Museum of Science Fiction
Project Status Update No. 1, Q1 2014
April 10, 2014

I'm very pleased to present the museum’s first quarterly organizational and project status update to highlight our progress and accomplishments since the project began only 12 months ago. This update will also describe how we plan to go forward and what our priorities will be for the rest of 2014—the two main areas are: 1) raising money, and 2) finding a suitable location for the Preview Museum.

I would like to thank our generous supporters and growing community for their continued help in moving this project closer to reality every day.

Best regards,

Greg Viggiano
Executive Director

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Organizational Overview and Active Project Status

The Museum of Science Fiction (MOSF) team has covered a lot of ground since its initial public launch in November 2013. The team has created a strategic roadmap to guide the museum’s path from here to the Preview Museum opening. (Still looking for wormholes!) The advisory board and development team are planning for the capital campaign, which will kick off in the spring. The social media and marketing teams have grown MOSF’s internet presence, rebranded the museum with a new logo and website, established several promotional partnerships, and begun planning events for 2014. Everyone was pleased to send "thank you" perks to each of the Indiegogo donors, and even more thrilled to see MOSF’s logo on swag! The teams are also continuing the Preview Museum planning and site selection activities. In fact, communities nearby have begun preparing bids to be the new home of MOSF. The team has grown to include over 100 individuals and another 120 volunteers waiting to get involved with the projects described below.

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MOSF has proudly entered into two partnerships. The first with Awesome Con, a comic book convention held in Washington, DC, and the second with the Science Channel, based in Silver Spring, Md. The initial partnerships will provide a venue for the first public display of the museum’s interactive materials. Both Awesome Con and the museum are still relatively new and growing exponentially. As a result, their partnership has been mutually beneficial, engaging, and fun. At the US Capitol Reflecting Pool, MOSF and Awesome Con will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most superheroes gathered in one place.

The Science Channel, which is a division of Discovery Communications, became the exclusive media sponsor of MOSF approximately a month ago. The partnership allows the use of the Science Channel’s videos and materials in the Preview Museum and in the booth (215/217) at Awesome Con. The Science Channel also promotes the museum’s activities on its social media pages and during live programming. During Awesome Con, the two entities will present together on the benefits of science fiction. The partnership hopes to expand to include beneficial relationships with the well-known stars of the network. Ultimately, this collaboration will further expand the visibility of both companies to new and interested fans.

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The goal of MOSF programming is to begin providing thought-provoking and educational events well before the opening of the Preview Museum. Programs at the museum are intended to engage and inspire audiences and visitors. Keeping this in mind for 2014, we have formulated several possible events and are working with other museum departments to bring them to fruition. First, we will be hosting three panels at Awesome Con on Saturday April 19 (click on the Awesome Con link to view the up-to-date schedule).

  • 10:15 a.m. First Contact: Improbable Dream or Worst Nightmare?
  • 11:15 a.m. Rise and Prevalence of Dystopian Science Fiction in Pop Culture
  • 1:30 p.m. What is "Science Fiction"?

Other future events for 2014 include a film screening (specific film TBD), as well as panels discussing Mars in Science Fiction, Spacecraft Design in Science Fiction and Reality, and Battlestar Galactica and International Relations.

While choosing what specific events we can host from the many options available in the genre can be challenging, that’s also part of what makes it fun. Make sure to check out our website, our Facebook page, and our Twitter feed for updates on programming as well as notices about other related events by MOSF friends and partners.

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The Education Sub-Committee is diligently working to make MOSF a place where entertainment and instruction seamlessly merge. Looking to include both formal and informal programs, the committee is currently building a team and developing a strategy plan that will facilitate relationships throughout the community. Due to the multidisciplinary aspect of science fiction, the committee is faced with the challenging task of incorporating various mediums into its planning. As the educational programs become more defined, it will firmly establish the museum as a place of interactive discovery.

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New Logo and Branding

The Re-branding Project team is currently in the middle of developing a completely new organizational identity package for the museum. The team has rolled out the new logo and is making final decisions around usage via current applications. As items are implemented, the team will fine-tune the visual language and develop guidelines for usage and implementation. A little more work is needed around tone, voice, and visitor experience as the marketing materials for Awesome Con are nearing completion.

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Photon Probe/Mobile App Development

The main focus has been completing the Photon Probe for Awesome Con. The probe will be a fully interactive, user-controlled device that will take museum visitors on a tour of its journey through the cosmos. With a push of a button from their wireless devices, museum-goers will be able to view the probe’s telemetry, open the probe’s doors, and activate its integrated computer display. We recently concluded the final integration of the three main components: the outer shell, inner frame, and electronics. Soon, the exterior graphics and display stand will be completed, and the probe will be fully operational and ready for the public to see. It will have its debut at Awesome Con. We hope it will be an impressive piece that will get Awesome Con attendees excited about MOSF!

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Board of Advisors

The Board of Advisors has been meeting monthly in an effort to ensure that MOSF meets its vision of becoming 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. Over the last few months the board has overseen the closing of the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, the adoption of new branding, and the partnerships with Awesome Con and the Science Channel. Future plans of the board include reaching out to industry contacts in the genre to encourage both fundraising and partnerships, planning of fundraising and awareness events, and site visits to potential locations for the Preview Museum. To learn more about MOSF check out the 2013 Prospectus.

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Capital Campaign

The Capital Campaign project team has been hard at work. They have completed the crowdfunding phase of fundraising and succeeded in collecting some initial funding and bring a lot of media attention to the museum. To date, the museum has been covered in over 50 domestic and international media outlets in the last 150 days.

In Phase II of the campaign, the team begins more traditional fundraising. The team will be connecting with donors and potential donors, sharing with them the vision for the Preview Museum and getting them excited about being a part of this amazing project. In addition to asking supporters for donations, the campaign is also asking them for their ideas of what they would like to see in the museum and to spread the word about the museum to their friends and family. As Cal Coolidge, vice president of development, said, "It’s a lot of roll-up-your-sleeve hard work, but it’s fun work!"

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Preview Museum Design

Over the past few weeks, the Preview Design team has been working to define the overall theme that MOSF wants to tell in the Preview Museum. They hope in the next few weeks that they will be able to share this with everyone. At the same time, they’ve also been working on some conceptual marketing sketches that will be appearing at Awesome Con on digital display. Be sure to check them out if you’re attending the Con. The goal of the Preview Museum is to have a place to show key audiences the huge potential MOSF is capable of offering, including inspiring and educating people as well as attracting major donors to support the permanent museum. The team is working toward opening the Preview Museum by the first quarter of 2015.

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Curatorial Sub-Committee

Since most of what the Curatorial Team will be responsible for is related to the collection and the museum doesn’t have a collection yet, they are mostly working with the visitor experience team to help develop the exhibits that will appear in the Preview Museum. They will eventually develop the collection’s management policy and select the collection’s management database. The specifics of both are dependent on the nature of the collection, and so the details will be determined later in the project. It’s been very interesting hearing all of the different visions for the preview space, and the team is looking forward to seeing how it all comes together. They are excited to see how they will end up blending all the different aspects of science fiction about which so many people are so passionate!

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