Billboard Museum Association
PO Box 446
Bethany OK 73008-0446
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Mission Statement

Mission Statement The Billboard Museum

The Billboard Museum will present a fun, educational, and immersive experience that captures the imagination by exploring the unique art and rich outdoor advertising heritage of America, starting from the late 1800s. Working with billboard and sign companies, artists, sign painters, muralists, and private collectors, the museum will collect, preserve, interpret, exhibit, educate and instill appreciation for the art of roadside advertising.

Through a program of acquisitions, loans, donations, reproductions from digital and photographic archives, and traveling exhibitions, the museum will have both permanent and temporary exhibits that chronicle various aspects of American popular culture through the years. The museum will appeal to a diverse age group, from schoolchildren to senior citizens, and entertain the casual observer through its exhibits. A research center and hands-on workshops will serve the needs of students, educators, advertising professionals, researchers, and scholars.

The Museum will also open its doors to those interested in renting out portions of the facility for events.

In summation, the Billboard Museum will generate the kind of nostalgic excitement associated with summer road trips, family vacations, freedom of expression in advertising, and the way America views itself.
Contact Information
Contact Name Kathy Anderson
Contact email billboardmuseuminc@gmail.com
Address PO Box 446
Bethany, OK 73008 0446
Phone (405) 495-9048
County Oklahoma County
Alternate Address 1516 N. Bradley
Oklahoma City OK 73127
Alternate Phone 405 203-7060
How to Give
Donate with Credit Card http://www.paypal.com
Other ways to donate, support or volunteer
  • Mail checks to Billboard Museum Association, PO Box 446, Bethany, Oklahoma  73008-0446.
  •  In-kind donations are welcome, such as trade show space, artifacts, printed materials (signs, brochures or banners), video production.             .
  • Memberships, named after outdoor advertising terms, are available: Junior Poster/Student $25, 30-sheet/Individual $50, Streamline/Family $100, Lizzie/Sustaining $500, Spectaculars/Corporate $1,000.
  •  Volunteers with all types of skills needed such as sign reconstruction, general labor, website development, research, newsletter, fundraising, press liaison, previous museum experience, archival experience, legal/entertainment specialty, grant writing, billboard art skills, billboard posting skills, graphic design, photography, accounting.
 
Financial Summary
 
 
Projected Revenue $2,500.00
Projected Expenses $670.00
History and Background
Year Founded 2013
IRS Ruling Year 2013
State Registration Expiration Oct 0
Statements
Mission

Mission Statement The Billboard Museum

The Billboard Museum will present a fun, educational, and immersive experience that captures the imagination by exploring the unique art and rich outdoor advertising heritage of America, starting from the late 1800s. Working with billboard and sign companies, artists, sign painters, muralists, and private collectors, the museum will collect, preserve, interpret, exhibit, educate and instill appreciation for the art of roadside advertising.

Through a program of acquisitions, loans, donations, reproductions from digital and photographic archives, and traveling exhibitions, the museum will have both permanent and temporary exhibits that chronicle various aspects of American popular culture through the years. The museum will appeal to a diverse age group, from schoolchildren to senior citizens, and entertain the casual observer through its exhibits. A research center and hands-on workshops will serve the needs of students, educators, advertising professionals, researchers, and scholars.

The Museum will also open its doors to those interested in renting out portions of the facility for events.

In summation, the Billboard Museum will generate the kind of nostalgic excitement associated with summer road trips, family vacations, freedom of expression in advertising, and the way America views itself.
Background
Kathy Anderson, founder of the Billboard Museum, writer, and Route 66 historian, realized in her Route 66 travels that part of the experience of traveling a pre-interstate highway was missing. The colorful roadside signs  advertising businesses along the Mother Road were long gone. Today, traveling all or parts of Route 66 is a destination for US and international visitors.
Ms. Anderson developed the idea of a museum addressing the need for a more complete Route 66 experience in 2010. She presented a PowerPoint presentation for the Route 66 community at the International Route 66 Festival in 2010. In 2013, Kathy approached the city of Bethany and the Bethany Improvement Foundation in Bethany, Oklahoma about the idea. City officials and board members of the Bethany Improvement Foundation were very interested in locating the museum in their town because Route 66/NW 39th Expressway is Bethany's (pop. 20,000, contiguous to Oklahoma City) main street. The Bethany Improvement Foundation is also active in a number of beautification projects, such as wall murals on downtown businesses and projects to attract and increase visitor traffic. The Billboard Museum idea fit their wish for a tourist destination and the project was also geographically appropriate to the town. Although the city of Bethany remains interested, the city limits only encompass 5 square miles and adequate acreage may not be possible. Other locations are also being scouted.
Impact
Accomplishments
  • Acquired late 19th and early 20th century advertising posters, photos, tools of the trade and billboard tags as well as smaller signs for future exhibits.
  • June 2014 Obtained 10,000 square feet of donated storage space by Clean Uniform Company in Oklahoma City for museum's collection.
  • January 2014-Began membership drive and friends of the Museum program.
  • August 14, 2014 Two board members traveled to the Tri-State Sign Association Expo in Joplin, Missouri as exhibitors for the Billboard Museum.
  • November 7, 2014 Open House in donated warehouse space for Museum friends and members.
  • January 2014 to Present-Developed acquisitions program that includes historic local signage, tools of the trade and accompanying art works. Historic signs rescued: Rio Siesta Motel, Clinton, OK; Taft Stadium sign; Colcord Hotel, OKC; Superior Neon, OKC; Ralph's Drug, OKC.
  • January 2015 Began sign restoration program. Taft Stadium sign fully funded.
  • June 2015 Acquired copies of  correspondence and photos from 1965 from Oklahoma Department of Transportation of early permitted billboards for Museum's archives.
  • September 2015 Provide temporary storage space for historic signs awaiting restoration, e.g. Union Bus Station sign
  • December 2015 Selected image for recreation of first billboard.
  • May 2016 Restoration of Taft Stadium sign completed. Press preview in May. First public display of sign at Bethany Route 66 Festival in June.
  • September 2016 Removed Charcoal Oven sign, a family-owned OKC landmark drive-in hamburger chain in business since 1958. The sign dates from 1960. Currently in storage at Billboard Museum warehouse space.
  • December 2016 Produced a short business plan.
  • Winter 2017 Beginning construction of first vintage billboard; a 1940s era advertisement for the Burlington Zephyr train.
  • Winter 2017 Produced brochure for Billboard Museum.
  • Winter 2017 Restored Taft Stadium sign goes on permanent display at Pole Position, an indoor go-kart track located at 36th and May, NW Oklahoma City. Midget car racing in the 1940s and 50s was part of the historical heritage of the Taft Stadium.
Goals for Current Year
  • Locate property.
  • Raise funds for purchase of property.
  • Continue to build collection through contacts with sign and outdoor advertising professionals. 
 
 
 
Needs
1.Volunteers with experience writing business plans, grant writing, accounting, sign reconstruction, general labor, website development, research, newsletter, fundraising, press liaison, previous museum experience, archival experience, legal/entertainment specialty, grant writers, billboard art skills, billboard posting skills, graphic design, photography, accounting. 
2. Financial support
3. Property for museum
4. Objects, documents and photographs relating to sign industry and outdoor advertising
 
 
 
 
CEO/Executive Director Statement

The Billboard Museum is utterly unique. There are museums that showcase signs and outdoor advertising, but none have billboards as their main emphasis. The development of the idea expanded its scope as time progressed. It was originally conceived as a way to showcase the vintage advertising ads and sign structures that today’s generation never will see due to a variety of factors that can be explored by exhibits. This popped up as Kathy drove Route 66, especially enjoying the older, less traveled sections where it was easy to cast the mind back to the heyday of the Route. Classic cars, pavement, and structures can be seen but the signage, including billboards, was a different story. The billboards could never come back due to changes in zoning laws. A museum seemed the only way to bring those back. The first expansion on the idea—it also being a haven for orphaned porcelain and neon signs that have historic or community value—came about due to Kathy’s involvement with the Route 66 community and discovering there is a real need to provide a location for iconic signs that would otherwise be put in the landfill or sold for scrap. The next expansion was due to seeing the increasing shift to vinyl, then digital billboards. Working at a local TV station in the early 1980s, Kathy remembered seeing a billboard being hand painted on the side of the road of Wonder Woman, the artists gleefully enhancing her bust line. The realization that the skills of hand painting and posting of paper signs were being lost weighed heavily, and she felt a need to capture the artists’ stories and techniques for future generations. The sign community was also feeling the need to somehow rescue and find a place to showcase iconic signage, with Jim Gleason heading up the effort. Kathy and Jim were introduced by the State Historic Preservation Office. So the Museum owes its support to several different communities that might otherwise simply pass it by: the Route 66 community, the billboard community, the sign community, vintage advertising collectors, and the artists and bill posters themselves.

Board Chair Statement

My first exposure to Route 66 was through the TV series of the 1960s. As a pre-teen, I developed a huge crush on George Maharis. Thanks to that crush, I carried an interest in the old road, but never had a chance to explore it until the early 1990s, after the highway had been decommissioned for several years. One trip on the old road to do some videotaping for a friend’s “36 on 66” birthday party was all it took. I was hooked. This led to not only producing the “Cruisin’ OK 66” video in 1994, but joining and becoming actively involved in the Oklahoma Route 66 Association, and by extension, the national 66 movement. As stated earlier, familiarity with the needs of the Route 66 community, coupled with the vast changes in the billboard industry, triggered a deep desire to document and preserve. This is why the Billboard Museum Association was established.

We face many challenges, as we are starting from scratch. We have no big money donors, no family wealth to get us started. We have no grant writers. What we do have are a unique group of people with skills and backgrounds that complement and encourage each other. Step by step, we are laying our legal ground work—bylaws, incorporation, EIN, 501(c3) status, and the paperwork to accept donated materials. We have received several interesting signs and objects, and need to document their history. One of our volunteers is interested in helping us with that. We have been scouting for a location, even though we don’t have the funds to purchase or even lease at this point, hoping we can either persuade someone that donating the land can be an excellent tax write-off or can provide a great tourist flow and synergy into a shopping area that can cater to travelers as well as locals. Early on, the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) has offered their support, which to date, has been to open the door to their vast archives housed at Duke University. Lamar Advertising’s local branch hosts our meetings, provided workshop sponsorship and printing support as well as joined our Association.

Everyone involved can see the vision. It is just a matter of getting there. We are a determined group, fueled by passion and the realization we can offer a unique visitor experience.

Area Served
Area Served
Geographic Area Served
National
International
This project will be national and even international in scope. The proposed location along Route 66 will serve as a travel destination for the local population as well as national and international visitors traversing the Mother Road. The Museum will also appeal to those with an interest in art or advertising history, for those who want to recall vacations and travel in this era, or folks who simply wish to know more about the history of outdoor advertising.
Service Categories
Secondary Organizational Category Arts,Culture & Humanities/Historical Organizations
Tertiary Organizational Category Arts,Culture & Humanities/History Museums
Programs
Description
  • Acquisitions program-acquiring historic local and national signs, billboard papers, and billboard structures from Route 66 and other places, the tools of the outdoor advertising trade, photos, documents and objects to fill exhibit hall outlining history of outdoor advertising from mid-19th century to about mid-20th.
  • Volunteer Program-Recruit and train volunteers from various disciplines; sign reconstruction, general labor, grant writing, website development, research, newsletter, fundraising, press liaison, previous museum experience, archival experience, legal/entertainment specialty, billboard art skills, billboard posting skills, graphic design, photography, accounting.
  • Education Program-Work with art departments from local universities and colleges to construct exhibits, paint murals, and make signs.
  • Outdoor driving loop/Exhibit hall construction program-First phase of Billboard Museum construction is to develop roadway and pedestrian walkway in wooded area to be filled with reconstructed vintage billboards and billboard frame structures dating from about 1920s to 1970s. Second phase is exhibit hall/event center with a Main Street at dusk theme with storefronts, neon, porcelain and wooden signs, and to-scale billboards celebrating the history of  American outdoor advertising as well as space for special and traveling exhibitions.
  • Exhibitions Program-Construction of first vintage billboard for public display underway, a 1940s era advertisement for Zephyr train. Restored vintage Taft High School sign on display at Pole Position indoor go-kart race track, 36th and May, Oklahoma City, OK. The Taft sign was also displayed at the Bethany Route 66 Festival, May 2016.


    
 
Strategy
Population Served General/Unspecified General/Unspecified General/Unspecified
Program Long-term SuccessHelpDescription of the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future or represent an ideal state. With the advent of digital signage, the old techniques and artistic styles are in danger of being lost. The graphic artists and the talented bill posters who painted advertisements by hand from small scale drawings or who could paste sheets on a board, are growing older and passing away. Their stories and work need to be preserved through oral histories and museum exhibits. The museum will be a celebration of American roadside advertising reflecting changing culture and art style through the years, changing transportation patterns, transformation of the highway to a buyway and their role as an encourager during both World Wars and the Great Depression. The museum will also highlight the development of billboard structures, the scenic vs. signic debates that culminated in Lady Bird Johnson's Highway Beautification Act, and the shaping of a common American culture through promotion of national brands. In short, the history of the art of selling to a moving audience.
Comments on Programs
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Creating an expanded business plan is our main next step. We have written a short business plan. To accomplish the next step, we need help. We are trying to find money for a matching grant to pay someone to do this.

Our hope is to reach out to the billboard and sign communities for sponsorships as well as large gifts. Once land and initial funding is acquired, we want to build an outdoor driving loop, which chronicles the development and styles of billboards and their ads as well as outdoor advertising from the mid 1800s through at least the 1960s, if not on into today. This would get us on the tourist map, and can start providing some income, with the hope we can actually sell billboard space in as well as rent it out for special events. The indoor structure with its Route 66 Main Street at dusk exhibit, combined with other halls for permanent and traveling exhibits would follow.

In talking to the American Sign Museum in Ohio, the closest comparable museum to what we are trying to do and who has been encouraging us, we realize this will be an expensive project. We will need the generous support of billboard and sign companies, as well as those who love vintage advertising. We will also need to be able to rent out both indoor and outdoor space in order to provide income. To obtain the needed support is both our challenge and our opportunity.

CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Volunteer Only Organization
Start Date Jan 2013
Email billboardmuseuminc@gmail.com
Experience Kathy Anderson is a writer, videographer, Route 66 historian and Billboard Museum visionary. She is President of Anderson Productions (video, writing and merchandising) and has produced two documentaries on Route 66 as well as videos for museums. Kathy is also past president of the Oklahoma Route 66 Association as well as past secretary. She is an inductee into the Oklahoma Route 66 Hall of Fame.   
Staff
Number of Full-time Staff 0
Number of Part-time Staff 0
Number of Contract Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 23
Staff Retention Rate 0
Are professional development opportunities provided? No
Does CEO/Executive Director have formal evaluations? N/A
Management reports to board? N/A
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 0
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 0
Not Specified 0
Organizational Plans
Fundraising Plan Under Development
Policy against commission-based compensation for fundraising consultant No
Communication Plan Under Development
Strategic Plan Under Development
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policies and Procedures Under Development
Collaborations
The Bethany Improvement Foundation- The Billboard Museum was a committee of the Bethany Improvement Foundation until October 21, 2013 when an application was made for non-profit status for the Museum. The fee for incorporation was a gift of the Bethany Improvement Foundation.  Dr. Arlita Harris continues to work with the Board in an advisory capacity.
 Lamar Advertising, one of the largest outdoor advertising companies in the country, provides support by allowing us to meet at their Oklahoma City offices and their Regional Manager, Bill Condon, serves on the board as the OAAA (Outdoor Advertising Association of America) liaison.
 Outdoor Advertising Association of America provides support and interest by serving as a link and a liaison to archival collections for image research. These include advertising collections at Duke University in North Carolina and the Foster and Kleiser archives in California.
 
 
 
Affiliations
AffiliationYear
Oklahoma Museums Association member2013
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government (federal, state and/or local)? No
Comments on Staff & Management
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments We have made tremendous strides in the past three years, from expanding the collection to becoming a recognized name locally, among Route 66 organizations and in the advertising industry. The ephemeral nature of billboards and locational nature of advertising signs allows us to be a museum without walls, displaying our signs and billboards at festivals, museums, businesses, and historic sites. At each venue, the Billboard Museum becomes better-known and more viable, accruing more publicity along the way.
Other Documents
Board Chair
Name Kathy Anderson
Company Affiliation Petra Industries
Term Oct 2013 to Sept 2020
Email billboardmuseuminc@gmail.com
Board of Directors
List Current as of Mar 15, 2017
Board of Directors List
NameAffiliationStatus
Kathy Anderson PresidentPetra IndustriesVoting
Justin Booher Volunteer CoordinatorVital Outdoor AdvertisingVoting
Bill Condon OAAA LiaisonLamar AdvertisingVoting
Jim Gleason Vice PresidentSuperior Neon SignsVoting
Monica Knudsen Secretary/TreasurerRetiredVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 5
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 2
Female 3
Governance
Board Term Lengths 4 years
Percentage of Board Making Monetary Contributions to the Organization 0 %
Percentage of Board Making In-Kind Contributions to the Organization 0 %
Board Orientation Yes
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Written Board Selection Criteria? Under Development
Comments on Board & Governance
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments Our greatest need is to develop a business plan in order to raise funds to purchase a property and build a museum. We are asking for $5,000  to qualify for a matching grant in order to pay someone to help us create a business plan.  After that our greatest challenge will be to secure a property and build a museum.
Current Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2017-Dec 31, 2017
Current Year Budgeted Total Income $2,500
Current Year Budgeted Total Expenses $670
Financial Documents
IRS Letter of Determination
Prior Three Years' Financial History
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$1,177$792$3,008
Administration Expense------
Fundraising Expense------
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.304.292.31
Program Expense/Total Expenses100%100%100%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$94,000$6,546$3,938
Current Assets$6,894$6,546$3,938
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities------
Total Net Assets$94,000$6,546$3,938
Solvency
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Funding Sources
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountMemberships $1,525Memberships $3,400Memberships $6,947
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Endowment? No
Endowment Spending Policy Income Only
Credit Line? Yes
Reserve Fund? Yes
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Campaign Purpose
When we begin a Capital Campaign, it will be for purchase of land and constructing a building.
 
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next Five Years? Yes
Comments on Financials
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments
     The Billboard Museum applied for non-profit, 501(c)(3) status on October 21, 2013. Our non-profit status was approved and the IRS determination letter was dated December 15, 2013. However, our non-profit status was retroactive by the IRS to effective date of January 10, 2013.
     From January 2013 to October 21, 2013, the Billboard Museum was a committee of the Bethany Improvement Foundation. Kathy Anderson was asked to become Chair of the BIF committee on May 8, 2013. Our first meeting as a committee of BIF was June 4, 2013. Our second meeting was July 30, 2013. Kathy's first quarterly report to the Bethany Improvement Foundation was August 22, 2013. As a committee, the Museum was a project in the making and had no income. Our first income was contributed for a sustaining membership of $500 on January 21, 2014 and other memberships followed after our first lecture/demonstration/seminar on outdoor advertising on March 1, 2014 and continues to present.
2016 Our current income continues to be from memberships. 
 
 
Foundation Staff Comments All prior year financial information is from compilations provided by the organization. 2016 total assets reflects value of the collection of signs per the organization. This had not been reflected in prior years' assets. 

Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.

The financial information presented is obtained from the following sources:  IRS Form 990, independent audit reports, financial statements – board approved when available, and supplemental information from the organization.  We do not warrant or guarantee the timeliness, errors or inaccuracies. With respect to information regarding financial performance, nothing on this website should be interpreted as a statement or interpretation by OCCF staff.
 
Organizations with a GiveSmartOKC profile are responsible for updating information annually within 45 days following the end of their fiscal year. 
 
Address PO Box 446
Bethany, OK 73008 0446
Primary Phone 405 495-9048
Give with Credit Card http://www.paypal.com
CEO/Executive Director Volunteer Only Organization
Board Chair Kathy Anderson
Board Chair Company Affiliation Petra Industries