As COVID-19 continues to surge across the US, art museums are losing millions of dollars in revenue, leaving about one-third of all institutions at risk of permanent closures, according to a recent survey by the American Alliance of Museums. Smaller institutions are far less able to rely on endowments to survive the financial burden of the COVID-19 crisis. The Art Museum Futures Fund’s second round of grants will be distributed to 14 small-sized arts museums with strong and long-standing commitments to the local community and social justice. Grants will be used to support general operations.
“America’s small-sized arts and culture institutions sustain their communities by providing access to transformative and wide-ranging artistic contributions while also preserving many different histories and cultural legacies,” said Elizabeth Alexander, President of the Mellon Foundation. “As the pandemic continues to threaten the future viability of museums that have long been underresourced, we must do our part to strengthen support for these organizations and the trenchant work they tirelessly undertake to enrich and expand our American story.”
The Mellon Foundation launched the Art Museum Futures Fund in September 2020 with the distribution of nearly $24 million to 12 midsized arts museums and cultural organizations across the country facing unprecedented financial obstacles as a result of the pandemic. With today’s announced grants supporting smaller museums, Mellon’s contribution to the Art Museum Futures Fund totals $27 million, furthering the Foundation’s commitment to funding the recovery of art institutions as they adapt to the ongoing financial obstacles posed by the pandemic.