KALAMAZOO — The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts is one of just 14 small art museums across the country to receive significant grant funding for maintaining operations as COVID-19 challenges continue.
The KIA was awarded $350,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Art Museum Futures Fund, which earlier this week distributed a second round of grants totaling $3 million. The fund has distributed $27 million since launching in September as art museums across the U.S. struggle with revenue amid widespread COVID-19 restrictions. The recipients can use the grants for 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,” Mellon Foundation President Elizabeth Alexander said in a statement. “As the pandemic continues to threaten the future viability of museums that have long been under resourced, 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.”
A recent survey by the American Alliance of Museums found roughly one-third of U.S. art museums, which are losing millions of dollars in revenue, are at risk of closing. Additionally, smaller museums like KIA are less reliant on endowments than bigger organizations.
Prior to the pandemic, the KIA served more than 100,000 visitors annually. It was among 14 recipients in 10 states to receive the latest round of Mellon Foundation fundings.
KIA Executive Director Belinda Tate said the funding “helps to underscore the re-envisioning of our permanent collection while embracing the broadest audiences possible.”