Together for Museums

Join with us to help museums through this crisis and emerge stronger

Your donation will help museums rise and adapt to a new future

Museums and galleries are vital spaces for us all. Whether we want to see something beautiful, explore the world around us or simply spend time with those we love, they bring us together and enrich our lives.

But the Covid-19 crisis has had a catastrophic impact on UK museums as we know them.

Join with us to help museums through this crisis, emerge stronger, and connect people with art in new and creative ways.

With the help of our supporters and members, for over 100 years Art Fund has enabled UK museums to save and share works of art for everyone to enjoy. Now this support is needed to help them counter a new threat.

The situation

The closure of museums and galleries due to the Covid-19 crisis has been a blow to their means of existence: to ticket sales, exhibitions, shops and cafés, and much more.

Many are charities, or receive no public funding, or rely on the support of volunteers. Against the spiralling costs of keeping collections and buildings safe through closure, let alone the financial implications of reopening safely, museums are facing real danger: to the care of their collections and their workforce, and, for some, to their existence.

Our museum partners are eager to reconnect with their visitors and local communities. But even if they want to open their doors from 4 July in line with government guidance, safety measures such as queuing systems, improved ventilation and limits around visitor capacity come at a huge financial cost – and this alongside the financial challenge of bringing staff back from furlough.

The impact of this nationwide is likely to damage the cultural landscape of the UK for years to come.

What we can do

We’ve been speaking to museums, galleries and heritage collections around the UK to understand the impact of the crisis on their work and institutions. Over half of respondents to our survey told us that they are fearful for the future of their organisation without urgent support.

We cannot solve this crisis alone, but together we can make a real difference.

Alongside vitally needed government aid, Art Fund’s Respond & Reimagine programme can empower museums and galleries to adapt and thrive, and be ready to welcome everyone back safely when we need them most.

With the help of our members and supporters, we have already been able to commit £2 million in new support to help museums and galleries respond to immediate challenges connected to the Covid-19 crisis, but with your help we could go even further.

Our goal is to help museums to:

Rise

Tate Modern, Janie Airey 2018

We want to provide immediate funding for where it is most needed. Donations large and small will make a big difference to museums and help them respond to the crisis and get back on their feet to resume their great work.

Adapt

Museum of London, Andy Smith 2018

We want to help museums adapt, reopen and welcome visitors back safely over the summer and autumn. Our funding will help them to develop safe ways in which we can all interact with their collections, and empower the museum workforce with training opportunities to equip them with skills for the future.

Thrive

Manchester Art Gallery, Nick Turpin 2015

Museums and galleries must be able to continue to inform, challenge and delight people everywhere. We want to help the museums we work with maintain and develop their engagement with audiences, and continue to share collections in innovative new ways, both online and when they reopen.

In the coming weeks, when many museums will undertake the enormous task of reopening their doors, our goal is to provide a range of grants that will help them meet one of their greatest challenges – but we cannot do it without you.

Reopening and the future for museums

With lockdown slowly lifting and some museums and galleries able to welcome visitors back through their doors, the challenges and changes that they now face have become ever more apparent.

Museums, galleries and keen visitors alike welcomed news that the UK government will invest £1.57 billion in protecting cultural and heritage institutions across the UK. While this will help some organisations to survive the pandemic, it is just the start of the story. Museums need urgent help to cover the practical costs of reopening and welcoming visitors back safely, but also to adapt and develop new ways of working for long-term resilience.

In June we launched our Respond and Reimagine programme: providing up to £2 million in grants to help museums get back on their feet and respond creatively to the crisis. Our goal is not only to help museums survive, but to help them innovate – from building their digital capabilities to engaging visitors with collections in new and imaginative ways, ensuring that everyone benefits and participates.

We've been seeing a huge range of brilliant ideas from museums that are raring to go. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. We need you to help us make the biggest possible impact, to help keep doors open and collections alive. The months ahead will be full of obstacles for arts organisations and their staff – but, with the support of all of us, this is an opportunity to help strengthen the museums we love.

To help and get involved, you can share this message with your friends by sharing artfund.org/together or posting on social media using the hashtag #TogetherforMuseums. For more information and if you would like to help museums come through this crisis, you can make a donation here.


Make sure to look out for more news and updates on how we’re all coming together to support museums.

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