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MOCA Jacksonville Receives $5 Million Gift, Largest In Museum History

haskell at lectern
Jessica Palombo

MOCA Jacksonville, the city’s Museum of Contemporary Art, has received its largest-ever gift from a single donor. Five million dollars has been added to the museum’s endowment thanks to Preston Haskell, founder of the Jacksonville-based architecture and construction firm the Haskell Company. MOCA Jacksonville Director and Chief Curator Marcelle Polednik says having a healthy endowment will help MOCA endure any political or economic climate.

“It’s the one piece, it’s been the one chink in our armor as an organization," she says, "and this gift really allows us to take a huge leap forward in terms of being financially sustainable.”

In addition to helping the museum plan long term, MOCA directors say the money will help toward goals like building up the permanent collection and expanding the museum's educational programming.

Polednik says she is optimistic Haskell’s gift will also inspire similar philanthropy to benefit the arts in Jacksonville.

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP