Greg Viggiano, a life-long fan of science fiction, is working to open The Musuem of Science Fiction, the first permanent museum dedicated to the genre in Washington, D.C. This is not a five year mission, however—he and his board of advisors are planning a 3,000 square foot “preview museum” to open within the next 36 months! That is where he hopes more fans will come in—in addition to pursuing corporate partnerships, he’s launching an indiegogo campaign to help fund what will be “the world’s first comprehensive science fiction museum, covering the history of the genre across the arts and providing a narrative on its relationship to the real world.” The preview museum, an unusual first step, is an attempt by the Board to “give visitors a place to preview our programming and exhibits and a way to give [us] feedback.”
So far, in just 6 months, Dr. Viggiano has gathered 38 volunteers, who have helped him design a plan for the space, and an Advisory Board that includes author Greg Bear and Adam Schneider, a collector of sci-fi memorabilia. The VP, Mandy Sweeney, works at NASA, and updates the museum blog to talk about her love of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Quantum Leap. The group chose Washington, D.C. for the site both for its constant influx of visitors, and to highlight the Museum’s cultural importance.
Long-term ideas include a scale model of the USS Enterprise from Star Trek, a TARDIS, and, according to one source, “a device for surreptitiously implanting alien spawn in the chest cavities of unsuspecting visitors.” The Board is open to suggestions from all fans of science fiction, and encourages people to contact them with ideas.
The Museum’s overall mission is nothing less than “To create a center of gravity where art and science are powered by imagination” (which needs to be on a mug) with a strong emphasis on the educational opportunities possible. They’re working to ensure that their exhibits will meet Common Core and Next Generation Science standards. “Education is central to our mission. We believe that the science fiction presents an ideal device for sparking interest and spurring proficiency in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). But we’d like to go beyond STEM and broaden our focus to include the arts. We call it STEAM. We want to give teachers new tools. Cool tools that kids will love to use. Combined with inspiration and imagination, and creativity fueled by science fiction, our prospects look bright.”
There are 37 days left in the campaign—check out their crowdfunding video below, and donate to the indigogo campaign here!