browncoats, Star Wars fans, nerds, geeks, techies, futurists, fans of Avatar, Back to the Future, Alien, Stargate, Battlestar Galactica...and anyone who drives a DeLorean.

When the preview museum opens, we'll need volunteers to take on a number of important roles — including docent positions. Click here to sign up and be added to the volunteer list. 

Do you have an item you think should be in the Museum of Science Fiction? We're accepting artifacts and display objects for loan or donation. Click here to contact us.

Team on This Campaign: