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World Trade Center Memorial Foundation Announces Major Progress in Effort to Build Memorial and Museum

Over $300 Million in Private Funds Raised; Lead Exhibition Design Firm Chosen for Memorial Museum


Contact: Lynn Rasic or Michelle Breslauer, 212-312-8800


NEW YORK, April 18 /Standard Newswire/ -- World Trade Center Memorial Foundation Chairman Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced major progress in the effort to build the WTC Memorial and Museum, with over $300 million in private funds raised to date. Over $165 million was raised in approximately six months towards the Foundation's $350 million fundraising campaign.


At a meeting of the Board of Directors this afternoon, the Foundation made a number of key decisions helping to move the project forward. Thinc Design, Inc., in partnership with Local Projects, LLC, was chosen as the lead exhibition design firm for the Memorial Museum; Octagon, Jack Morton Worldwide, and Weber Shandwick, sister agencies within The Interpublic Group (IPG) were selected to help plan and execute the Foundation's upcoming national outreach tour; and Howard P. Milstein was named to the Board of Directors.


"Just as we came together to support our city and our country after September 11th, 2001, thousands of people are coming together again to support building the Memorial and Museum," Foundation Chairman Mayor Bloomberg said. "Every contribution, both large and small, helps make this national memorial a reality. Thanks to corporations, foundations, and individuals from across the country and around the world, who are uniting behind our efforts, we have quickly reached this major fundraising milestone. We hope that thousands more will lend their support for this important cause."


"Thanks to the leadership of Mayor Bloomberg and the support of our Board of Directors, the Foundation is succeeding in our fundraising efforts," Memorial Foundation President Joe Daniels said. "Reaching this milestone illustrates that progress spurs progress - we are building what we said we would build and in turn support for this historic campaign is rapidly increasing."


More than 32,650 contributions have come from individuals in all fifty states and 23 foreign nations. 66 leadership gifts of $1 million and over were made by corporations, foundations, and individuals. The Foundation's private fundraising goal of $350 million includes funds to support capital and planning costs, as well as an initial endowment to support operations once the Memorial and Museum open.


"From Museum planning to public outreach and construction, the Memorial Foundation is moving forward with great momentum," Foundation Chairman Mayor Bloomberg said. "Today the Board made key decisions that will help the Memorial Foundation to meet its many goals. All of these efforts, coupled with the tremendous support we continue to receive in our private fundraising, bring us one step closer to making completing this national memorial."


"I welcome Howard Milstein to the Board of Directors. Howard has been a strong supporter of downtown revitalization and he will be an important advocate for the Memorial," he said.


Foundation President & CEO Joe Daniels said, "The Foundation selected two experienced teams to help us in our efforts. Thinc Design and Local Projects will work closely with the Museum's curatorial team to envision and implement state-of-the-art educational exhibits and a deeply moving visitor experience that integrates cutting-edge technology with the sensitive presentation of a wide range of artifacts, images, and eyewitness testimony. Meanwhile, the partnership between Octagon, Jack Morton Worldwide, and Weber Shandwick brings talent, knowledge, and creativity to the planning of our national outreach tour."




Thinc Design in partnership with Local Projects, LLC, was selected from 16 world class design firms from the United States, Europe and Canada, who responded to the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) issued by the Memorial Foundation last October.


As the lead exhibition design firm, Thinc with Local Projects will contribute design expertise to the master plan for the public experience at the World Trade Memorial Museum, and will design significant portions of the exhibitions while also directing a team of design sub-consultants.


Founded in 1992, Thinc Design, Inc. is a local New York-based exhibition design firm with expertise in architecture, theater, education, film, graphics and interactive media. Currently, the firm is charged with the master planning for the Freedom Park in Pretoria, South Africa, as well as exhibition design for the 45,000 square foot Aquarium at the Renzo Piano-designed California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Thinc has won awards from the Industrial Design Society of America for both exhibition design and digital media.


Thinc will work in partnership with Local Projects, LLC, a design firm that creates media installations for museums and public spaces. Local Projects' recent work includes "Timescapes," the new introductory theater for the Museum of the City of New York, and interactive design for StoryCorps at the World Trade Center site and Grand Central Terminal. Local Projects was a finalist for the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum's 2006 National Design Awards in Communications.


Thinc with Local Projects' project team includes independent consultants Ann Farrington, Kathleen McLean and Clay Shirky. Ms. Farrington served as director of exhibitions for Experience Music Project, project manager for the Newseum, and deputy director of public programs at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Ms. McLean is the former director of education at the Exploratorium in San Francisco and, in 2006, was named by the American Association of Museums as one of the 100 most significant museum professionals in the past century. Mr. Shirky is a leading strategist on "social software" - information technology that fosters group interaction, and teaches at New York University.


"Thinc with Local Projects, LLC, was chosen for its competence, collaborative team, clear understanding of the Museum's ethos, strong and innovative use of media, and experience creating exhibitions that foster visitor engagement," Memorial Museum Director Alice M. Greenwald said. "In Thinc and Local Projects, we believe we have identified an exceptional partner to help us deliver an extraordinary museum, one that can not only meet, but perhaps even exceed, the high expectations for the Memorial Museum dedicated to telling the story of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993 that we are honored to create. This institution has the potential to be the first great museum of the 21st century. As such, the creative and seamless integration of new technologies into visitor experience is a pre-requisite, and Thinc is at the forefront of this field."


Tom Hennes, founder and creative director of Thinc said, "To be selected to design this important project is a great honor. The World Trade Center Memorial Museum will be a place of social interconnectivity, one that reflects our belief that public places, such as museums, can have a direct impact on society. We've been exploring this concept in many arenas, most recently in The Freedom Park in South Africa, a memorial and museum dedicated to the struggle for freedom and the ongoing process of South African nation-building. Here at home we have a great need to heal from the horrific events of September 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001. We hope to make a significant contribution to the healing process as well as to make something of value out of this enormous tragedy."


Jake Barton, of Local Projects said, "We're honored to be Thinc Design's partner in creating this museum of international importance. While our work as interaction designer for StoryCorps, and co-creator of Timescapes at the Museum of the City of New York, has brought shared storytelling to public spaces before, this challenge is overwhelming: to gather and offer the stories of the countless witnesses to 9/11. Sharing these accounts will help to create a human-experience for visitors, where physical artifacts will be enriched by the voice of first-hand experience."


The Museum will incorporate as exhibition elements a variety of existing materials that encompass an extraordinary range of size, weight and media. These include: remnants of the World Trade Center structures attesting to the enormity of the buildings and the forces of destruction - multi-ton pieces of steel currently in the care of The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; intimate mementos that mark individual experiences; paper-based and mixed media materials detailing some of the aftermath of the events; vast collections of photographic, video and born-digital imagery by both amateurs and professionals; oral histories and other aural materials; artistic expressions made in tribute to the lives lost and to the events and their emotional impact; and in-situ physical remnants of the site including the surviving Slurry Wall and the truncated box column remnants.




A team of three IPG sister agencies will help the Foundation to plan a national outreach tour later this year. The leading sports and entertainment marketing firm Octagon will work with global public relations firm Weber Shandwick and renowned experiential marketing agency Jack Morton Worldwide to help the Foundation to produce and manage the tour. The agency team was selected from nine responses to the Foundation's RFP for Marketing/PR/ Strategic Planning Consulting Services.


The national outreach tour will raise awareness about building the Memorial, create a broad base of regional support and raise funds for the project, while providing the public with an opportunity to be a part of building the Memorial and Museum. The tour will include an exhibition allowing the public to view renderings or models of the Memorial, and hear stories relating to the events of September 11, 2001. The tour will be supported through integrated marketing, advertising, merchandising, and public relations strategies.


"Our national campaign represents a great opportunity to engage the American public in building a national tribute," Joe Daniels said. "We look forward to the professional support of these experienced agencies to help us reach as many people as possible in every corner of the country. Building the Memorial is about bringing people together and we believe the national tour will help unite thousands of people to support our cause."


"We are proud to be working with the Foundation on this historic national project," said Harris Diamond, CEO of the Constituency Management Group of IPG. "The Memorial and the Museum will be important historical institutions not just for New Yorkers, but for people around the country and across the globe. Our team is honored to work on behalf of the Foundation, and we look forward to helping them accomplish their goals."


The team brings extensive experience marketing, planning, and promoting interactive events. Octagon is the global sports and entertainment marketing arm of the Interpublic Group and is the largest sports-consulting practice in the world with an event group that manages 3,200 events annually. Octagon helped to create the Ultimate Drive supporting Susan G. Komen for the Cure as a marketing partnership for their client BMW of North America, which has raised over $10 million since 1997. The firm also led the planning and execution of the Gravity Games, as well as creating interactive events for Sprint Nextel through NASCAR, and the NFL, and for MasterCard through MLB and World Cup Soccer, among many others.


Jack Morton Worldwide is an experiential marketing agency that creates live events and interactive experiences for public, consumer, business and corporate audiences. The leading agency of its kind, with numerous EX, Corporate Event and Emmy awards to its name, Jack Morton has offices across the US, UK, Asia and Australia. In 2004, Jack Morton produced the Bank of America Democracy Plaza, a public exhibit celebrating American democracy and citizenship. The two-week exhibit was housed in all the public spaces of Rockefeller Center and received over two million visitors. Jack Morton also led the Sports Illustrated 50th Anniversary Tour, a year-long mobile marketing tour, which included a 45,000-square foot traveling village and reached two million consumers.


Weber Shandwick is one of the world's leading global public relations firms with offices in major media, business and government capitals around the world. In 2006, Weber Shandwick won the United Nations Grand Award for outstanding achievement in public relations. The firm was also named Large PR Firm of the Year (PR News U.S.), European Consultancy of the Year (The Holmes Report) and Network of the Year (Asia Pacific PR Awards). The award-winning public relations programs Weber Shandwick has created include such projects as the dedication and ten-year anniversary of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the effort to protect and preserve New York City's Central Park around its 150th anniversary, and the National Milk Mustache got milk? Campaign, among others.




Howard Milstein was today named to the Foundation's Board of Directors. Milstein is co-chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Emigrant Savings Bank and its holding company, New York Private Bank & Trust, the largest privately owned bank in the country. He is also managing partner of Milstein Properties, an investment builder active in both residential and commercial development; founding chairman of the merchant bank FriedbergMilstein; and chairman of MB Real Estate, a commercial leasing and management company.


A graduate of Cornell University (B.A., 1973) and Harvard University (J.D./M.B.A., 1977), Milstein is a member of the National Board of the Smithsonian Institution and is active in numerous other civic and philanthropic organizations and activities.




The World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, Inc. is the not-for-profit corporation founded in 2005 to realize the Memorial quadrant at the World Trade Center site. The Foundation will raise the funds, oversee the design, and operate the Memorial and Museum located on 8 of the 16 acres of the site.


The Memorial will remember and honor the thousands of people who died in the horrific attacks of February 26th, 1993 and September 11th, 2001. The design, "Reflecting Absence," created by Michael Arad and Peter Walker consists of two pools that reside in the footprints of the original Twin Towers surrounded by a plaza of oak trees. The Arad/Walker design was selected from a design competition which included more than 5,000 entrants from 63 nations.


The Museum will communicate key messages that embrace both the specificity and the universal implications of the events of 9/11; document the impact of those events on individuals lives as well as on local, national, and international communities, and explore the legacy of 9/11 for a world increasingly defined by global interdependency.


Donations can be made through the Foundation's website, and more information on the Foundation can be found at or by calling 1-877-WTC-GIVE.