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SAN ANTONIO, TX—New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) funding resulted in providing the Witte Museum with $2.1 million to begin the construction of the Witte Research & Collections Center. “The Witte Museum would like to thank Chase and the National Development Council for their investment and for recognizing the Witte Museum as an economic engine for this community,” said Marise McDermott, President & CEO of the Witte Museum. “Both the Robert J. and Helen C. Kleberg South Texas Heritage Center and the Witte Research and Collections Center provide dramatic access to the renowned artifacts of the Witte Museum,” she added.
Using New Markets Tax Credit Allocation from the CDFI Fund the National Development Council (NDC) and Chase was able to raise $11 million in financing for project completion. “The National Development Council is committed not only to the creation of jobs and economic growth in the City of San Antonio, but also supports the preservation of cultural traditions,” said Robert Davenport, Chairman of NDC.  “We look forward to the intrinsic community and economic impacts the Witte Museum will certainly contribute to the city,” he added.
The NMTC Program was established by Congress in 2000 to spur new or increased investments into operating businesses and real estate projects located in low-income communities. The NMTC Program attracts investment capital to low-income communities by permitting individual and corporate investors to receive a tax credit against their Federal income tax return in exchange for making equity investments in specialized financial institutions called Community Development Entities (CDEs).
“The Witte Museum has so much to offer our city and state. Chase is proud to partner with the museum and the National Development Council so that the Witte’s vast collections are more accessible, creating educational opportunities for many generations to come,” said Wanda Clark, Chase NMTC Banker.
The Witte Museum is home to 300,000 artifacts that have been collected over 86 years and only 1% is currently on view due to lack of permanent display space. The much-needed Witte Research & Collections Center will include a library and archives; a visitor lobby; research rooms; an archivist’s processing area; spaces on History, Anthropology, Military, Arms and Armor, Textiles, Coronation Gowns and the Hertzberg Circus Collection; and eventually, a conservation lab. With its open storage and glass corridors, will enable thousands of artifacts to be accessible for the public for the first time.
All objects will be maintained under optimum temperature, humidity and light levels to safeguard them for future generations. Except for light-sensitive works on paper and textiles, most collection items will be on constant view or readily accessible in pull-out drawers, making about 40% of the collection viewable. Visitors will also be able to use a computerized catalogue of the Collections to learn more about specific items.
The NMTC will fund the construction of the east wing of the Witte Research & Collection Center, scheduled to begin December 2012 and be complete April 2013.