The Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York is home to roughly 175 iconic puppets donated by the family of Jim Henson. But before beloved characters like Elmo, Kermit, Miss Piggy, and the Fraggles can return to the spotlight, the museum needs help from the public to bring the permanent exhibition to life.
On April 11, the museum launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a permanent Jim Henson exhibition, which has been years in the making. It first made headlines back in 2013, when then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the city was giving the museum $2.75 million to build the exhibition space. The new gallery has been completed, but the museum still needs $40,000 to finish restoring the puppets and building display cases for them and other items.
When it opens, the exhibit will feature more than 40 puppets from the museum’s collection. Visitors will find characters from The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, and The Dark Crystal alongside puppet prototypes and original sketches. The Jim Henson Exhibition will also include behind-the-scenes footage, photographs, and interactive sections where visitors can design puppets of their own, and perform with them.
The museum has until May 11 to raise the remainder of its funding goal in order to open the section in time for the 2017 school year as planned. (As of press time, the Kickstarter campaign had raised nearly $30,000 of its $40,000 goal—in one day alone.) Donor benefits range from tickets to the exhibition for pledges of $25 to original Jim Henson lithographs for pledges of $10,000.