WWII Museum to Receive $7.5M from Priddy Family Foundation

National Ww2 Museum Liberation Pavilion Updated Rendering 2020
Rendering courtesy of the National WWII Museum

NEW ORLEANS – The National WWII Museum has announced the third-largest individual gift in its history: a $7.5 million commitment to help complete the upcoming Liberation Pavilion and develop the Priddy Family Foundation Freedom Theater. The pledge represents a significant milestone toward the completion of the Museum’s $400 million “Road to Victory” capital campaign. The gift from the Priddy Family Foundation, led by museum trustee Robert Priddy and his wife Kikie, will fund a new “immersive, cinematic experience on the top floor of the three-story capstone exhibit hall now under construction,” said a museum spokesperson.

Liberation Pavilion, which is expected to open in late spring 2023, will explore the end of the war, the Holocaust, the immediate postwar years, and the war’s continuing impact today. The pavilion will house two floors of exhibit space featuring personal experiences, iconic imagery, impactful artifacts, and immersive settings.

The third-floor Priddy Family Foundation Freedom Theater will help ensure that the stories of World War II remain relevant for future generations by offering audiences a 20-minute multi-sensory experience focused on the lasting impact of World War II and the ongoing struggle for freedom and human rights. Drawing upon cutting-edge technology to create an immersive, emotional experience, the production will highlight how freedom almost vanished from the world in the 1930s and 1940s, efforts to protect and promote freedom during and after World War II, movements for equality and civil rights in the aftermath of the war, and the nation’s role in the postwar global order. Powerful, original visuals will be projected throughout the show, and at a pivotal moment, the theater audience platform itself will rotate. The memorable, thought-provoking experience will highlight the importance and fragility of freedom while making the sacrifices of World War II profoundly relevant today.

“The Museum is deeply grateful to Robert, Kikie and the Priddy Family Foundation for their leadership, generosity and dedication to preserving the voices and legacies of the WWII generation,” said Stephen J. Watson, museum president and CEO, in a press release. “Our mission is becoming even more critical as those who served in World War II pass away, and it is our responsibility to ensure that future generations understand the lasting impact of their sacrifice. The transformative gift to underwrite the Priddy Family Foundation Freedom Theater will enable us to complete our campus expansion plans in 2023 with the opening of Liberation Pavilion, highlighting what World War II means today and the ongoing struggle to preserve freedom.”

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