A new museum + planetarium

The new Bell Museum + Planetarium will take you on an engaging journey from the origins of the universe, through the flowering of life on earth, to the formation of Minnesota's diverse habitats. Permanent exhibit galleries will tell a global story with a unique Minnesota perspective, and our world-renowned Jaques dioramas will come alive for visitors as they discover the web of connections that tie together people, nature and the environment.

We will also return a state-of-the-art public planetarium to Minnesota that will examine everything from the vastness of the universe to deep inside plant life and the human body.

The new museum facility will allow us to:

  • More than double the number of visitors served each year from 45,000 to 105,000
  • Increase museum access & opportunities for underserved communities
  • Inspire the next generation of scientists and eco-innovators to make an impact in our communities and economy
  • Create a dynamic intergenerational gathering space for lifelong learning and imagining the future
  • Provide a portal to U of M research, citizen science projects, and informed conversations on the world's biggest challenges


We are entering the home stretch of achieving funding required to create a world-class, 21st century learning environment for Minnesota and beyond. Your gift will help to ignite curiosity and wonder in learners of all ages, offering them a place to explore their connection to nature and the universe, and empowering them to create a better future for our evolving world.

An additional $15M is being raised to meet the remaining funding needs:

  • building out shelled exhibit and event spaces
  • enhancing exhibits with interactive features and new technology
  • creating inspirational outdoor learning environments
  • supporting world-class programs and experiences for learners of all ages for generations

Read more in our Giving Guides

Bell siteplan - as of Feb2016

Make a gift

Help us build a world-class museum on the Saint Paul campus! You can be part of the story by contributing to outdoor learning landscapes, enhanced exhibits and technology, and state of the art visitor experiences.

To make a gift online, please visit our online giving page.

To make a gift by mail, please fill out the giving form and mail with enclosed payment to:
University of Minnesota Foundation
P.O. Box 860266
Minneapolis, MN 55486-0266

In addition to a cash donation, there are many other ways to contribute. For more information, contact Beverly Anglum, Chief Development Officer & Director of Advancement.

Email: anglu001@umn.edu
Office: 612-301-9469  |  Cell: 952-270-7972

Project update


We are pleased to report that our fundraising goal now stands at $13.7M after many recent generous gifts and commitments! The greatest outstanding needs include building infrastructure, funds to move and preserve the museum's world-famous dioramas, and ongoing support for exhibits and programs. Give today at z.umn.edu/newbellgive.


Capital Planning and Project Management is charged by the University with stewardship for system-wide capital, physical, space, and campus development projects like the Bell Museum + Planetarium. Recent construction highlights include:

The basement walls are now poured with the additional building footings and basement slab being poured in the next few weeks. The Planetarium drum (enclosure around the planetarium) is currently being formed and poured (this is done stages). Structural steel is anticipated to begin arriving to the site in the next couple of weeks.

Check out the construction site web camera—and be sure to click the "Time-Lapse Movie" button.

Interested in getting bi-weekly email updates? Send an email request to cppm@umn.edu.