Statue of Liberty, New York
Credit: Getty Images

While Americans roast hot dogs and watch fireworks to celebrate July 4th, the Statue of Liberty Museum is asking for another patriotic act: a donation.

The museum started construction over a year ago, and is now looking to citizens to donate $50,000 to help finish the project.

The For Lady Liberty campaign on Indiegogo, launched by The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., has already raised more than $16,000. The suggested donation is $18.86, in honor of the year the statue was originally unveiled.

The new, 26,000-square-foot museum is planned to open in May 2019 on Liberty Island, and will celebrate the Statue of Liberty’s history, from how it evolved from national monument to global icon, as well as the concept of liberty itself. The museum will house the statue’s original torch and Liberty Star Mural, which features 50 sculpted stars designed by French-American artist Anh Duong and includes the Founders Star.

The museum, designed by FXCollaborative with exhibitions designed by ESI Design, will have a green roofscape with native island vegetation and bird-safe glass exteriors. It is set above 500-year flood levels and built to withstand hurricane-force winds.

“From building Lady Liberty’s pedestal in the 1880s to contributing to the 1986 centennial restoration – the American people have given whatever they could afford to support the Statue,” Richard Flood, vice president and chief advancement officer for The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., said in a statement. “This crowdfunding campaign honors that history, ensuring that our fundraising efforts are inclusive, while also expanding the opportunity to a worldwide audience.”

The foundation hopes the legacy of Joseph Pulitzer’s 1880’s campaign to build the pedestal and the 1986 campaign to restore the statue will be updated for the digital age and inspire citizens to invest in the rich history of this American symbol.

“For me, the Statue will forever be an empowering monument to the many incredible entrepreneurs who have come to America and achieved so much, including my parents, and the challenges they overcame to make a better life for our family,” Indiegogo co-founder Slava Rubin said in a statement.

Perks for donating to the campaign include everything from social media shout outs, to stickers and t-shirts, to invitations to the ribbon cutting ceremony and opening gala.