Friends of Roden Crater

The Roden Crater project has a long history of support from individuals, foundations and organizations. This extraordinary work of art is a monumental construction project and requires an ambitious fundraising effort. Friends of Roden Crater provide essential support for the realization of James Turrell’s vision for an interconnected complex of spaces constructed on and within a volcanic cinder cone. As a Friend of Roden Crater, your donation will move the project closer to a public opening.

In the first phase of the Roden Crater project, six spaces were completed, including two of the most difficult, the shaping of the Crater Bowl and the Alpha (East) tunnel. Three spaces: the Sun/Moon Chamber, East Portal, and the Crater’s Eye, are joined by the Alpha Tunnel and a connecting tunnel to the Crater Bowl. The South Lodge on the flank of the crater will provide overnight accommodation for future visitors as well as a panoramic view of the desert floor and nearby cinder cones.

The next space to be constructed is the South Space, (shown here, above) a space aligned to the North Star that concentrates the viewer’s attention on the night sky and provides a panoramic daytime vista of the Painted Desert surrounding the crater. Visitors will ascend via a rising spiral ramp to an open, circular space at the top with an unimpeded view across the desert. The center of this space is open to below, allowing light into the inner room of the South Space. An alternate path at the base takes visitors inside. Benches for seating line the interior and visitors will look upward towards the sky. The central feature is a structure that forms an astronomical instrument similar to the Jai Prakash Yantra in the celestial observatory at Jaipur, India. With this instrument, one can track celestial bodies and events (such as lunar and solar eclipses) as they occur within the timeframe of the 18 year, 11 day Saros Cycle. A single seat provides a view focused on the North Star. The South Space is, in effect, both a space with its own particular characteristics and a calendar for the celestial movements and events that are at the heart of the varied spaces of the Roden Crater project.

Your support as a Friend of Roden Crater will help us to build the South Space. In thanks for your support, you will be among the first to receive updates on the project, news, images, and advance notice of the public opening.

Although Roden Crater is not currently available for public visitation, a limited number of fundraising visits are hosted at the crater each year to raise major gifts for construction and operations. If you would like to be notified of future fundraising events, or you are considering a gift of $5,000 or more, please send your email contact information to


Become a Friend

Friends of Roden Crater is a partnership of the Turrell Art Foundation and Network For Good. Contributions directly support the Roden Crater project. Click here to donate to the project and receive updates as the project moves forward.


Founding Donors


Count Giuseppe Panza di Biumo

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Martin Bucksbaum Family Foundation

Nathan Cummings Foundation

National Endowment For The Arts

Guggenheim Foundation


Major Donors

Lannan Foundation

DIA Center for the Arts

Booth Heritage Foundation

Leonard and Louise Riggio

Ann and Kimberlie Birks in memory of Barrie Drummond Birks

Annenberg Foundation

Bruce Halle Family Foundation

Mark W. Booth

Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee

Jay & Kelly Sugarman Foundation