More About the Project
WVM has worked with the WDVA and DOA Secretary’s offices to determine the future of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum. DOA and DVA jointly studied future facility requirements and options in downtown Madison for the museum – as WVM has outgrown the current facility and the 1993 exhibits. WVM also has many more veteran stories that cannot be shared due to space limitations, especially those covering the eras from Vietnam to the present.
The museum study, conducted between 2020 and 2022, considered many locations outside, in, and around Madison. Among its findings, the study determined that the top of State Street (right outside WVM’s doors) is the most-trafficked pedestrian corner in the entire state. The study further validated WVM’s future program requirements, location options, and related matters. Concept A of that study, which involves acquiring the museum site and constructing a new building on the museum’s current location, was selected as the preferred course of action. It is a compelling vision that will secure WVM’s future for the next 50-75 years.
The vision incorporates the needs of the current historical collection while making room for current and future veterans. It includes expandible and changeable exhibit space, plus expanded amenities that will add capacity to the museum’s ability to execute its mission. In addition, the programming space, lobby, and classroom requirements were conceived so they could be used by WDVA, VSOs, the National Guard, and other veteran community partners for events, veteran assistance programs, veteran outreach, unit changes of command, artist shows, historian talks, educators, and student groups of all ages. An expanded research facility will help make our stories even more available to researchers, families doing genealogy, and scholars, among others.
Have Additional Questions?
Contact Jennifer Carlson
Executive Director | Wisconsin Veterans Museum Foundation
About the Wisconsin Veterans Museum
The Wisconsin Veterans Museum (WVM), founded 1901 as the Capitol’s GAR Memorial Hall, is Wisconsin’s premier military museum and a key educational component of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). WVM preserves, interprets, and affirms the service of Wisconsin veterans from 1861 to the present. The museum was created by Civil War veterans for the people of Wisconsin and beyond; the first museum caretaker, Civil War veteran Hosea Rood, charged the institution to honor the past and “transmit an intelligent love of country” to future generations. The museum teaches that Every Veteran Is A Story, Wisconsin Was There, and This Still Matters.
The museum staff is seizing opportunities to showcase the stories of Wisconsin veterans of all services from the Civil War to present; demonstrate the continuing relevance if these stories; reinforce WVM as a community asset to Madison, the state of Wisconsin, and the nation; attract diverse audiences; and promote WVM to the region, state, and beyond.