Bellevue Arts Museum Announces Major Gifts from Kemper Freeman Family

November 10, 2016
Photos: Zinc Photography; Emilie Smith; Chris McFadden for Puget Sound Energy

November 10, 2016
Contact: Emilie Smith
Phone: 425.519.0755
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Bellevue, WA—Yesterday morning, at Bellevue Arts Museum’s Breakfast for Community Leaders, Kemper Freeman, Owner of Kemper Development Company and longtime Museum supporter, announced two significant gifts he will be making to the Museum. The first gift is $1 million specifically for capital expenditures related to the building. The second gift is an additional $1 million match, where the Kemper Freeman family, Kemper Development Company, and the Bellevue Collection will match one dollar for every two dollars the Museum raises to kick off the Museum’s upcoming fundraising efforts.

“We are pleased to support the Bellevue Arts Museum and arts and culture on the Eastside,” said Kemper Freeman, 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.”

These gifts will allow the Museum to make key external and internal updates to the iconic Steven Holl designed building housed on Bellevue Way and will launch a major fundraising effort to help the Museum continue to grow alongside the rapidly expanding City of Bellevue and serve its increasingly diverse community.

At the Community Leaders breakfast the audience also heard from keynote speaker Father Stephen Sundborg, President of Seattle University, who spoke to what Bellevue Arts Museum does for the community in serving the individual, bringing people together, and in teaching empathy.

A teen docent, Sena Cheung, who has been coming to the Museum since she was a child also provided her perspective on the importance of BAM. She spoke about its vital position on the eastside along with the value of being exposed to the arts, and the confidence she has gained engaging others through the teen docent program.

“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 Linda Pawson, Executive Director of Bellevue Arts Museum. “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. We look forward to continuing to cultivate the community of supporters in the Pacific Northwest as we build our fundraising efforts.”

The Breakfast for Community Leaders raised a record-breaking $66,000 including the match from the
Freeman family.


Bellevue Arts Museum is a leading destination in the Pacific Northwest to experience art, craft, and design. BAM engages the community through exhibitions, programs, and publications, featuring regional, national, and international artists.