The Vagina Museum will be forced to permanently close if fundraising efforts for a new location are unsuccessful, it has announced.
In January the museum began a search for a new location after it was given notice to vacate its site in Bethnal Green.
It said it has now found a potential new home in a twin pair of railway arches in East London, in an as-yet unnamed location with room for three galleries, an events space and the possibility of expanding to provide a cafe.
Fundraising efforts began in April, when the Vagina Museum initially launched a £30,000 crowdfunding campaign. In five weeks, the appeal raised more than £42,000, with £31,000 from the public and just over £10,000 behind the scenes.
Today the museum has extended this target to £85,000, describing the appeal as a “now-or-never” situation.
It said that it is in the process of applying for grant funding for future exhibitions and that the premises will provide a secure six year lease.
Florence Schechter, Director of the Vagina Museum described the fundraising efforts as “crunch time”.
“Our financial modelling for our new home indicates that we will be in a secure, self-sustaining position, but in order to get to that point we urgently need a substantial cash injection.
BIG CROWDFUNDING UPDATE! We have found our perfect space! It's a gorgeous pair of twin railway arches in East London. We have BIG plans for this space and we'll have the room to realise these plans. But there's a catch… https://t.co/jsp1PUUPWu
— Vagina Museum (@vagina_museum) May 17, 2023
“We have a strong community at our side with a huge interest in seeing this project succeed. We know that people would hate to see the Vagina Museum, which means so much to so many people, disappear from this world. So we have every reason to be optimistic that we will meet this target.”
The museum has had a turbulent history in its physicl locations since it first opened its doors to the public in Camden Market in 2019. In 2021, its lease ended and the museum was temporarily homeless until it reopened at a site in Bethnal Green in March 2022.
In February 2023, the Vagina Museum was suddenly and unexpectedly asked to vacate its premises at Victoria Park Square, which had been under a property guardianship.