(NewMediaWire) – April 01, 2023 – Burbank, CA – Despite being surrounded by the biggest movie studios in the world, the Martial Arts History Museum has continued to climb the charts as it is now listed as the number two tourism destination spot for the city of Burbank, CA.
The museum is the only cultural and educational facility within the city of Burbank. Celebrating the positive contributions of the Asian community as it connects with the martial arts, this year the museum celebrates year 24.
“Sad to say, despite everyone in arms about preserving diverse cultures, we are the only permanent cultural facility in the city,” says museum president Michael Matsuda.
Matsuda, a 55-year veteran of the martial arts, a former magazine publisher, and one of the world’s leading authorities on martial arts history in America has been spearheading the museum since 1999. The museum first opened in the city of Santa Clarita, CA, and relocated to Burbank, where it currently resides.
“We provide a unique look at history. We track the influx of Asian immigrants and the positive impact they continue to make on American culture. Especially now, when there is so much Asian-Hate across this nation, the museum opens the doors to different peoples and different cultures,” expresses Matsuda. “Yes, we talk about Bruce Lee, we talk about Chuck Norris, but we also showcase the history and culture of China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, and Hawaii plus anime and the movies.”
This year, the museum is seeking to gather enough funds to relocate to a much larger facility so that it can accommodate multiple school visits. “Unfortunately, we are not big enough to bring in the schools, which I feel are in desperate need of cultural education. We are making an impact, but imagine the impact we could make with thousands of young people visiting the museum.”
Recently, the museum launched its $5 to $5 Million fundraising campaign in hopes of raising enough funds for a new facility. “It’s an effort. But, look at it this way. Museums bring inspiration, they bring hope, they bring education, they bring understanding, they bring a community together, and keep our history alive. Wouldn’t you want that in your city?” notes Matsuda.
The Martial Arts History Museum is the only museum in the world dedicated to the history of the martial arts. According to Matsuda, they have had a visitor from every country in the world. It is considered the home of the martial arts worldwide and through its time in Burbank, they have brought in a ton of tourism dollars to the city.
According to a recent visitor’s survey, 8 out of 10 respondents indicate they prefer to visit a museum while on vacation. “I believe that says a lot. Why wouldn’t you want a new museum in your city? They bring in tourism, they bring in funds for the city and rooms at the local hotels,” says Matsuda.
In addition to education, the museum hosts many humanitarian events such as Anti-Asian Hate days, Women’s Empowerment courses, Anti-Bullying events, gathering uniforms for lower-income communities, blood drives, and much more. “It’s important that the museum be a part of the community and that’s what we have done for Burbank. We had hoped the city of Burbank would support our efforts to expand but that hasn’t been the case. So, we are doing our best to raise enough funds to relocate to a city that is more open to diversity,” says Matsuda.
“It would be nice if those who have given to other museums such as Mackenzie Scott or the members of the Giving Pledge or those who have benefitted from the martial arts and have become stars and celebrities would be part of our effort, and I hope they will someday, but until then, we, all of us who support the arts, who support education and feel that museums play a role in all our lives, join us as we try to raise at least $5 million for a larger facility that will continue on for many generations,” concludes Matsuda.
The museum is a non-profit 501c3 organization. In addition to the museum, they host an annual martial arts comic-con-style convention called Dragonfest in which 100 percent of the proceeds go directly to the museum. Donations are available on their website throughout the year at MAmuseum.com.
Museum free days are the first Thursday of every month, from 3 pm to 6 pm. Adults are $10, kids are $5. The Dragonfest convention offers free entrance to children 17 and under.