Hold onto your fandom! A new and exciting cultural attraction is coming to historic Balboa Park featuring something for everyone in the family. The Comic-Con Museum will capture all the passion, creativity and imagination of Comic-Con in an experiential, immersive space unlike any other. Using pop culture as a powerful vehicle for learning, the Museum will keep the magic of Comic-Con alive in San Diego, all year-round.
Over its nearly 50-year history, Comic-Con International (Comic-Con) has become part of the cultural fabric of San Diego, turning large parts of the city into a hub of creative participation. Since its modest beginning in 1970, Comic-Con has grown into a global phenomenon – attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. Over the years, many have felt that there was an opportunity for Comic-Con to transcend its brief five-day run each summer and become a more permanent part of the San Diego cultural and tourism landscape. The availability of the former home of the Hall of Champions sports museum in Balboa Park was the catalyst for the Comic-Con Museum project to come into existence.
In true Comic-Con fashion, its Museum will be unique, expanding beyond traditional models and offering three museums in one.
- By day: – a museum that is never the same twice. Exhibits will change frequently, allowing guests of all ages to have a fresh experience each time they visit, in an exciting hands-on learning environment.
- By night: – a unique social experience. The Museum will transform into a pop culture community hub where people can gather to eat, drink, create and play with music, movie screenings, classes, book and fan clubs, gaming and other programs.
- 24/7/365: – a virtual museum accessible anywhere in the world. People from around the globe can take part in the fun of learning through online programs and exhibits created especially for digital consumption.
Recognizing that many people who will visit the Museum have never attended San Diego Comic-Con, the experience is being designed to resonate with both casual visitors and die hard pop culture fans. Whether you are 4 or 94 years old, you will be sure to find your passion celebrated in the space.
Many people do not realize Comic-Con has been a non-profit organization from the very beginning. In addition to its giant conventions, Comic-Con provides year-round educational programming through outreach activities. This means that education and community outreach are being planned as a big part of the Comic-Con Museum. When learning is fun, a passion for learning follows. And what is more fun than pop culture? An example of the Museum’s planned educational focus is STEM programs for children and adults. One floor of the Museum will be a dedicated education center with classrooms where students can learn to draw, paint, create costumes, develop their own comic books and graphic novels, experiment with stop-motion animation, robotics and other cutting-edge technologies that support more than 10-percent of all jobs in California.
On a community impact level, a recent study by The Center for Applied Research at UC San Diego estimated the Comic-Con Museum will bring $154 million of economic impact to the local economy annually, supporting 9,132 jobs. In economic terms this is broadly equivalent to adding a second Comic-Con, spread across the year.
The Museum is planned to open in Spring 2021, contingent on completion of a $35 million capital campaign, into which Comic-Con invested the first $11 million. This year, fundraising efforts are being taken up a notch with the Museum’s inaugural fundraising event on July 17, 2019 – the opening night of the 50th San Diego Comic-Con. The star-studded event will be held on all three floors of the Museum’s future location, previewing of the kinds of exhibits and experiences that will be permanently housed in the future.
This fundraising event, titled “The Gathering”, has scored a major coup by landing DC Entertainment as its lead sponsor, allowing the event to be themed as a celebration of the 80thanniversary of the caped crusader himself: Batman. Expect to see costumed characters, movie props, movie cars and famous celebrities, in addition to themed food and drink and a ceremony honoring Batman as the first inductee into the Comic-Con Museum’s Character Hall of Fame. Joining the event’s lead sponsor DC Entertainment is US Bank as the presenting sponsor. Other sponsors at the time of writing include Chosen Foods, Sycuan Casino & Resort, Kaiser Permanente and after party sponsor Brain Corp.
Sponsorship packages are available now. The event promises to be one of the event highlights of the summer, and a fun way to support the construction of the Comic-Con Museum and related education programs.
Join us and be part of the historic event that will help launch San Diego’s newest tourist attraction, and the first new museum in Balboa Park in a generation.