The Clifton Suspension Bridge is one of 22 museums, galleries and networks to secure Art Fund Reimagine Grants to support their future and communities
- £660K awarded in first round of Reimagine grants from £2 million pot
- 22 organisations to receive much-needed funds to develop access, expertise and digital capacity
Art Fund, the national charity for art, announced today that it has awarded £658,331 in the first round of £2 million Reimagine grants for 2021. The support will go to 22 UK museums, galleries, historic houses, trusts and professional networks. Recipients are located across Britain – from the Isle of Bute in Scotland, to Caernarfon in Wales, to Launceston in Cornwall and to Ushaw Moor in County Durham.
Among the projects to be supported are: an exploration of the human history of The Clifton Suspension Bridge with couples from all over the world who’ve chosen the bridge as the ideal spot to get engaged; community quilt-making at Mount Stuart on the Isle of Bute; and an exhibition of 70 years of ceramics by women of colour from West Africa through the diaspora to the UK at Two Temple Place in London.
The Clifton Suspension Bridge have been awarded £15,000 for a new initiative ‘The Union’. This is a new initiative to celebrate the symbiotic relationship between the bridge and the people for whom it means so much. Couples from all over the world choose the Clifton Suspension Bridge as the ideal spot to pop the question. This project, in collaboration with Artist Emily Sorrell, invites couples to become members of The Union to honour their contribution to the landmark’s human history.
Art Fund’s director Jenny Waldman said, “Art Fund’s new Reimagine grants will allow many more museums to understand, and work deeply with, their communities. Museums often produce what seem like miracles on a shoestring, but they need enhanced resources – such as in digital, specialist support and staffing – to truly build for the future. We are proud to support these impressive projects, something we could not have done without the exceptional generosity of our members and donors.”
The Reimagine grants will support large and small projects and professional networks and will help these organisations build expertise, capacity, connections and access as they navigate their way to recovery from the pandemic.
71 applications were received in this first round with a total ask of £1.9 million demonstrating the continued level of need in the sector.
The grants aim to increase creativity and stability in the sector with funding provided for projects that enable experimentation, deepen engagement with diverse audiences, and result in greater expertise. Areas of priority for the programme are collections, digital, engagement and the workforce.
The funding is being made available in direct response to Art Fund’s survey of over 300 Museum Directors in the UK, published in May 2021 and reflects the demand there is for Art Fund support. In response to this and because we wanted to make an impact at a critical time, Art Fund’s Together for Museums campaign in 2020/21 raised over £1.1 million through the generosity of over 4,000 funders, including the Headley Trust. This, together with the ongoing support of members, Art Partners, donors and legacy gifts, make the Reimagine grants possible. Alongside this, Art Fund continues to provide grants for acquisitions and professional development.
About Art Fund
Art Fund is the national fundraising charity for art. It provides millions of pounds every year to help museums to acquire and share works of art across the UK, further the professional development of their curators, and inspire more people to visit and enjoy their public programmes. In response to Covid-19 Art Fund made £3.6 million in urgent funding available to support museums through reopening and beyond, including Respond and Reimagine grants to help meet immediate need and reimagine future ways of working. A further £2million has been made available for the 2021 Reimagine grant programme. Art Fund is independently funded, supported by the 131,000 members who buy the National Art Pass, who enjoy free entry to over 240 museums, galleries and historic places, 50% off major exhibitions, and receive Art Quarterly magazine. Art Fund also supports museums through its annual prize, Art Fund Museum of the Year. The winner of Art Fund Museum of the Year 2021 is Firstsite in Colchester.
Read the full press release here.