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 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.
How we can help museums through this crisis
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:
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.
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.
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.