MOSI has seen many positive changes over the past year, and, as a result, the museum is now attracting the eye of downtown developer Jeff Vinik, sparking a conversation about the possibility of moving MOSI downtown. While discussions are only just beginning and there are no immediate plans to move, the MOSI board and leadership continue to be open to new possibilities that may lead to the betterment of the museum.
“The early discussions about incorporating MOSI into Vinik’s downtown vision are extremely exciting, and it’s important to remember the tremendous evolution that MOSI’s current leadership has facilitated over the past year – a $2 million gift from Florida Hospital, an innovative partnership established with USF, and all short-term debt paid off – to name just a few,” said Robert Thomas, MOSI board chair. “These positive changes only make MOSI more attractive to downtown visionaries.”
In addition to its fundraising successes and its new partnership with USF, MOSI also received a Bright Lights Community Engagement award from the nationally recognized Noyce Foundation for its outreach in the Tampa Bay community in August. Additionally, MOSI aligned itself with Ovations Food Services, a nationally recognized food and beverage service provider, to manage its day-to-day food and beverage operations, and opened a newly renovated Everything’s Fresh cafe this past summer.
“If this opportunity came to fruition, it would be a real game-changer for the future of MOSI. We are thrilled about the potential of this new possibility amplifying our mission-driven efforts of making science accessible to everyone,” said MOSI’s Interim President and CEO Molly Demeulenaere. “These are exciting times for the institution, but our number one priority will remain the successful service and delivery of our mission to the community … regardless of our location.”