State Capitol Foundation

Spirit of the Capitol

Each year at least 180,000 visitors participate in programs at the State Capitol, including tours, holiday events, special ceremonies, and other educational programs. Capital Area Visitor Services is responsible for sharing the history of the Capitol and the functions of state government and for insuring that the Capitol and its furnishings are preserved and maintained for the enjoyment of future generations.

On October 4, 1976, the Secretary of State issued articles of incorporation of The State Capitol Foundation, Inc., to serve as a nonprofit support group for the State Capitol.

The purposes of the foundation, as stated in the articles of incorporation, are:

  • to assist the State of North Carolina to maintain, preserve, furnish, equip, and exhibit and interpret to the public the North Carolina State Capitol and Union Square on which it stands, and to that end
  • to solicit and receive grants, donations, and bequests of money and property from public and private sources; and
  • to make contracts and carry on other business activities necessary to the fulfillment of the primary purpose of the Foundation.

Goals:

  • Continue furnishings restoration and maintenance
  • Re-creation of the original appearance of additional Capitol interior spaces for interpretion (N.C. Supreme Court rooms on the first floor, Committee Rooms, offices, etc.)
  • Creation of additional educational programs and publications
  • Upgrade Union Square
  • Encourage the maintenance of the building systems
  • Call public and legislative attention to the needs of the Capitol
  • Establish a perpetual fund or funds to assure permanent programs to preserve and interpret the Capitol

Since 1976 the foundation has acquired funds through a variety of resources including charitable grants, donations, State Capitol Society membership fees, and the sale of commemorative merchandise.

Accomplishments:

  • Restored 1840 legislative furnishings and replaced of the original, fragile legislative chairs with suitable reproductions
  • Re-created and re-furnished the State Library Room, State Geologist’s Office, and Governor’s Office
  • Restored the ca. 1818 Thomas Sully portrait of George Washington
  • Restored the original 1841 Horton & Waller lithograph frame and conserved two lithographs of General Lafayette viewing Antonio Canova’s Washington statue
  • Restored the Thomas Constantine’s 1823 Senate Speaker’s Chair from the State House
  • Restored the statues and monuments on Union Square
  • Established a membership arm, the State Capitol Society, to increase awareness of the historical significance of the Capitol and to serve as a financial resource for its ongoing restoration and educational efforts
  • Produced a ten-minute video to encourage membership in the State Capitol Society, the membership arm of the State Capitol Foundation
  • Produced a ten-minute educational video about the history of the Capitol for school children, including a teacher packet of classroom activities
  • Conserved the 1970 copy of Antonio Canova’s Washington statue
  • Funded research for the paint analysis of the interior finishes of the Capitol
  • Funded at least one Civil War living history drama per year
  • Funded the printing of brochures and folders
  • Raised funds for the rental of two touch information computer kiosks that distribute information about the Capitol, Executive Mansion, and other Raleigh sites
  • Raised funds for the research of the original legislative carpeting

The State Capitol Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit 501 ( c ) 3 organization, and tax-deductible donations may be made to the foundation to assist with the education and restoration projects of the Capitol. Please mail donations to: The State Capitol Foundation, Inc., 4624 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-4624.


Members of the Board of Directors of the State Capitol Foundation, Inc.

The Honorable Katie S. "Kay" Cashion, President
Gerald P. Traub, Vice President
Arlene "Dutchie" Sexsmith, Treasurer
Dr. Janie Wheeler, Secretary
Edward T. Davis, Immediate Past President

Ex-officio Members

The Honorable Phil Berger, Senate President Pro Tem
The Honorable Thom Tillis, Speaker of the House
The Honorable Marilyn Avila, NC House of Representatives
Susan Kluttz, Secretary of the Department of Cultural Resources
Dr. Kevin Cherry, Deputy Secretary, Office of Archives and History
Diana Mauney, Acting State Capitol Site Administrator

Members

Jennifer Allen
Jonathan Brookshire
Becky Bumgardner
Barbara Boney Campbell
Bill Donovan
The Honorable Rufus L. Edmisten
Crash Gregg
Cyndy Hayworth
The Honorable Mary L. Jarrell
Chancy McLean Kapp
The Honorable W. David McNeill
Lou Mitchell
Charles Montgomery
Sharon Pelt
Brenda Pollard
Catherine "Cady" Thomas
Nancy B. Thompson
Everett Ward
Justin D. Williams
William Pennuel "Penn" Wood

The Honorable George Breece, Director Emeritus
John L. Sanders, Director Emeritus


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