Skip navigation

Nauticus Announces $21.5 Million Capital Campaign to Support Transformation of Exhibits & Programs

State-of-the-art exhibits and an entirely new visitor experience will open in phases throughout 2023 and 2024.

Norfolk, Va.– Nauticus’ President & CEO, Stephen Kirkland, announced today a $21.5 million capital campaign to support an ambitious redesign of the organization’s entire exhibit space and visitor areas.  Nationally recognized exhibit design firm, Roto, is working alongside Nauticus leadership to develop five large-scale, interactive exhibit gallery spaces that span the entire third floor of the maritime discovery center.  Additionally, a newly designed “Wonder Hall” will greet students and visitors as they enter the facility.  The comprehensive project will parallel newly created “STEM to Stern” programming and chart a course for the next generation of families, learners, and professionals. 

The Reimagine Nauticus Campaign began in January 2020 and to date, Nauticus has raised nearly 80% of its $21.5 million goal.  Today’s announcement marks the launch of the campaign’s public phase.

“We’re developing an interactive maritime discovery center like no other,” said Nauticus President and CEO, Stephen Kirkland.  “This is the first significant investment in Nauticus’ exhibits and educational programming since the facility opened its doors in 1994.”  

Construction on Phase One of the project began in November 2022, and two new interactive galleries will open this summer.  Phase Two construction will begin in early 2024 and the entire redesign will be completed later next year.  Nauticus will remain open to the public throughout the entire construction period.

The Reimagine Nauticus Campaign has been made possible by lead donors including the City of Norfolk, the Batten Family Foundation, the Perry Family Foundation, Joan Brock, Billy King, Bob King, Betsy Goode, Franny Beasley, Jerry and Laura Miller, the Goode Family Foundation, Connie Jacobson, Sentara Foundation, TowneBank, and the Nancy W. Spainhour Revocable Trust.   

For more information on Nauticus’ redesign project, including detailed descriptions of each gallery space, or for more information on how to donate to the Reimagine Nauticus Campaign, please visit  

About Nauticus

Nauticus is a maritime discovery center located along the waterfront in downtown, Norfolk, VA, offering a unique form of experiential learning for all ages. Through interactive exhibits and STEM to STERN programming, Nauticus uses the museum, Battleship Wisconsin, sailing center, and Schooner Virginia to tell the story of the maritime environment, industry, and the military. Nauticus Foundation is the nonprofit, 501©3 that supports the mission and activities of Nauticus. Nauticus’ mission is to benefit the community through education, impactful experiences, and sharing access to maritime resources 

For more information, visit