Planned Giving: Join the Legacy Society

Your generous donations, no matter what size of gift, support everything you love about the Museums of Western Colorado — especially the Museum’s ability to spark curiosity in all ages, generate awe, encourage exploration, and sustain a love of learning through exhibits and hands-on activities. MWC inspires all ages to experience and value our region through the collections and preservation of historical artifacts and fossil resources.

The MWC had its earliest roots in 1949 when a group known as the Memorial Museum Association purchased 24,000 adobe bricks and began construction of a building in the Intermountain Veteran’s Memorial Park. The building was never completed, but in 1953 the Memorial Museum Association reorganized as the Western Slope Museum Association, and the artifacts the group gathered would later constitute a major portion of the Museum’s present-day collections.

After these early efforts, the MWC finally got started when it incorporated as the Museum of Arts and Sciences in 1965. It opened its doors on May 1, 1966 in the former Whitman School. In 1968, it was renamed the Historical Museum and Institute of Western Colorado.

This regional history museum moved from the Whitman School in 2000 to the renovated C.D. Smith Warehouse at its present location. Renamed the Museum of the West, it contains exhibits on Western Colorado within a regional perspective, a space for traveling exhibits, and the Sterling T. Smith Observation Tower. The Museum of the West now offers a thousand years of history that can be experienced. All of the positive changes and moving MWC forward sparked an era of philanthropy that continues today.

Thanks to the generosity of donors like you, the MWC is able to host first-class exhibitions, present valuable educational programming, and delight visitors from around the globe with everything from dinosaurs to trains and a stagecoach to an airplane! We could not do it without your support.

The simplest way to support MWC is through cash gifts. However, creative gifts of assets can include stocks, bonds, and property (real estate and personal property). These can not only provide you with charitable deductions, but often offer additional tax savings as well. 

A bequest or charitable trust to the MWC provides an enduring legacy and will help to ensure the long-term financial stability of the Museum. If you wish to leave a lasting legacy or have already included MWC in your estate plans, please let us know that with your permission we may recognize your future gift by confirming your membership in the Museums of Western Colorado’s Legacy Society. For additional information about planned giving to Museums of Western Colorado, or to explore other giving options, please email Catherine Robertson, MWC Board of Directors, at Most importantly, your donation continues your legacy.   

Honoring Your Support

All Legacy Society members are invited to a variety of Museum programs and special events, such as exhibition openings, the annual Legacy Day, guest lectures, and Curator/Director’s Dialogues. Members are also publicly acknowledged in the Museum’s annual Donor Roll, published annually in the newsletter. We are happy to discuss with you other ways to honor and recognize your heartfelt planned gift!