Kemper Freeman announced a gift and a matching gift at a record-breaking BAM breakfast

The Bellevue Arts Museum held a very successful Breakfast for Community Leaders on Nov. 9, raking in $66,000 in addition to two big gifts from Kemper Freeman.

Bellevue Arts Museum

Photo courtesy Bellevue Arts Museum via Facebook.

Freeman announced a $1 million gift for capital expenditures related to the museum building. The second was a matching gift from the Freeman family, Kemper Development Company, and The Bellevue Collection. The trio will match one dollar for every $2 the museum raises, capping at $1 million. Freeman is a longtime supporter of the museum and owner of Kemper Development Company.

“My family has a long history with BAM that dates back to the first iteration of BAM ARTSfair in 1947, and I am excited to help kick off this important first component to help BAM garner additional support from the community,” said Freeman, in a press release.

The money will help the museum make external and internal updates to the building on Bellevue Way. It will also help the museum grow as the city continues to boom. The museum is kicking off a major fundraising effort that is all about serving a more diverse community on the Eastside in a rapidly expanding city.

“We are honored that the Kemper Freeman Family continues to support our efforts of engaging our community through art, craft, and design in such a significant way,” said Linda Pawson, the museum’s executive director, in a press release. “We look forward to continuing to cultivate the community of supporters in the Pacific Northwest as we build our fundraising efforts.”

Other speakers at the breakfast were Father Stephen Sundborg, Seattle University’s president, and teen docent Sena Cheung. Cheung has attended the museum since she was a child and spoke about its importance to the Eastside. She said engaging with museum visitors through the teen docent program has helped build her confidence.

“It is programs like our teen docent program and other teen programs that make the Museum such a special and important institution for the Eastside,” said Pawson.